Aesthetic Afterlife

An Exhibition by the Chipstone Foundation at the Haggerty Museum of Art

January 22- August 3, 2014

We will die, civilization will crumble, life as we know it will cease to exist, but trash will endure, and there it was on the street, our ceaselessly erected, ceaselessly broken cenotaphs to ephemera and disconnection and unquenchable want.

—Robin Nagle, Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), p 49.

The quote above is unmistakably dire and pessimistic, and it hints at a dystopian future for the world.  Our obsessive materialism today occurs without consideration of what happens to things when we no longer need or want them. In this installation, six Wisconsin artists address the myriad problems raised by our “throw-away culture,” but they do so somewhat optimistically, using old objects to create beautiful works of art.