Description Fenton’s multimedia installation De-consume mirrors a high-end boutique; its interior exhibits objects, smells, and actions not usually found in stores. Along with the installation, there were three store events:
A simple meal (a raw - and freshly plucked from an organic garden - finger feast)
Sniffing booth (willing participants sniffed each other in all possible and impossible places) Images & Text
Mud roll (My 7 months pregnant ass and other participants rolled/played around in mud). Pictures below. Video
Statement "Shopping is a threatening phenomenon, on the way to making a complete conquest after which there will be nowhere left free from its imprint." --Rachel Bowlby
"We have reached the point where 'consumption' has grasped the whole of life…work, leisure, nature and culture all previously dispersed, separate, and more or less irreducible entities that produced anxiety and complexity in our real life, and on our "anarchic and archaic" cities, have finally become mixed, massaged, climate-controlled, and domesticated into the single activity of perpetual shopping." --Jean Baudrillard
De-consume is a parody of what is found in any American mall, on cruise ships and in airports and on fifth avenue in Manhattan - convincing brand identities and tactile packaging that lure consumers in no matter what the goods are inside. In any consumer driven culture there is an incessant bombardment of objects we don't necessarily need, but are made to want. Sleek packaging and clever ad campaigns tempt consumers in and unscrupulously penetrate wallets and minds. These objects often have little to do with basic survival, but successfully convince us that our identities depend on them. The newest white I-phone, Prada's Spring 2011 shoe line, a bigger and better house, we are made to feel inadequate despite how little or how much we may already have. Where at one point shopping was an exercise in consumer freedom - it has now become corporate manipulation most cannot avoid.
De-consume exhibits some of what remains (mostly) unscathed by commodification here on earth: dirt, dust, animal feces, moss, leaves, hair, naturally occurring aromas, and guttural sounds usually ignored by most ears.
Here you are encouraged to open and sniff containers, take off shoes, walk backwards, crawl, yowl, pass gas, roll around and most importantly, forget what it is you've bought into.
Bio Felicity Fenton is a Colorado native, studied painting at The Art Student’s League in NYC and earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. She now lives in Portland, Oregon.