- Joshua Rayner
- East Kensington, Philadelphia
Nicolas Bourriaud noted that over the past century the value of relationships has increased in opposition to the value of objects. My general aim is to not so much produce art that ends in or is contained by its faculty as an object, but instead derives most of its meaning from possibilities for connections with a broad scope of people. By using a more universal “text” to describe my own biography the work relates to viewers’ biographies, allowing this text to be just as completely their own. The apparent detritus of commercial exchange is the artistic language I use.
Receipts record interactions in my life through the motif of commerce, both literal and metaphorical. Servers and cashiers and hairdressers are all encountered on the level of commercial transaction, and yet the human elements of even those interactions shine through at points as I form relationships over time. The receipt is trash, and yet also the most hierarchically leveled and consistent artifact of my movements through society, an archivable reminder of the multi-tiered nature of interactions with any person encountered. This function is highlighted by the works’ physical material: high quality, literally archivable giclée prints of an image cropped to focus on one particular aspect of the receipt, or the sculptural solidity of an unused receipt tape roll. Additionally, the receipts are re-marked signs, sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle, of a culture that blends the authoritarian with the whimsical with the insubstantial with the impersonal, expecting each to be compatible and the response to be constant.
Transmutation for the sake of describing through negative space is also important. What is changed when a receipt roll is gilt and set on a cushion? When a bank account balance is attached to a Felix Gonzalez-Torres print removed from a paper stack? When that account information is mailed to a friend via postcard? When a receipt is erased and burnished by a combination of pocket wear, eraser, and natural light? The physical changes are inherently nothing, other than cause and effect—and this is not so different from the viewer and her culture, culture and viewer.
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