Shawn Michelle Smith
Untitled gridDetail, Untitled gridJelloDetail 1, JelloDetail 2, JelloGrassDetail 1, GrassDetail 2, GrassTeacupsDetail, TeacupsInstallation image
Maintaining a Life
This is a project about maintenance. It is about the everyday upkeep of mundane things -- chores. Cooking and eating and occasionally mowing the lawn. But it is also about the more elusive and intimate work of sustaining relationships. In both cases I look for significance in the details of small things. A teacup holds some trace of the hands and painted lips it has passed between. Its cracks and chips tell of long use, and also, perhaps, of the fragility of the social bonds it has helped to nurture. The glistening surfaces of jello desserts suggest something both enticing and a bit absurd about the desire to conform to social molds.