SARA CUMMINGS, born 1969
The Re-Invented Landscape, 1995
air fresheners (berry and herbal scent)
Cummings' piece is an ironic commentary on the museum setting and many of the notions such a setting embodies, such as: the perception that art is removed from a larger cultural context, the desire to preserve the past, and a sense of permanence that objects acquire in museums.
Cummings' work uses to mundane subjects to critique a consumer society obsessed with an artificial concept of cleanliness. Using startlingly colored floral forms based on popular 1970s bathtub decorations, Cummings questions tendencies to view the past with nostalgia.
The emission of a synthetic "air freshener" scent into the gallery challenges limited ideas about what materials are appropriate for art. The scent permeates the gallery, intimating that museums are sanitized spaces for art.
During the course of the "Interventions" exhibition, Cummings' installation gradually diminishes in size as if it were mocking our desire for permanent objects.
To the next artist...