Failed

I take black and white photographs of broken parking meters during my travels in Los Angeles and print them as traditional silver gelatin prints. The meters register as “failed” and have plastic bags placed over them. The sculptural quality of these bags is remarkable. The grey metal poles supporting the meters can be likened to pedestals for these expressive plastic pieces that to me, feel like little figures or personalities. Each bag has been conceived a little differently: twisted, tied, taped, and torn, reflecting the mood of the driver. I also like knowing that I am documenting something fleeting. The same bag I photograph today is usually gone tomorrow. If the bag happens to survive, sometimes it looks completely different–the light has changed, the wind alters its shape, droplets of water have gathered on its surface.

 

My art relies heavily upon my personal experiences. I report back on what I have learned, observed, or survived, and propose new lines of thinking. I like to find the wonderful in the mundane, reveal something new from what appears to be nothing, or offer an unexpected perspective on institutions or traditions. In this case, what started as a cheap plastic bag from the grocery store became an insurance policy against the meter maid. Capturing this new-found sculpture on film and converting what was essentially trash into a silver-plated work on paper has been most gratifying.

 © 2019 Jonas Kulikauskas

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