Invigilating @ The Needs Gone Gift Shop
Mon, 4 October 2021 - Fri, 29 October 2021
The Loreburne Shopping Centre - High Street Dumfries DG1 2BD
Roll up, roll up, to The Needs Gone Gift Shop (2021). A shop like no other, nothing is for sale (NFS). This site-specific installation, the conclusion of a twenty-one-year aesthetic endeavour, is inspired by Berlin’s Museum De Dinge (The Museum Of Things) whose Modus Operandi is Open Storage. These ready-made materials, multiples of the same, illustrate an overlap between similar, shared behaviours (shopping consuming collecting) and demonstrates how repetition creates patterns, analogue to algorithms, that can become art.
Hamblen considers collecting to be a vestigial behaviour: what was once Hunting and Gathering now manifests as kinds of consuming, on a continuum. At one end of the spectrum is Thorstein Veblen’s Conspicuous Consumption (“the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display the economic power of the income or of the accumulated wealth of the buyer”). At the other end is Marshall Sahlin’s original affluent society: “Instead of continuously increasing production and maximising output, the main strategy of hunter-gatherers is to accept low production goals and optimise the distribution and use of resources…Instead of seeking to maximise individual material gains, many hunter-gatherers seemed to focus on allowing for plenty of time for leisure, ritual, social relations, and entertainment. Social practices such as sharing and mobility allowed greater access to resources than amongst sedentary people with exclusive property regimes.”
The contents of The Needs Gone reflects a specific approach to creativity that harnesses hunter-gatherers environmentally sustainable affluence. Sir Nicholas Serota has stated his belief that “…we often neglect the achievements of living artists. This deprives audiences of the opportunity to have regular encounters with the art of their own time…” This up to 84-day event will create the conspicuous conditions for daily encounters between artist, audience and the art of our own time, the Anthropocene!
If we believe there is a climate crisis, then Arundhati Roy’s call “to manage without” is pertinent to our post-pandemic behaviour. Can I let go of my things, relinquish? “Needs Gone” is local vernacular, often seen on Freecycle, when someone wants to give something away.
Needs Gone and relinquish coincide.
Posted by: Martin Hamblen