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Trash Talk

It is difficult to deny we live in a throwaway society. We all visit the curb twice a week, unceremoniously dumping a chunk of our lives next to the road, where the junk awaits the garbage collector. At a time when we often seek the extraordinary in the disposable, garbage filtered through the hands of artists can offer a glimpse into how our culture is evolving. “Advent,” a group exhibit featuring the work of ten artists opening tonight at ArtCenter/South Florida, features an exploration of the accumulated and cast-off, where the tossed and recovered become redefined.

The show conveys the process of coming into being or use, explains New York-based curator Lou Laurita: “When we look at an object, the materials evoke a response. When the materials are recognizable, the response is partly based on our personal association with those items.”

Pack-rat sculptor Adriana Farmiga has created a parody of the biblical Noah as a compulsive Dumpster-diver organizing his rubbish-strewn raft into shipshape. In her ark installation, what looks like a chaotic assembly of random odds and ends heaped on a tarp is actually a calculated accumulation of meticulously collected objects paired together and presented in anal-retentive order. Tawnie Silva’s take on the act of dumping strikes a rawer nerve. Jilted by a former girlfriend, he painstakingly transcribes a letter he wrote her in the sorry aftermath using thread on Velcro as a visual affirmation he’s over the heartbreak.

In a literal reenactment of coming into being, Nancy Brooks Brody has torn a sheet of paper into shreds and stitched the parts back together in a work that delves into repair and re-creation, while Fawn Krieger explores feeling linked to a place by using lumber from a demolished home in Vermont and her childhood bed linens to create a three-dimensional flag. Pick up some cutting-edge recycling tips and emerge enlightened.
Jan. 14-Feb. 12, 7 p.m.


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