Monday, November 17, 2014

Skittles Exhibit on the High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built on a section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line.

One of the best things on the High Line is an exhibit by Josh Kline called Skittles. Here’s a little more about it.
Josh Kline (b. 1979, United States) creates sculptural installations that employ the language and strategies of advertising. For Archeo, Kline presents Skittles, an industrial refrigerator containing smoothies produced by the artist using unconventional and poetic combinations of ingredients including kale chips, squid ink, sneakers, phone bills, and pepper spray. Each smoothie stands as a portrait of a different contemporary lifestyle. When grouped together, they evoke a landscape of aspiration, taste, and – at times – deprivation in a metropolis like New York City.

From the New York Times
Across the bar from the Standard Hotel, Josh Kline takes the most activist stance. Critics of the Bloomberg-era, tourist-friendly “luxury” New York have cited the High Line as a prime indicator of uneven development. (The Arts & Labor group of Occupy Wall Street staged its first action on the High Line.) Mr. Kline’s refrigerator filled with custom-made smoothies mimics the expensive “health” beverages found in delicatessens and gourmet markets. Ingredients listed on the front of the beverage containers veer among the material, political and poetic: “tourism, starbucks, sunglasses, metrocard, hotel soap, cupcake, cheesecake, cronut,” and “sick day, dayquil, redbull, ritalin, claritin, aspirin, advil, aleve.”

From The Bustle:
What it is: a clever play on the juice cleanse craze that so many people seem to be into (and which can actually be harmful, not beneficial, to your health). The rows of juice bottles inside the machine contain colorful blends of liquids and solids. Some of them look normal enough to down in a few sips, while others, with their floating bits of fabric and money, are more obviously different. Emblazoned in white, sans-serif font is a list of ingredients, which range from kombucha and agave to credit cards and yoga mats. As additional food for thought, the exhibition seems to contain a warning against the slick advertising on so many “healthy” products.

Kline’s work is part of the outdoor “Archeo” exhibit, which is an “exhibition about technology and obsolescence” that reflects “on humanity’s continuous fascination and frustration with technology.” According to Kline’s bio on the “Archeo” page, each “Skittles” smoothie is meant to represent a certain lifestyle:

“When grouped together, [the juices] evoke a landscape of aspiration, taste, and – at times – deprivation in a metropolis like New York City.”

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