This item looks like it belongs more in the archives of regretsy than in a show at MOMA in NYC. Unless of course if it is Martha Rosler’s show, a garage sale of objects demonstrating among other things that value is arbitrary.
My lint Jesus, yes, it is made of lint collected from the clothes dryer when doing laundry was almost a daily ritual. My body of work made of lint consists of titles such as 50 loads, 50 loads flat, 50 loads square…. you get the idea.
Inspired by the numerous sightings of religious figures frequenting the news at the time, frost in bodega refrigerator doors, cloud formations and kosher pickles I set out to turn my humble materials into something divine.
Despite my failure at this I did not destroy the aberration but put it away with those other unrealized ideas in my studio labelled “potential” and “inspiration” where he remained for over 15 years.
One day last summer he was resurrected. At my annual garage sale party … think Amy Sedaris…you can’t leave until you buy something, I was asked to donate an item to the META MONUMENTAL GARAGE SALE, Martha Rosler’s installation/ performance piece at MOMA. Without hesitation I ran to the studio to procure the now dust covered lint Jesus. I was exhilarated. ” He has found a home!”, I thought, albeit temporary but somewhere to go, a chance, a next stop…and its not the trash!
At the show he was nowhere to be found. The categorized sale didn’t include a “Take for free” section. How sad it would have been to see him there, unclaimed. I get a giggle imagining his new life. In it he is a prank gift evoking hearty laughs as he is passed through friends, and friends of friends circling back for one last laugh until his gentle end as a biodegradable.
A quote from Edith Wharton’s A House of Mirth” printed in the show’s accompanying publication the “Garage Sale Standard” sums it up for me. “An object is always more than what it is: a chair, a spoon never merely a spoon. It travels through social world,and carries forward a history, belonging first to those that produced it, and later to those that bought , used, altered, sold, traded or discarded it. Value is ascribed to it, value is withdrawn: value is regenerated.”
I couldn’t part with lint Jesus all that time because I wanted its value to me quantified and now it has.
I can claim with legitimacy that I have had a piece of art in the Museum of Modern Art and a funny story to boot.
Where is Lint Jesus? It would be fun to know where he ended up just don’t give him back!