Emptiness

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This work can be temporarily found in the home of one of the artists of the Unintentional Art Movement. At first sight it appears to be an empty kitchen paper roll, standing on the kitchen counter of what presumably is the artist’s kitchen. Despite its recognizable, lean design the work contains a couple of strong elements, making it a daring and valuable part of the UAM oeuvre.

The empty paper roll symbolizes the individual whose freedom is permanently restrained. We think we are free, yet we are stuck, trapped in structures, rules and other boundaries that limit our ability to fully decide on how to live our lives. The roll is helpless. It cannot set itself free, but can only escape its “iron prisoner” through the intervention of a higher being or an external energy (for instance a gust of wind).

The fact that the kitchen paper roll is empty cannot be misunderstood. Both the trapped, modern individual as our current way of life are nearing a dead end. The rat race, defining our Western society, is just like the kitchen paper holder a structure where its participants cannot escape from. We are all working relentlessly, with no clear goal and with both our days passing by and our natural resources depleted. Just like this roll we are nearing the end.

The chosen material is no coincidence either. Isn’t the use of kitchen paper a clear sign of our mass consumption and its consequence? We create waste in order to clean up waste. We waste time in order to have enough money to hopefully one day catch up with it, forgetting to live in the here and the now. This unintentional artwork doesn’t limit its scope. It poses us a direct and crucial question: Will we take a new kitchen roll and continue towards the dead end or will we choose another option? Will we head in the right (and presumably better) direction?

 

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