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Salvage Swell
Jarod Charzewski
Opening Reception Saturday 26 May at 7pm

It is our consumer culture that enables Salvage Swell to be produced. The structure takes the form of a wild mushroom and has a double meaning. The term mushroom is used in the English language to emphasize something growing rapidly in size and scope. This growth is parallel to our consumer culture and the many industries that feed it. The speed at which we consume and reproduce materials and goods has long been questionable in regards to our own survival. The materials obtained for this project were provided by Goodwill Industries and represent a small fraction of the unwanted discarded items that are unsold – and therefore labeled as salvage.

There is hope for us yet. Mushrooms are a fungi commonly growing on decaying logs and stumps on forest floors. By this logic, the mushroom portrayed in Salvage Swellbecomes a symbol for re-growth. The recycling industry is catching up to our consuming habits. The question of what to do with our discarded items is now more easily answered than ever before. Unwanted clothing is donated to nonprofit organization like Goodwill Industries and is resold. What does not get purchased, however, used to be deposited in landfill sites by the ton on a daily basis. More and more, these materials are being recycled. Denim is made into home insulation and clothing in general is being made into paper.  What’s more, it was very expensive to discard the unwanted clothing. Now, these many tons of clothing can be surprisingly profitable.

– from the artist’s statement