Joanne and I managed to catch "Waste Not" at MOMA on Labor Day weekend just before it closed, and months later I'm still thinking about the show, remembering the hypnotic power of all the stuff--possessions gathered over a lifetime--laid out on the gallery floor, the experience of walking through it, and how people reacted to it.
"It's to show where something goes," a guy behind us told the woman he was with, who'd asked about a mark on the floor. "Not that this is a show that's likely to travel. Might be when it closes, they should just haul everything to the dump."
Actually, the show, by Chinese artist Song Dong in collaboration with his mother, Zhao Xiang Yuan, had already traveled--it was first installed at Beijing Tokyo Art Projects in 2005.
Wherever the show's future--and I hope there will be one--it's well documented on MOMA's website:
There, along with photos and an interview with Song Dong, you'll find the book prepared for the show's first installation in both Chinese and English.
Keep clicking "Next" and you'll be able to read all the text that accompanied the exhibition at MOMA (including Zhao Xiang Yuan writing about laundry soap).
Maybe like me, you'll find yourself thinking about the meaning of the stuff in your own life, and what you value, what you crave, and what you fear.