The Registry | Carrie Chisholm

March 30 – April 10, 2011

An exhibition based on the push for consumption that gift registries promote

The bridal veil first appeared in ancient times and was donned during wedding ceremonies to ward off evil spirits.  Since then it has evolved to symbolize purity and innocence, as a devise to mask the identity of the bride from her future husband and has become the most recognizable bridal fashion accessory of present day. At first glance, the suspended headpieces may be regarded as ornamental, but to dismiss them as such would be to overlook the readings that appear upon closer inspection. 

They generate a decorative beauty through the addition of consumer product appliqués, sourced from gift registries. Referencing methods of advertising, they seduce the viewer. Through their temporal nature, the veils deliver moments of existence and non-existence. Contour line drawings – that spill onto the walls – generate a pattern of products and human forms entwined in a delicate, subtle manner. The installation seeks to depict a subjectivity constituted by ambivalence towards fashion and consumer culture. It creates an unfolding experience in which content reveals itself gradually through time and space. 

We enter the world as complete and whole, provided with everything we need to survive. We then proceed to live in search of the quality of fulfilment, regarding ourselves as perpetually incomplete and wanting. The images question an individual’s capacity to resist and withhold, their capacity of free will: an alluring contradiction of pathos and critique. 

Special thanks to our community partners, donors, and supporters. 

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