Consumed: stilled lives - Dyson Gallery.

Woolley, Dawn (2016) Consumed: stilled lives - Dyson Gallery. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

My research examines the relation between people and objects, and the impact that adverts have as producers and disseminators of social values. My central argument is that commodity culture turns everything into adverts, from seventeenth century still-life paintings to selfies and thinspiration photographs. The still life table expresses the dual meaning of the term ‘consume’ because the objects on display are edible and connote an individual’s social position through the ability to buy prestigious objects. I therefore approach the still life table as a portrait of a particular type of consumer. This allows me to consider the food in a still life as an expression of a relation between an individual and consumer society, as well as a figuration of the effect of commodity consumption on the consumer’s body. The exhibition encompasses a variety of Still Life’s suggestive of different consumers. Commercial advertising and social media networks are examined as methods of circulating and embedding the social value of products but also a site for potential disruption.

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