Artwork of the month July

Cady Noland, Celebrity Trash Spill, 1989

Cady Noland

* 1956 in Washington lives in New York, USA

Trash Spill, 1989

Newspaper, three magazines, three cameras with associated equipment, two camera tripods, microphone, glittery skirt, five pairs of sunglasses, sleep mask, carpet, two mats, cigarette packet
25 x 196 x 276 cm

Celebrity Trash Spill, 1989, consists of a number of objects that seem to have been dropped randomly on the floor, as if trashed, as the title of the piece suggests. This accumulation of objects immediately evokes associations that recall the glittery visual world of the stars, "showing oneself" and being shown, but also intrusive paparazzi, sensationalism, indiscretion and crossing lines. The headline about the death of Abbie Hoffman – an American journalist and activist supposed to have committed suicide in 1989 – appears in big, bold letters on the front page of the tabloid seen lying here. As is the nature of the ephemeral newspaper medium, the aim is to ensure fast consumption of the loudly proclaimed news of the possible suicide of an important radical figure of the sixties' youth rebellion.

Celebrity Trash Spill raises the question as to the act of photographing: what does it mean, specifically the act of photographing celebrities? In On Photography, the essayist Susan Sontag writes: "To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, [...]; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed."

In her works, Cady Noland examines societal, social and cultural structures and norms in America by way of association, subtly unmasking the myth behind the promise of the American Dream. The question as to the objectification of people is of essential importance to the artist in this respect: "From the point at which I was making work out of objects I became interested in how, actually, under which circumstances people treat other people like objects. [...] psychopathic behavior provides useful highlighted models to use in search of cultural norms. As does celebrity [...]."

Denise Rigaud

<b>Cady Noland, Celebrity Trash Spill, 1989</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.