One way I decide I like a work of art, is if I am still thinking about it days, weeks, or months after I see it. If the work challenges a belief I previously held dear, I like it more. I have a particular affinity for conceptual art that connects with everyday life. Gabe Flores’ Greener Than You? (The Manor of Art at Milepost 5, August 2009), is proving itself as such a work for me, as I thoughtfully consider my own ideologies, and the inconsistencies within them.
For instance, I thought about Greener than You? recently, as I walked home carrying three DVDs (research for my new series of paintings), an iced caramel frappacino light, and three clear produce baggies, each containing a bunch of fresh parsley, a bunch of green onions, and a bunch of mint, which I purchased at a small market that gives you a bag with your purchase only if you ask for one; it’s the green thing to do. Usually I carry an over-sized tote bag with me, and I don’t need a grocery bag, but this particular day, I left home with only my house keys and some cash in my pockets, because, originally, I was only going out for the DVDs, which I didn’t ask for a bag to carry either. The parsley, green onions, and mint were an afterthought, because I made tabouli before leaving home, and passing the produce market, it occurred to me that the tabouli could use more parsley, green onions, and mint. So I went in, carrying the three DVDs and the iced caramel frappacino light. The iced caramel frappacino light was a spontaneous purchase too.
I am guilty of my own environmental ideology and inconsistencies: I choose to walk almost everywhere I go. I make a tiny carbon footprint when it comes to using fossil fuels that create emissions. However, when I ask for a grocery bag, because I can’t juggle my purchases without one, I feel like I’ve earned one, and I don’t want to feel like I was the one who put the hole in the hull of the oil tanker The Exxon Valdez for it.
Anyway, walking home, I experimented with juggling the three DVDs, an iced caramel frappacino light, and three clear baggies containing a bunch of parsley, a bunch of green onions, and a bunch of mint, and thought about the installation Greener Than You?, and the dialog about ideology and environment that artist Gabe Flores has asked me to consider.