Department No. 1, Beau Vasseur (Baltimore, MD)
Baltimore Goes Elsewhere Fellow. August 2017. Installation view. Found objects, acrylic on wooden shelves.

Building upon iterations of past residents, Vasseur reimagined the traditional form of the Elsewhere Department Store.

Department No. 1 is a multimedia installation on the first floor of the museum that speaks to the space’s inherent relationship to shopping. A series of store displays within diorama-sized cubbies showcase available materials for incoming residents; each cubby references the absurdity of contemporary store displays employing subtle, dark humor.

Objects are suspended, textured, and lit using methods developed by display artists in an attempt to strip them of their likeness and force them into new relationships with other materials. Vasseur’s arrangements ask viewers to engage in a twisted version of window-shopping, wherein materials invite longing, curiosity, and touch—but never sale.