Surplus SurplusSeth Ferris (San Diego, CA)
October 2016. Video, installation. Army surplus collection.

Surplus Surplus rearranges the army surplus materials in Elsewhere’s collection to investigate wartime production, distribution of goods, and post-war labor force reformation.

By creating “body bag” shapes out of American WWII military tents stuffed with army materials, Surplus allows the viewer to meditate on the current, collective complicity in this institutional cycle – the forgetting, denial, and fear of endless repetition.

The accompanying video shows Ferris multiplying his image to mimic soldiers marching in a line, and implicates the artist himself as a complicit subject.

Through this installation, Ferris asks: “How could the labor of ages be represented and not distilled? How can a mountain of surplus be subsumed into another form while losing nothing? Can one work with objects so tightly associated with violence and not feel the weight of their history in the residue?”

Photo credit: Guido VIllalba Portel


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