Gashapon: Art Encapsuled
Now through May 17, 2015
Pierro Gallery of the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ.
Gallery talk: Thursday May 7 at 7pm
Capsuled works available at $5 per token - While supplies last!
Gashapon: Art Encapsuled is an exhibition of six artists each presenting a series of 180 objects in toy capsule vending machines . Unlike the traditional white cube space as a vehicle for the sensual consumption of art, the toy vending machines in Gashapon: Art Encapsuled specially commodify the capsuled works, modifying the viewers' experiences and expectations. In this show, the artists' independent concepts are tangled with new elements of desire, ownership, accessibility, tangibility, and perhaps even jealousy. The machines alongside their random nature of interactive distribution introduces these elements. "Gashapon" is the Japan-originated term for these types of machines, used internationally. It is onamonapia for the turning of the crank - gasha, and the drop of the ball - pon.
The vending machine makes for sheer ease of accessibility to ownership where one single token affords the little greedy pleasure of claiming a sliver of beauty. These works are priced independent of value, cultural or monetary, to promote something akin to fandom ownership and collection. Here, every viewer may indulge and leave with a piece of the whole exhibition, six little icons safe in their cases.
Anne Dushanko Dobek
Peter C. Emerick