Dreaming About A Bottle of Milk

The idea for this type of experimentation came through attempting to portray and question the cost of a bottle of milk in Haiti.

4-pint bottle of milk = $16

Average daily family income = $1

I have substantially enlarged images of a milk bottle from a supermarket in Petion Ville (expensive district just outside Port-au-Prince).  These enlargements were later manipulated and collaged to create an A1 size silk screen.

When photographing images on the surface of the screen, I was trying to capture their ghostly and ephemeral feel.  I experimented with back lighting in order to make them look very airy, distant and cloud like. My creative intention was to use these effects as a metaphor for the affordability of this basic product, which is totally out of reach for the typical family.

The dragging of the ink across the surface of the screen implies the brutality and harshness of existence.  The colours are distant and have non-physical properties.  They appear to be out there, far beyond being touchable and obtainable.

Furthermore, the process of screen printing is alternated with pressure hosing of newly developed images.  They are simply washed and blasted away, just before they are given a chance to dry, become permanent and materialise.

My intention was to replicate the process of repetition of slave- like labour – despite all efforts – there is no outcome, no change and no improvement.  Purely, a visual and non-descriptive example of Sisyphus works.  The work is abstract and the only recognisable element is the partially remaining milk label.

The white ink resembles the milk itself.  The blue creates a sense of distance.  The creases and textures visualise the hardship.  There is also a bizarre similarity to water marks on bank notes.  Finally, the use of bar-codes indicates accountability and commercialisation of our contemporary existence.

I would like to continue with this process of experimentation and sandwiching further layers of print and colour. I will also repeatedly wash them off the surface.  I am curious about the extent and stretching of this process.




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