GATHERING NAPKINS: EVIDENCE AS OBJECT
Early October 2005, I relocated from Los Angeles to Manhattan. I noticed that when a beverage, such as coffee or tea is ordered then prepared by the person at the counter, he/she places a stack of napkins on top of the lid as the final preparation. The quantity one receives is varied by the cashier’s aesthetic, yet these napkins are sized at 5″ x 3 1/2″ with a fold at 2/3 center. The shared action I came to recognize is habitual and is not disrupted by location, date, time, or cashier.
I began to think about how many times in that day did the cashier perform this act and how many Manhattan cashiers were servicing someone identically in that moment?
The tracking system is the date and time written on the stack of napkins that I received. The idea was to place myself in context to the magnitude of this action. A missing calendar date similarly points to this action and serves as negative space much like in a drawing.
Included in this installation for the exhibition Mind over Manner at The Bronx River Art Center, are text pieces that document other moments while in Manhattan that place myself in context to a larger social issue.