Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Olav's Flip Flop Factory for Minsheng Museum

For the project Flip Flop Factory, I will produce a pair of flip flop sandals by hand in modeling clay. I will then make a series of molds from these objects. The molds will be used to cast as many flip flops as possible in brightly colored silicone rubber.

Flip Flop Factory has a range of possible manifestations. As a sculpture in a conventional exhibition context, it takes the form of a sizeable pile of colorful beach sandals on the floor.

In another setting, the fabrication itself could be made visible and Flip Flop Factory could become a primitive production line or sculpture studio where a group of fabricators are continuously casting more sandals, adding to the pile.

If the supply of flip flops is sufficient, viewers can be encouraged to pick a pair and take it home. There will, however, always be a starkly uneven number of left and right sandals, making it nearly impossible to find a complete pair in the same color.

The flip flops will look as much as “real” flip flops as my, somewhat limited, sculptural abilities permit. But as they are made from sculpture materials, they will be quite impractical to wear.

Flip Flop Factory employs the technology of fine arts fabrication -- from the hand-made original and the artisanal process of limited technical reproduction to the a final product in a fine arts material -- in order to attempt to mass-produce one of the most ubiquitous, cheaply produced objects in the world.

-Olav Westphalen