Carin Makuz: UpholSTORIES

April 27th, 2017 – May 14th, 2017

I have an interest in rubbish, the detritus humans create and the various ways we deal with, or ignore, it. And what that says about how we see ourselves, our communities and our role in society. When did we begin throwing so much away?

Abandoned couches especially intrigue me and I wonder: why couches? No other piece of furniture so often appears at the curb. (Where do the dressers and coffee tables go?) I suspect it has something to do with upholstery—fabric carries things with it, both tangible and intangible.

I became curious about the stories attached to these soft furnishings, the comfort food of furniture... not only the pieces on the street, but the couches, sofas, chesterfields, loveseats and armchairs in our lives, in general. So I asked everyone I knew and a few people I didn’t, for their ‘couch memories’ and was gobsmacked at how quickly they came up with one.

It seems we are deeply connected to our upholstery, even as we abandon it.

UpholSTORIES explores aspects of our increasingly disposable society by tapping into memory through visual prompts and asking: what do we throw out and why and, more importantly, what part of ourselves is lost or kept in the process?

Its intention is to invite conversation. As any good couch so often does.