Get "Trashed" To Discover What Makes Art

by Emily Green · June 10, 2010

The whole meaning and principle of art may be threatened by a little exhibition opening this weekend in Silver Lake.  Aptly titled "Trashed," the show posits the question of what makes something art, displaying the refuse of nine artists from around the country and even Canada. It's literally a collection of their discarded material, studio trash presented by Bystander, a home in Silver Lake that will double as a the gallery space.  But rather than dressing this thing up as some pretentious try-hard exhibition concept that's supposed to make you feel dense for not understanding, the show presents its mission frankly in its press release:

"We are not trying to change the world, nor do we believe wholeheartedly with sound mind that the art we are hanging is the best or most important art ever to adorn a wall here in Silver Lake, California. In fact, we're sure we saw a Ruscha and an Irwin in a window along the reservoir, a Hockney on our drives to day jobs and there is assuredly a Warhol out there somewhere too, probably up in the hill where people have medium sized houses with large listing prices and zero yard space. Make no mistake, what we're selling is, literally, trash."

So, yeah, they're just putting it out there, no smoke and mirrors.  Trashed may include anything from studio scraps to failed pieces, the ones that didn't sell, so it's really a display of the artists' varying definitions of garbage, and an exposition of personal failures.  But can those be art? We've all been offended by pieces in museums that and made us question why the hell they're there and who was the asshole who deemed them art. With Trashed, it's your turn to decide.

Trashed's Opening Reception will be held at on Saturday, June 12 from 6 - 10 pm at the Bystander Gallery, 2255 India Street, LA, CA 90039.