Josh Selman - Exhibition Description

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Josh Selman, installation view.

Full Message, July 1998

Full Message included a large video projection of New York City’s municipal forces removing an avenue of paper-waste left behind by a ticker tape parade which honored the city’s own baseball heroes. Filmed at Wall Street in 1996, the video features men in uniform, orange tractors, sanitation trucks, white collar pedestrians, snow blowers, industrial brooms and wind, clashing with tons of accumulated white paper. The video combines with sculptural works built around mounted paper shredders. Joshua Selman’s exhibit is a meditation upon the action of moving paper across desks, through the streets, through the world and through peoples lives.

Additionally the artist passed each day of the installation in the gallery shredding paper, packaging it into mailings and, with the help of the public, mailing it out.

Conceptually the paper shredders, the video and the action are linked by a focus on the psychological and emotional aspects of accumulation and distribution. About his footage Mr. Selman says “Over the course of the video I don’t see anyone else filming, it’s the only record like it of the clean-up.” The video uses a beautiful continuous-motion, capturing every detail of the paper falling over the uniformed forces as it is poured by mechanical paws into sanitation trucks. The periodic mechanical whine of real paper shredders unites with all the elements in the gallery.