‘Hoarding’ art exhibit portrays hardships of obsessive behavior

By Nate Linhart

The Art Museum’s latest exhibition is intentionally chaotic and serves its purpose well, showing the horrors of obsessive-compulsive amassing, hoarding and collecting.

The “Hoarding, Amassing and Excess” art exhibit features artwork that portrays berserk collecting and excessive mark-making, which is when someone constantly records something. The exhibit began Tuesday and will be open through May 23 in the Art Museum in Altgeld Hall. A public reception for the exhibit will be held 4:30 to 7 p.m. April 3.

The first unorthodox piece that grabbed my attention was “Fuller and Grand” by Guy Loraine. “Fuller and Grand” shows an obsessive search to locate a missing acorn under an oak tree.

“Fuller and Grand” includes diagrams, photos, hordes of acorns and a wall dedicated to mapping out the acorn’s location. The piece gave this nostalgic aura that reminded me of a child compulsively searching for buried treasure.

As I made my way into the corner of the museum, I came across stacks of boxes which were part of Jaclyn Mednicov’s “Life Map.” The boxes were labeled clothes, bills and coupons. A wall alongside the boxes was covered with gift certificates. “Life Map” shows the sad truth about how concern over money can take over someone’s life, especially when tax season rolls around.

The most disturbing piece in the exhibit is the “Half Brother (Pack)” by Matt Davis. The piece is a backpack hanging by a rope, but the backpack is covered in dripping wax. “Half Brother (Pack)” looks like a monster whose face is melting off, and I was mesmerized by how sinister it looked. I felt like I couldn’t escape from this creature, and I think that’s the feeling Davis intended to create.

The paintings and digital prints weren’t as exciting as the sculptures. They felt repetitive, showing chaotic pictures of hoarding and collecting. That’s not to say they weren’t interesting.

Carrie M. Becker has a series of digital prints titled “Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse” that show nothing close to a dream home, showcasing a house filled with junk and clutter. The series made me dread such a childhood and want to keep my apartment clean.

“I think my favorite part is how things relate to each other because everything’s so different,” said museum coordinator Heather Green. “So each piece is strong on its own, but I think that when they come together it’s just interesting to see how this concept is viewed in different ways.”