Bah Humbug!

April 21 - July 27, 2012
Amplify Action: Sustainability Through the Arts
Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Skylight Gallery
Brooklyn, NY

Bah Humbug! explores the fundamental issues of consumption and waste through the tradition of Christmas. For this project, we borrowed a red tinsel Christmas tree and contrasted it with a DIY tree made from recycled cardboard. During the opening, we invited everyone to bring in unwanted items which we wrapped and put under the cardboard tree for visitors to take with them.

The plastic tree represents the way most families celebrate, by putting up a bought tree, whether real or artificial. It is decorated with images and facts detailing the consequences of both of these actions, including pesticide run-off and native forest destruction (for real trees), environmental pollution from plastic manufacturing, lead contamination, and poor overseas labor conditions for artifical ones. Of course, disposal is also a big issue, especially as artificial trees take at least a 1000 years to biodegrade, and emit a host of toxins along the way. Topped by a aluminum biohazard star, it is obvious that the traditional method has a host of problems.

In contrast to the conventional tree, we have a giant cardboard tree that we made from waste cardboard and a recycled 2 x 4 piece of wood and decorated with strung popcorn. This tree represents creative alternatives to celebrating the holiday, whether making your own tree with friends and family or decorating a house plant or yard tree with ornaments.