Montage: Cooling Room II 1964

“Cooling Room II” is so named for the words printed on the discarded boxes that Joyce Wieland used to make three-dimensional assemblages of found objects. Drawing on her background as a film animator, she divided each box like the frames of a film, providing a sequence of events from which the viewer could construct a story. The themes evoked by the individual objects suggest travel, tragedy, love, and time passing as the sequence of cups reveals their ever-diminishing contents. The lipstick on the rims implies a female perspective and alludes to the artist’s stated dread of disaster, death, and loss.

I spotted this piece at the Ottawa National  Museum and it got me. My friend and I have made a pact to wear red lipstick everyday out here. It makes me muse over how sexy smeared red lipstick of a white coffee mug can be and how sad it can be. Evoking thoughts a hard-working girl in the morning getting ready for a grueling day in the city. I also dig how wearing lipstick persuades one drink only on one spot of the cup rim.


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