American historian Christopher Lasch famously said that ‘it is the logic of consumerism that undermines the values of loyalty and permanence and promotes a different set of values that is destructive of family life’. The statement has become the embodiment of industrial consumption and in response to the reflection of social identity and behaviour, American artist Molly Valentine Dierks released – ‘Untitled, Neon-Shopping Cart’ – in 2014.
Dierks employed the shopping cart as a symbol of wealth, capitalism and socially constructed identities to show the parameters of modern behaviour. After a nine-month apprenticeship in working with neon light, Dierks placed the functional shopping cart in a number of different places across the globe to show its diversity.
The use of neon not only recalls American prosperity and industry, but it also represents the cart as a form of status; an object that a multitude of cultures can recognise. With the use of the shopping cart providing an individual snapshot into the surrounding city and culture of where it is positioned.
Check out a few examples of the shopping cart around the world in the image gallery above and head to Molly Valentine Dierks’ website for more information.