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Names (Museums)
Jac Leirner's process is about amassing things and endlessly organizing them into works of art. But her particular brand of compulsive collecting has little to do with the search for the rare and the best. For over ten years, Leirner has held on to leftovers: objects destined for the wastebasket, which she rescues from imminent disposal. Much of her material has accumulated from museum-made articles: not the merchandise available in museum shops but the residue of museum activities. Names (Museums) is a wall piece composed of museum shopping bags, stuffed with polyester foam and sewn into a quilt-like collage. These humble containers leave the museum through the back door, deformed by the weight of their temporarily more valuable contents, only to return by the front door, sewn together and pressed into higher service.
Jac Leirner.
Names (Museums). 1989-92.

Plastic bags, polyester foam, and buckram, 115 x 115 3/4" (292 x 294 cm). Collection The Bohen Foundation. Photo: courtesy Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil

  ©1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York MoMA