American Woodworker

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Chronicle of Consumption


One of the pieces in my current show is called Chronicle of Consumption. It consists of a video clip and two still images that show the fate of a beautiful case of drawers that had been discarded on a Cambridge Massachusett street. At fist I tried to see if I could save it. After mulling it over for several minuts, I realized that I didn't have space for it at home, so I called my friends and tried to convince them to adopt it. Unfortunately, people were at work, did not have a car, etc., and I gradually came to understand that the only survival chances for this dresser would have been a miracle -  a passer by who would fall in love with it and adopt it.  I doubted this would happen and ultimately decided that if I couldn't be this piece's rescue squad, I could at least be a field reporter and document its sad fate. 

The still images shows the dresser standing near a pile of trash bags. A pedestrian walks by and examines the piece, surely contemplating to pick it up. But, then for whatever reason he decides to leave it be and walks away.

By the way, this guy was not the only person who showed some interest in the piece and couldn't take it home. The clock was ticking and all of the sudden the roar of the trash truck started to be heard. Will there be a happy ending to this story?

Watch the video and see....



phillip wrote re: Chronicle of Consumption
on 10-26-2012 10:15 AM

Thanks for documenting/sharing this; before I'd watched the video (spoiler alert!) I was sure there'd have been a happy ending.  It's a bit sad to watch!

Yoav S. Liberman wrote re: Chronicle of Consumption
on 10-26-2012 4:36 PM


It wasn't easy to document the demise of this beautiful curved drawer front oak dresser. I decided to do it so that I could have an effective (if not shocking) instrument to hammer down my conviction that we must do more to preserve and honor good old furniture like this. I have been showing this video to different crowds including college students, craft people, and the general public and each time I do so people get saddened and tell me that this should not have happened. I hope that by showing this video more and more people will make an effort to stop and think before they put out for trash nice objects like this one. I also hope that perhaps some city officials will come up with " Adopt a furniture" initiatives.  Letting people bring pieces to to designated "Pounds," leave them there and allow fellow citizens to come by and pick up the unwanted. In some parts of the country I have seen "Take it or leave it" places near or inside the dump or the recycling facility.