popcorn is art and one of my favorite snacks
(though it’s no flamin’ hot cheetos!),
something to consider on national popcorn day.
Raining Popcorn (2001) is a piece commissioned by the Faulconer Gallery of the Grinnell College in Iowa. The commission would take artist, Sandy Skoglund many months to complete. In Skoglund’s art practice, the conceptual subject matter works in conjunction with the physical materials she uses, drawing on historical references, and instilling them with psychologically complex meaning.
Produced in 2001, just before the September 11 attacks, Raining Popcorn references the complex roots of American contemporary culture and overconsumption. The unifying subject throughout the piece is popcorn, so pronounced and repetitive it replaces nature. The popcorn becomes an all-encompassing reality, lining the walls, the floors, the subjects, and alas growing from trees. This obsessive environment constructed by Skoglund derives from the artist’s desire to combine sculptures of animals, live humans, and nature into a space that involves thought and play, as part research and part recreation.
The abundance of Popcorn acts as a reflection of the cultural environment, being noisy, excessive, universal, and part of popular culture. Currently, Americans eat 13 billion quarts of Popcorn a year, produced mostly in the heartland of America, from Illinois to Ohio. The piece is a response to memories and experiences Skoglund felt as a graduate student in Iowa.
The painstakingly handcrafted quality of the endless popcorn creates a fantasy landscape, one that raises questions about climate issues and our surrounding environment, as well as fantasy and reality. In Raining Popcorn, Skoglund’s objects and composite staging have a base in truth; they are not a product of photoshop or digital manipulation. It is critical for the artist that the photographs evidence something genuine. The constructions are explicitly staged to be photographed from one unique viewpoint.
“americans love popcorn, and their love doesn’t quit.”
Credits: Sandy Skoglund, Raining Popcorn – Holden Luntz Gallery