A Cardboard Gas Station? How Convenient!

FAU graduates Nicole Gugliotti and Agatha Wara Romero presented their This Means War installation at the Bas Fisher Invitational in the Miami Design District at its closing night on Nov. 11.

Gugliotti and Romero constructed an entire life sized sculptural installation of a gas station and convenience store out of cardboard boxes from Wal-Mart. The exhibition’s intent was to make a humorous political statement about America’s preoccupation with our necessity for convenience, comfort, and gasoline.

The craft of the actual installation was unbelievable in its detail. The two artists constructed aisles with shelves that consisted of cardboard shapes resembling merchandise such as potato chip bags, snacks and, soda bottles. They even cleverly placed a shelf behind the counter and cash register holding cigarette boxes.

Gugliotti and Romero’s most successful aspect of the exhibition was their social dialog in their video performance piece. It displayed both artists dressed up for their shift as convenience store clerks casually discussing politics and day to day events. One particular topic mentioned in the video was the rise of the consumer interest in the consumption of pork rinds, which relates to the American diet craze and to current political issues.

Jeanne Janson, an artist who attended the exhibition, described This Means War as, “successful in making people pause and become more aware of the environment they live in.” She also described the show as being hopeful and displays how both artists were able to create something big and make a statement out of practically nothing.

Gugliotti and Romero have both just graduated from Florida Atlantic University with Art degrees. They both have similar goals for their artistic careers and want to work together in the future. The two artists have decided to collaborate and do something, perhaps performance or video related, for Art Basel, a major art event in Miami that takes place in early December. For Art Basel they stated, “We’d like to do some guerilla performance, show up on a random corner and crash Art Basel with a lemonade stand on the sidewalk.”

Gugliotti and Romero’s installation and performance piece humorously exhibits political issues and also depicts how Americans depend on convenience and comfort; from the gasoline we put in our cars, to the merchandise we buy and even to the cardboard we can conveniently obtain at Wal-Mart.

For more information about the exhibition or upcoming shows, visit www.spacepanda.com or email [email protected]