durational performance: 2 hours
"KONSUMPROZESSION"; Alter Hof; Munich, Germany. 2007
Konsumprozession was a project by Stephanie Senge addressing consumer culture, which included an exhibition of sculptures and photographs, a series of lectures, and a demonstration in the streets of Munich.
Invited to make a work in this context, I reflected that the size of my Tokyo apartment had drastically changed the way I consume products. Before buying a pair of new boots, I need to wait until two pairs of shoes can be thrown away, to make room for the boots. Possessions take up space.
And while certain possessions are necessary for living, I feel their full burden each time I relocate. This made me think of the days before the use of paper money, when the means to acquire possessions had intrinsic value. People lugged around with them great sacks of salt or gold, or even livestock; you were as burdened as you were wealthy.
We find the legacy of salt as currency in our language: words like "salary" and "sanctity" derive from the Latin word for salt (sal), as well as the expressions "worth one’s salt" (slaves were traded for salt) and "salt away" (to save money). Salt also has many cultural connotations relating to spiritual purity and cleanliness, which add layers of meaning to the idea of currency as we think of it today. And incidentally, the city of Munich was formed in 1158 as a result of the taxes imposed on the salt trade along the River Isar.
Encumbered with a sack of salt equal to my body weight, I struggled to keep up with the street procession as it wended its way around the city, making stops at several locations for the performances by the
photos by: Susanne Rudolf