Cheryl Donegan at the New Museum

Cheryl Donegan seemed to use a lot of capitalism and consumerism motifs in her work. From collages with ads, to legging-printed leggings, to an actual shop as part of her exhibit, Donegan ridiculed our need as a society to consume so much.

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The 2D work in her exhibit were flashy to the point where the glitter and foil looked tacky, especially combined with clipped pieces of newspaper and magazine ads. I think she combined these elements to bring attention to consumerism and how we all consciously or unconsciously buy buy buy. Her choice to include a store in her exhibit was ironic and drove her point home. An item she had in her store was a pair of leggings printed with pictures of more leggings that had price tags attached to them. The irony of her work forces viewers to pay attention to her message about consumption and how ridiculous it is that we consume so much that we do not need.

Even the video and performance work seemed comical and ironic. In one video playing on an old TV, a woman walks on a long carpet or strip of fabric and repeats the same three French words over and over and over again. The video plays on a loop, which I found dizzying, disorienting, and a little infuriating. This short film and others like it added to the comical and ironic nature of the exhibit and perfectly captures Donegan’s approach on relevant topics of today.

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