This piece uses 30 miniature shopping carts to form a complete upright circle. The shopping carts are welded together and the overall structure is attached to a flat, circular steel plate.
height 6 ' width 6 ' depth 8.5 "
Literally translated as devouring its own tail, the Ouroboros carries deep history in its symbolism. Most often represented as a snake or serpent forming a broad circle from mouth to tail, the Ouroboros has taken many forms since its earliest appearance in 1200 B.C. Its origins alone chart across the many cultures and histories of Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Phoenician, and Hindu empires. In each culture, this emotive and multi-faceted icon engenders varying significance and definition. At the heart of any of these distillations are the notions of our universe’s cyclical nature and the course of society to devour, or consume, itself. From the repetition of history, to the self-sufficiency of nature, the Ouroboros represents the foundational concepts of life—which can also be said of its sister symbols, the Chinese Ying Yang and the biblical serpent in the Garden of Eden. These images embody the constant, interdependent energy throughout nature and sustaining each life.
My version explores a darker side of the Ouroboros—the examination of an endless cycle of futility, devoid of growth, only bringing about the diminishment of resources. Modern consumerism. Its destructive cycle is represented in its most iconoclastic form, the shopping cart. Although whimsical in construction, this work demonstrates the interlocking effect of this basal drive in society. Veritable buggies of destruction, the shopping cart embodies the action of gathering and taking away—the physical movements of our society’s drive to acquire, devour, and stockpile. In the end, as an art object, the work itself becomes an item for consumption.
A video looking at the making of Ouroboros