Agora Design Partnership | Design for Public Parks & Spaces

Totemic Masks: The Birthing Room

  • 12″ x 8″ x 2″
  • Bronze platter and consumer objects
  • Years completed: 2014–2015

In “The Birthing Room” Series, the Totemic Masks represent birth and demonstrate the evolution of consumer products and trends, mainly in the period after World War II. The dozen or so bronze platters are scatological. That is, they are satiric and even derisive of their product of origin.

For example, shown here:
“The Birth of Dow Corning”—round white glass
“The Birth of Generation X”—toy Volkswagen bus
“The Womb that Spawned Jamie Dimon”—toy bank
“The Birth of Gillette”—ten-bladed pasta cutter

“The Birth of Dow Corning” indicates how the collaboration to make silicone breast implants came about. The combination of Dow Chemical and Corning Glass was disbanded when faced with multi-billion dollar lawsuits.

“The Womb That Spawned Jamie Dimon” pokes fun at the chairman of JPMorgan Chase Bank. JPMorgan Chase was one of only two large banks to avoid the financial meltdown in 2007. However, it has since racked up billions in fines for illegal and unethical transactions.

Others in the group likewise satirize various “births” using ordinary, banal, industrial objects.