Box Vox

packaging as content

July 7, 2010

Iain Baxter&’s Animal Preserve(s)

Baxter&
BigBaxter&Rack©1999 Baxter&   Animal Preserve 2

And as long as we’re talking about jars and the ambiguity of the word “preserve”… consider Iain Baxter&’s “Animal Preserve” series. Stuffed animals, embalmed in distilled water. If I detected a dark undercurrent in Naoko Ito’s jarred tree limbs, here is an unabashed allusion to any number of disturbing ideas about jars. Preservation versus “preserves”… Specimen jars… killing jars… eating the product mascot? (See also: Cans Without Labels)

(I &) That’s right, I heart the ampersand, legally added to his last name in 2005. Formerly, Iain Baxter, in 1966 he and his wife, Ingrid Baxter, co-founded the “N.E. Thing Company”—(NETCO was a collaborative art enterprise we will come back to in a future post).

BAXTER&’s non-authorial take on art production, the ampersand is legally appended to his last name, creates both an unending collaboration with the viewer and the means to question the artist’s role.

www.canadianart.ca

(More packaging related artwork by Iain Baxter&, after the fold…)


SmallRack-baleOn left: “Animal Preserve” installation detail (Individuals); on right: “Baled Out” (Photos from the Center for Contemporary Canadian Art’s website)

BottlesJars

Upper left: “Still Life” vacuum formed plastic, 1965; middle: “Still life, 4 milk jugs (turquoise)” 1965; on right: “Still life, one white bottle (grey background)” 1965; lower left: “Landscape Still life” 1999; middle: “Still life, 2 black bottles (black)” 1965; on right: “Still life, 3 glass bottles (clear)” 1965 (Photos from the Center for Contemporary Canadian Art’s website)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design