The plexiglass-sculptor/dream-weaver/fantasy-maker Marina Fini has completely transformed Mount Analogue's bookstore and gallery into a fantastical neon-dripping motel room. The LA artist's installation is called, not surprisingly, Motelscape.
Fini's first Motelscape was built for Art Basel in Miami Beach, where she collaborated with three other artists to transform one room at the Miami Princess Hotel into a hot-pink oasis. At Mount Analogue's invitation, Fini has brought her trippy furniture and holographic wallpaper to a city that is nothing like Miami: Seattle.
Mount Analogue, run by Colleen Louise Barry, focuses on showcasing strange, fantastical, and inclusive small-print books and artistic expressions. You will find things here that you would not be able to find anywhere else in this city, including this installation. If you have already attended any of Mount Analogue's glitter-heavy parties, you know Barry and Fini make sense together.
Motelscape, opening alongside a photographic book release aptly titled Clean Rooms. Low Rates., is a reignition of 1960s kitsch—something we all grew out of by the early 2000s. In Seattle especially, with population growth and the construction boom, the money-mad developers have decided that what's best for us is mono-colored living pods and the normcore modernism of world-class cities. We have, for the most part, agreed with (or submitted to) this bland but LEED-approved aesthetic. But are we kidding ourselves? Is Marina Fini chuckling at our naive self-conception that we are suddenly above a heart-shaped hot tub? Her installation confronts us with our repressed need for and continued usage of plastics. It unabashedly explores this dirty little fantasy.
Given the inarguable reality of climate change and the mounting volume of plastic in our oceans, our love of the plasticky has become a fetish that ought to ignite our pornographic shame. Fini does not easily lead us to this conclusion, instead forcing a confrontation between our love of her delicious interiors and our contemporary perceptions of excess. Sometimes, art can be chewy—and this one requires some strong jaws.
All my confusion and difficulty digesting the plastics aside, Fini's new Motelscape is an impressive display of exactly what she set out to do: fully immerse and oversaturate the viewer with what can only be described as "consumer sugarcane." If you are wondering why she did this, you have arrived at exactly the point of the installation. It brings up something we would rather forget or pretend does not exist: plastic, which is the ur-stuff of consumer society. But why do we love plastic so much? Because it represents our love of short cuts, our love of neon, our love of excess and candy and no-strings sex and heart-shaped hot tubs.
But at what point is this a thumbing of the nose instead of an amplified celebration of consumerism? If you are critiquing the very thing you are creating, what risk do you run of missing the mark? Is Motelscape eerie enough, uncanny enough, uncomfortable enough to make clear which side it's on? Is the installation asking us to change our ways? Or is it asking us to accept the lurid essence of desire? As far as I can tell, this is up to you to decide.