Art History Gallery 2

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On Sunday, April 2, 2017, Alfred University held a gallery in the town of Alfred, showcasing a vast arrangement of new works by a company by the name of “Re Made”. The purpose of the “Re Made” company is to provide high quality plungers to people around the world in order to help them better get in touch with humans’ natural roots in the wilderness, and prove the usefulness of the plunger in everyday life. To “Re Made” the plunger is not only a utensil, but a work of art that humans can use to their advantage.

The theme of using plungers as the medium and focus is an attempt to show the usefulness of it, as well as how much we take for granted the tools we normally would not notice. The company’s intended usage of the plunger is to bring back a rustic, contemporary nature in human life that is steadily being disposed of with advances in technology today. The subject of what art can be made from a plunger, as well as what defines it as art comes into question. This is accomplished through the many messages that the plungers send in each piece.

In one particular piece, the plunger is carried over the back of a log with a denim vest resembling a human body. The plunger is carried as if it were a weapon, or as if it were essential enough to be carried with the same level of importance as a knapsack. Furthermore, the humanlike body figure is facing an American flag, signifying the practicality of these metaphorical “plunger soldiers” in America. Patriotism is often associated with traditional values, with the hardworking laborer being one of them, carrying strength and resourcefulness to better America.

Another one in particular features a set of ten plungers, five in each row, arranged side by side. Each plunger is of equivalent size and with equal spacing in between, however, the tips of the handles on them are of different colors with different patterns. It can be seen as a way of saying that with each imprint left on the handle of a plunger, it gives the plunger a sense of individuality due to each usage of it, yet at the same time, they all provide the same balance and comforting usefulness despite this.

In a time where a program or code can result in the solution to most problems in lieu of physical labor or strength exertion, the plunger is a sort of a middle ground. The plunger is universal; everyone has a need for one, and what we do with each one is an expression of how we can effect our surroundings while not calling ourselves primitive. The plunger is meant in this showcase to be a symbol of something humans can always go back to for comfort, akin to a sofa or spoon; its simplicity becomes a welcome breath of relief. Re Made successfully shows how the plunger truly serves its purpose as a link to a simple, yet at the same time engaging, way of life.

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