"In this Art21 film, artist Mary Mattingly transforms personal belongings into absurd sculptural forms that she later incorporates into photographs and performative actions. These tell a story about her personal consumption. Experimenting with living in her Brooklyn studio space, Mattingly is determined to live with just the bare essentials.
Over several months, she undertakes a process of recording every object she owns. She traces the history of each of her belongings—how they came into her life, their distribution via complex global supply chains, as well as where the raw materials for their manufacture were sourced. Then she uploads a digital version of each object to her website OWN-IT.US for others to access. Throughout this process, she takes stock of the environmental and societal impact of her consumption.
Mattingly aggregates all of her belongings into boulder-like sculptural bundles. They are held together with rope so that she can roll and drag them. She’s photographed walking the sculpture Fill (Obstruct) (2013) across the Bayonne Bridge, from Staten Island to New Jersey, and to the Port of New York New Jersey—symbolically returning her personal belongings to the place where they entered the East Coast."