fag city was a multi-media installation completed by garett nelson for his senior thesis exhibition in 2017.
it occupied the northwest corner of charles addams gallery at the university of pennsylvania for two weeks, after which it was reinstalled at the moore college of art and design as a part of their annual 5-into-1 exhbition.
it continues to exist as an online shop, which can be found here. a project statement from the time of its completion can be found here in blue.
The utopic spaces of Las Vegas and a father dedicated to real estate development merged to conceive a being (me) intrigued by the affect of the built environment. Considering most of these landscapes were deemed “artificial”, I found myself pondering the vague grey between “real” and “constructed” spaces. In a way, I found the complete immersion in such spaces both serene and unsettling; that such perfection could exist and the power it could wield. It left a yearning.
So to fill a space I needed content, and after a long mull I settled on myself…myself in conjunction with a quality contained within me: a near-obsession for the seriality, duplicity, the calming quantity of the supermarket. I think the two were a perfect pair—considering the political climate (joke). Rather, they were a perfect pair because Nicki Minaj said this thing once and I think about it a lot: “I’m a brand, bitch. I’m a brand.” Now, after all, is the best time for selling yourself. Indeed, no better platform than the newly-emerged pixels of the internet could lend itself so well to self-branding. And so there within lies the tropes of public/private, ego of the artist, the art market, etc. Nevertheless, I find myself more interested in the ability to commodify oneself and its constituents than the aforementioned byproducts of this interest. I find it strange to live an existence where one exists beyond the present self in a realm of distilled objects, representations of the real…where I am merely a sum of these objects, as consumed, and somehow reemerge as being nothing more than the sum of these objects, after summation and consumption. So I’m selling myself and the things that seems to make me.