For part 2 of our “Canned Museum Beer” series, we bring you Virgil Marti‘s 1997 “Beer Can Library” wallpaper installation.
This is called Beer Can Library. It’s a four color screen print reproduction of my beer can collection from when I was a teenager.
… I started with a formal idea of the tradition of trompe l’oeil wallpapers where oftentimes it would be a library. Wallpaper that would look like shelves and books. You put it up and it makes it look like you have a great big library. But I was taking my collection of beer cans and applying that to that idea.
I liked that this piece could function as a sort of removed self portrait in a way. It wasn’t really my beer can collection. But it could have actually been any boy of my era’s beer can collection. There was something sort of personal and generic about it at the same time which is really interesting to me.
This is the entire print. It goes on for 33 feet before it starts over. It’s all alphabetized and it goes from domestic cans to European cans to oversized cans, and then it repeats again — and they are actual sized…
In addition to the intentions that Marti stipulated to above, he is also placing a more disreputable type of collection into a museum context. What makes beer can collections so disreputable?
[More images and further thoughts on Marti’s “Beer Can Library,” after the fold…] [Read more…]