The red Solo Cup is synonymous with uncomfortable memories, heaping trash bags, and even being trashed yourself, but let us never fault its utility. For many people, especially college students, the mass-produced, catchpenny plastic appliances conjure a number of emotions, physical sensations, and images. Multimedia artist Paula Crown uses this wide cultural frame of reference to explore existential ideas in her new sculptural installation of 150 Solo Cups out of ceramics. In Solo Together, Crown asks us the try and see the complexity in the mundane by presenting these cheap productions of mass production as sculptures and recalling the artistic ideals championed by artists including Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol.
The dense ceramic sculptures are presented in a crumpled, used, and discarded state that the artist interprets as a representation of the temporality of togetherness. Crown pays particular attention to the metaphorical substance communicated through the indents and cavities we create in the disposable objects: "Neither completely confident nor introverted, the absent crowd brings to mind the constant and unintentional mark-making we create in the world…..as if connected to our pre-linguistic state, we use these inconspicuous expressions to communicate expressions and feelings."