You know that if you’re ever shipping anything valuable, then you had better package it pretty damn well because chances are it’s going to get smashed up in transit, even if you luck out and get some of the best mail carriers out there.
This sculptural series from artist Walead Beshty explores this idea, as he shipped several glass sculptures that fitted exactly in FedEx packing boxes to several art galleries across the United States to see what condition they would arrive in. Needless to say, most of them were smashed up.
Beshty said this about the series, and you can see some of his work below:
The FedEx works […] initially interested me because they’re defined by a corporate entity in legal terms. There’s a copyright designating the design of each FedEx box, but there’s also the corporate ownership over that very shape.
It’s a proprietary volume of space, distinct from the design of the box, which is identified through what’s called a SSCC #, a Serial Shipping Container Code. I considered this volume as my starting point; the perversity of a corporation owning a shape—not just the design of the object—and also the fact that the volume is actually separate from the box. They’re owned independently from one another.
Furthermore, I was interested in how art objects acquire meaning through their context and through travel, what Buren called, something like, “the unbearable compromise of the portable work of art.” So, I wanted to make a work that was specifically organised around its traffic, becoming materially manifest through its movement from one place to another.
Deep. For me though, it just seems like FedEx don’t handle their shipping very carefully. Won’t be using them in the future.
For more smashed stuff, check out this naked woman completely destroying a Subway in Alaska. Sometimes you just gotta cut loose.