Crude Candy: Should old times be forgot?


Installation with slip-cast ceramic toothbrushes, glass bowl, plinth, gutter pipework containing black vegetable oil and audio

Exhibited at Camberwell A to B Gallery
In "Crude Candy: Should old times be forgot?", Bungener was interested in the fact that crude oil in the form of plastic is all around us – we wear it, we walk in it, we sit on it, we eat with it, we brush our teeth with it – yet very few people are aware of this. The artist therefore wanted to connect an everyday, plastic object (in this case, a toothbrush) with the material that it comes from (crude oil).  The insidious omnipresence of oil is conveyed through the slow dripping of oil from the ceiling, which gradually overwhelms and consumes the toothbrushes, standing in as a symbol of the kitsch commerce of today. The audio track presented is of a female a cappella rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Not only does the song itself have a history of globalisation and reproduction, but it helps to cement the atmosphere of passive melancholia that the work creates, mirroring society’s largely passive stance when faced with the destruction that oil has caused and continues to cause.

© Lewis Bungener 2023