The Foster Gallery kicked off its 2012–13 season with a unique installation by Boston-based artist and repurposing architect Joe Joe Orangias. Using recycled furniture and other found objects, Orangias created a portable, mobile hotel inspired by his experience living in Japan’s capsule hotels, small sleeping quarters that offer inexpensive overnight accommodations. 

Orangias uses discarded materials from the street or recycling centers in Boston in hopes of giving them another life. “This temporality and flexibility of material may be seen as a model for considering the current state of material in the world, and how post-consumer waste may be utilized for extended purposes and narratives,” he says.

The capsule hotel on view in the gallery is one level of the original three-story sleep vessel. Orangias has disassembled the piece to give Nobles’ visual arts students an opportunity to build on it and modify it. Unlike a typical art exhibition, the pieces in the show can be touched, used and explored. Students are encouraged to be participants and to use the space as a study, hang out or resting area.

A video projected on the wall demonstrates how others have used and explored the space. Many people have slept in the capsule hotel and it once resided at the Dunes Edge Campground in Provincetown, Mass., for public access. A unique seating area in the gallery created with benches from a Boston train and two Canada Dry soda boxes welcomes viewers to sit and watch.

“I acknowledge the former uses and conditions of the found materials, allowing the materials to govern many of my decisions,” he says. “In using domestic and more comfortable materials, I juxtaposed how public interactions and spaces can be reconsidered with the home.”

The show runs until Oct. 13, 2012 and is open to the public.


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