Mass Produced, Handmade and Sublime: Maribel Dominguez, Where Are You Now?

Duro paper bags have become something of an obsession of mine. There are two essential details that set the Duro paper bags apart from the paper bag pack. First, the Duro bags all have their product line names printed on them. To name a few: “Wolf”, “Elephant” and (my favorite) the “lil’ Husky”. While this may not sound like much to you, I find this has a personalizing effect on my paper bag experience.



The second and more compelling detail is that the bag makers’ name is printed on the bottom along with the date. Once you notice this you will, like me, if handed a Duro paper bag, reflexively flip it over to see the name of the maker on the bottom. This leads me to all kinds of possibly unanswerable questions about the distinctions between a fine art object and a perfectly banal, utilitarian, mass produced, ephemeral, printed, paper sculpture.



I’m sure Duro Bag Manufacturing’s motives are merely one of quality control; a quick google search reveals that they and their global labor force have no love lost between them. But from the point of view of a consumer of visual culture, knowing that Maribel Domingez made my Duro bag creates a strange unintended global, relational aesthetic connection between us which is more fulfilling for me than the best pad thai an art star can cook up. 



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Categories: Critical Discourse, Print-related

One Response to “Mass Produced, Handmade and Sublime: Maribel Dominguez, Where Are You Now?”

  1. jasonurban says:

    Amze Emmons: Connoisseur of the Mundane and Observer of the Trivial. It’s as if we live in a kind of “global economy.”

    Welcome aboard!