HOME

UNDERSTANDING
THE SYSTEM


CLASS A:
FALSE STRAYS
TYPES 1–11

CLASS B:
TRUE STRAYS
TYPES 1–22

SELECTED SPECIMENS
• 1-40
• 41-80
• 81-120
• 121-160
• 161-200

RECENTLY
DOCUMENTED
SPECIMENS

SITE STUDIES
• CLEVELAND, OH
• NIAGARA GORGE
• SCAJAQUADA CREEK

PROJECT
INFORMATION


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VISIT:
montagueprojects.com





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







The Stray Shopping Cart Project is an ongoing work that began in 1999 as a two page spread in the seminal Buffalo, New York zine Basta. In the beginning the System was comprised of 15 Types, only a few of which would be familiar to a user of the current System. Shortly after publication in Basta, I did an installation at a one night only art event that involved retrieving six carts from Buffalo's Scajaquada Creek (I recently made new work about this body of water, see SITE STUDIES), and hanging them from the ceiling, still encrusted in mud and vegetation. An accompanying looping slide show depicted the carts in the situations in which they were found.

After the installation I did almost nothing with the idea of stray shopping carts until Spring of 2002, when I was asked to do a solo show of my shopping cart work at Soundlab in Buffalo. In preparation for the show I took hundreds of new photographs and discovered many new aspects of the stray cart phenomenon. I ended up significantly expanding the System. I repeated this process several times over the last four years, each time refining and adding Types to the System. At present there are 11 FALSE STRAY Types and 22 TRUE STRAY Types, more than doubling the original Type count.

It is unclear where and when the project will end, I am interested to do further work on the project outside of the United States.

Elements of the The Stray Shopping Cart Project have appeared in print in a number of different ways. I make a distinction between pieces that are in the conceptual "voice" of the project and those that are about the project, exhibition catalogues, etc. The following four images are examples of the former. The poster, containing a condensed version of the System, does straddle both categories as it includes installation shots and an essay. The book, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification, represents the most complete conceptual manifestation of the project.

1 /
The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America:
A Guide to Field Identification
/ Abrams IMAGE / New York
/ 2006

2 /
The Stray Shopping Cart: An Illustrated System of Identification
/ Folding poster / catalogue / Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center / 2004 / Buffalo, New York

3 /
The Stray Shopping Cart: An Illustrated System of Identification
/ TEN by TEN Magazine / Number 10 / Chicago / March 2005

4 /
The Stray Shopping Carts
/ Uovo / Number 10 / March 2005 / Turin, Italy

 

 
©2006 Julian Montague

The project has been exhibited in a number of different ways. The first presentation of the System as a set of prints in a gallery space was in 2002. At the time this consisted of non-archival inkjet prints pinned to the gallery walls with t-pins (see 1 and 2). Each Type in the System was a separate print with further examples of each Type taking the form of smaller prints connected by lines of association. Other sections included Selected Specimens and Site Studies. While this was not the best way to make a lasting body of work, the method was within my means at the time and it was flexible enough that it could fill different types of gallery spaces.

I have also exhibited the project as a web site at Art in General, in New York in 2004.

I have included actual stray cart specimens in several shows (see 1, 3, 6 ), although in order for them to retain their designation within the taxonomy I have created, I can only use TRUE STRAY Types that are defined by physical damage (B/2, B/3, B/10, B/11, B/20)

In late 2004 I bega enlarging specimen images to 25"x31" (see 5,6,7) and having them printed as light jet prints (The prints are face mounted to Plexiglas and backed with cintra.). Each image has the Type designation icons and a note about its situation in the lower left hand corner of the piece. I reconfigured all of the System information to fit on one 35"x40" chart (see 4). In the case of site specific studies I have made single pieces that contain 24 separate specimens (see 6). All prints are in editions of four.

1 / Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT / 2003

2 / Black & White Gallery, Brooklyn, NY / 2003

3 / Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY / 2004

4 / System Chart, 35"x40", light jet print, face mounted to plexi

5 / Black & White Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

6 / Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, OH

7 / Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia