Julian Montague

Julian Montague

Work from the project Stray Shopping Cart.

“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! (see PUBLICATIONS). In the beginning the System was comprised of 13 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. The result was a significantly expanded System. The process of refinement and expansion has been repeated several times over the last four years. 

The present System of 11 FALSE STRAY Types and 22 TRUE STRAY Types was arrived at in 2005 during the preparation of the book version of the project, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification. The book will probably end up being the definitive version of the System. 

It is unclear where and when the project will end, I am currently working on a completely new (very different) project that I’m hoping will be similar in scale to this one. While I am not currently spending much time documenting carts, I remain open to the idea of doing Site Studies in new places if it is in conjunction with a show.”

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