FedEx Works by Walead Beshty Shipped Glass Boxes Become Shattered Sculptures
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London-born, LA-based artist Walead Beshty describes himself as a photographer, although his practice is far more extensive than that. Beshty often works with processes that mirror photography, beginning with a blank medium and allowing a variety of chance circumstances to shape the appearance of the final work.
In his FedEx series (2007 – 2014), the artist created a series of glass objects constructed to the exact dimensions of the standard FedEx shipping boxes. Beshty then used the FedEx Express service to mail his objects across the country to exhibitions and galleries. Relying on external forces to shape his final work of art, Beshty exhibited the damaged glass shapes alongside their containers upon arrival.
Fuelled by his interest in how art objects acquire meaning, Beshty’s FedEx works record their movement from place to place, in both the shattering patterns left behind on the glass box, and the shipping labels on the FedEx packaging. Beshty’s motivation in this series is also a comment on the “perversity of a corporation owning a shape,” as the boxes are proprietary volumes and shapes owned by FedEx.