The large shelves piece is a mural representing Armstrong’s artistic practice as a whole, with cross-references to other works in the exhibition as well as previous artworks and shows by Armstrong.This work consists of shelves with over 200 pieces of lamps, pots, paintings, sketches, and bags with candles.
The bags of candles constitute the heart of the work and the exhibition: The material, beeswax, although in different forms, is used in nearly every artwork on show. Armstrong collected various objects as a child, one of them being wax candles, which he would stack and preserve. While wax is a central element in most works, collecting is emphasized by the overwhelming number of pieces used to comprise this installation.
The installation is arranged like a display at the French art salons in the 17th-20thcentury, with a massive quantity of works. For Armstrong, there is an irony and conflict in today’s art world: Across society, most goods are regularly reproduced and sold in abundance. In the art world, however, it is different, as an object’s uniqueness is valued.
At the top level of the shelves, the lamps light up the entire installation like an American billboard or museum lighting that lights up an artwork. In this light, the installation conveys a mix of references to common dichotomies such as high vs. low culture, mass productions vs. craftmanship, pop culture vs. fine art, and personal vs. professional life.