The Identity Exploration with Cultural Artifacts encounter, with the Spoon to Shell Series, begins with a discussion, while looking at the art, with others whose social class, age, gender, sexuality, and ethnic background differs from one’s own. To join the discussion click here. To interpret a cultural artifact, it is important to look at conditions for its production as they relate to socioeconomic class structures, gender-role expectations, and specific visual codes of the time, as well as how those codes have changed over time. Using Regender (Yee, 2005), read articles that are regendered–about the cultural artifacts–to discern whether and how the meaning has changed. Look again at each work in the Spoon to Shell Series. What does the spoon signify in relation to the shells and text fragments and other items in the box assemblages? The uniformity of the 20 black, wooden, box sculptures brings order and calm to the chaos, fragments, and tensions that are visible from the window of each box. Stein uses spoons and shells in the box sculptures as metaphors for power and vulnerability.

Spoon to Shell 817 2015 spoon, shell and mixed media 11”x2”x14”

Spoon to Shell #817
spoon, shell and mixed media

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Click here to interact with Spoon to Shell #817

One thought on “ARTifact


    there is such a strong message that comes with using the spoon. it has so many historical and meaningful messages regarding the injustices and the gender roles. the men who used these spoons to get sexual favors from desperate women highlight the unjust situations that were happening during the time. the simple spoon has so much behind it and the usage of it in art creates such a strong message in such a subtle way.

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