Historically, the color purple was rare. Made from a laborious process of crushing and boiling sea snails, the resulting dye was worth more than gold and reserved for the elite. A child born into the wealthy class was said to be “born in the purple”. Over 10,000 snails (Bolinus Brandaris + Hexaplex Trunculus) would be crushed up in order to produce enough Tyrian Purple (sRGB 102, 2, 60 #990024 / CMYK 45, 100, 47, 42) to dye a single garment of clothing.
In the Purple examines the relationship between consumer, commodity, and object transformation. SV Randall focuses on the symbolism and historical implication of basic consumer objects to identify the notion of obsolescence, visual decay and materiality. Along with 3D casts of the murex snail, oversized display hooks, and framed articles of detritus, Randall has created a custom fragrance designed to evoke the putrid scent of this 3,000 year old process. The exhibition questions how we ascribe value to arbitrary and often subjective resources while unpacking one of the earliest signifiers for class structure.