Party is Over

The Party is Over was displayed at the group exhibition FETT at 3:E Våningen in Gothenburg, Winter 2023. The installation can be seen as a follow-up on Bigert & Bergström’s The Red Carpet Party Blowout displayed at their solo exhibition at Norrtälje Konsthall Hurricane Party (2022). In this piece, the carpet is folded out. Greasy, and on full display, a pile of fat mounts upon it. 

As part of the Party is Over series (2020-), the installation explores the hangover of ceaseless consumption and remnants of high times. At FETT, the installation showcases the negative side of consumption in exuberance – fat, excrement, piss, and dirt; the filthy party left over we rarely share with others. 

In the old London sewers, “fatbergs” big as multiple London double-deckers weighing over 100 tons of cooking oil, grease, napkins, and discarded items have become an increasing problem. The stinking “fatbergs” are clogging long sections of the sewers that, if not discovered in time, can lead to sewage finding its way back into people’s homes. 

Photo: 3:E Våning

Simultaneously as trash performs negativity – something we dispel repulsively; it can also act as an archive. Garbology is the academic study of trash as an informational source of human society. It studies what we consume, what we have eaten, and what we throw away. Covert in the fat of The Party is Over is a mondain loafer shoe, the Swedish flag, a glove, a pair of glasses, and a doll. Everyday objects that tell a story are flushed down by mistake or purpose into the sewers and swallowed by the greasy mountains. 

In The Party is Over, Bigert & Bergström activates the twofoldness of fat: the fat becomes the negativity of luxury we don’t want to see and the left-over archive of the heydays of exuberance. Will the “fatbergs” of metropolis sewers even be the last remaining of us? Hidden in the catacombs of the underworld, they slowly become dirty and fat monuments of civilisation. 

Text by Otto Ruin

Installation view, group exhibition FETT at 3:E Våningen in Gothenburg, Winter 2023. Photo: 3:E Våning
Film by Lars Siltberg
Model of the installation