“Wheat is Wheat is Wheat” by Peddy Mergui explores the interstice of design and ethics, and examines the designer’s role in a field designated to give shape to an idea, while recruited to effectively serve economic interests.
Does the consumer place higher value on the packaging than the condition of the item inside and its ability to fulfill its advertised need? The answer to this very question is the very journey that the artist has been on.
“By observing Peddy Mergui’s new and improved “luxury” products we may see how brand alignment is perceived by many as acceptance to a status group or an affirmation of successful lifestyle. His exhibition: Wheat is Wheat is Wheat is a humorous yet provocative commentary on global consumer culture that may just have us questioning our next purchase,” stated the Museum of Craft and Design.
Peddy Mergui exaggerates the aesthetic and conceptual triggers that influence consumer trends and manipulate the relationship between an object and an ideal. Through the creation of supermarket environment vignettes, in which products are re-branded, Mergui presents basic grocery items with well-known luxury labels and aesthetics, effectively turning a viewer’s perception of quality on its head.
By infusing the packaging of our most basic commodities with values of prestige and luxury, Wheat is Wheat is Wheat explores the dynamic and often blurred ethical boundaries of design within consumer culture. This exhibition is meant to highlight the challenges a designer faces when tasked with promoting economic interests while remaining true to his or her own moral compass.
The various exhibits combine shapes and images from the world of consumption with concepts from the field of consumer ethics. They serve to highlight both the contentious, potentially arbitrary connection that products have to packaging, and the ethically challenging conditions in which designers are asked to operate. Using humorous, yet provocative undertones, Wheat is Wheat is Wheat will leave you with more questions than answers – particularly on your next trip to the supermarket.