Does the joy of travel come from having less stuff? Lessons from artist Andrea Zittel. @RosenGallery
When I first heard of the artist Andrea Zittel, I was struck by the genius of a simple idea: She had made a uniform for herself so that she wouldn’t have to decide what to wear every day. Imagine the gains I could achieve in creative productivity, I thought, if I just got rid of half my wardrobe.
This week, after nearly two months away from New York, I stumbled across some of Zittel’s work at MoMA. I’d been thinking towards the end of my trip about how much I enjoyed the simplicity of only having a suitcase’s worth of belongings: So many petty decisions are eliminated every day.
I listened to an interview with Zittel on the museum’s audio guide while I looked at her “A-Z Escape Vehicle: Customized by Andrea Zittel,” a sort of rock-lined mini-trailer. She said—I paraphrase—that when she first got interested in RV culture, she assumed that people found freedom when they moved into a vehicle because it let them travel around all over the place, but that in fact they found freedom when they moved into a vehicle because doing so pared their lives down to the essentials.
It made me wonder how much of my love of travel comes from the fact that it simplifies life.
Next stop: The Andrea Rosen Gallery, which is showing Zittel’s work until October 27th.