• Susie Ganch, Drag, 2013-2014, collected detritus and steel, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery and the 40th anniversary of the Alliance, 2021.81, © 2014, Susie Ganch

Susie Ganch applied her virtuoso skills in metal and jewelry to make this monumental bracelet from discarded plastics. It includes many single-use plastics, like coffee lids, to show that long after we throw it away, plastic lives on indefinitely, becoming a drag on our ecosystems.

Our collective detritus connects me physically to the world outside my studio while also serving as a commentary on our collective habits of consumption. From a distance they are beautiful. Up close they are dirty and covered with the evidence of their now forgotten use. With these materials, I construct pieces that are comprised of multiple interdependent parts. Often held together by tension, they have structural integrity but also flexibility and fragility. This dynamic balance mimics the cooperative nature of the universe. The idea is to offer the viewer a tactile experience.” —Susie Ganch

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022

Verbal Description

A large chain made up of ten steel rings covered in discarded plastics. Each ring is slightly larger than the last and looped through one another to create the chain. The largest ring is about two and a half feet wide. The smallest ring is about the size of a bracelet and attaches to the wall, allowing the other rings to slope downward, with the largest one resting on the floor. This gives the impression that the chain is being dragged along the ground.

The pieces of trash attached to each ring are bright and colorful from a distance. Up close, most pieces are dirty and crumpled. The largest ring is made up of white-colored objects, like Starbucks cups, lids, and bottle caps. The objects within the rings gradually change in color, forming a seamless gradient of light pink to bright pink to bright red at the smallest end. While the trash is arranged to keep the circular shape of the rings intact, ribbons, feathers, and objects of other textures poke out from the sides of the rings.

32 × 32 × 132 in. (81.3 × 81.3 × 335.3 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the James Renwick Alliance in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery and the 40th anniversary of the Alliance

Mediums Description
collected detritus and steel
Object Number
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