Imitation Day

Jane Benson

Imitation Day

Mixed-media, Dimensions variable


An overwhelming number of eating establishments, stores, and malls on Jamaica Avenue embrace the modern tradition of decorating with artificial foliage. White Castle, McDonald’s, the 165th Street Mall, to mention a few, soften starkly functional architecture and calm their patrons’ senses with fake plants.

Imitation Day embraces this affinity for artificial intervention within the given architectural setting, addressing the role of deception and decoration in the commercial context. The installation reinvents the celebratory garland and places this alternative form of fake foliage at White Castle on Jamaica Avenue. By covering the garland’s normally flashy foil colors with matte colors found in camouflage – drab greens, deep browns, and black – Imitation Day morphs the meaning of the garland and subverts its decorative function, thereby replacing the familiar context of celebration with a spectacular canopy of deception.