TINA YE

“Fresh Lemonade, 25¢ a glass”

Media: Plastic Cups, Paper, Plastic Jug, Wood, Cardboard, Paint

The New York Times traces the evolution of the lemonade stand back to the 19th century, when enterprising storeowners capitalized on hot summer days to sell cheap, refreshing drinks. Today, the lemonade stand is firmly embedded in the American popular conscious as a symbol of entrepreneurship and capitalism. However, it is associated especially with the entrepreneurship of young children. It becomes, then, a peculiar economic symbol, situated at the delicate juncture of youth and adulthood, innocence and shrewd business acumen. Ultimately, to me, it is a symbol of “growing up,” of learning how to negotiate life, society, and its economic logic.

In my project, I aim to interact with the public through the theatre of exchange made possible by the lemonade stand. For the price of twenty-five cents, a glassful of knowledge and experience, gathered throughout four years of education at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, can be bought by passing strangers.

My lemonade stand and its product comprise both a fragmented self-portrait/story about my years at college, as well as, a questioning look at the value and place of knowledge in our society. By quoting the lemonade stand, I hope to reference the exquisite sensation of transition, perched between the mutually exclusive worlds of childhood and adulthood, which I feel presently. Simultaneously, I want to incite participants to step back and ask themselves, “What is knowledge?”; “Do I privilege certain types of knowledge over others?”; and of course “What is the value of Tina’s four-year college education?”

 

 

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