Approximately 14,000 VHS copies of the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire” — starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger, directed by Cameron Crowe — gathered together in one place. This is what makes up an art exhibit to be shown at a Los Angeles art gallery early next year.
According to the artists, the exhibit at iam8bit Gallery will be a re-creation of a video rental store circa 1996, but it will only carry VHS copies of “Jerry Maguire.”
You had me at hello
The Jerry Maguire Video Store is created by Everything is Terrible!, a creative collective founded nine years ago with the purpose of taking old video waste and manipulating it into “a new comedic, psychedelic experience.”
“EIT!, and moreover our fans, have been collecting Jerry Maguire VHS tapes for seven years now,” said Nic Maier, creative director and one of Everything is Terrible’s founders. “It started as a dumb joke, but we quickly realized after seeing 100 Jerrys together that this project had a higher purpose.”
To Maier and his collaborators, the film itself isn’t the important part but only a metaphor.
“It is about a world that is literally drowning in its own waste. So why not collect the waste and reorganize into something insane and beautiful? It is a way for us to make sense of a very senseless world,” he said.
But why “Jerry Maguire?” Because it’s release on VHS marked the beginning of the end of an era. The first DVD players and discs were available in November 1996 in Japan, and in March 1997 in the United States — just when the “Jerry Maguire” VHS was released.
“Current culture seems to be only interested in constantly moving forward, making and consuming — with very little consideration for anything else. Millions of Jerrys were created long after the makers already planned a transition to DVD,” Maier said.
Show me the money
Everything is Terrible! hopes proceeds from the Jerry Maguire Video Store exhibit will fund its ultimate goal — a pyramid of “Jerry Maguire” videotapes that the collective hopes to build in the desert.
“That is where all Jerrys will live, reunited, together, forever! We’ll all be dead and gone, but the Jerrys will live on, protected from this cruel world,” Maier said. “The American Dream, as we were told, it was that you can do whatever you want! Well, what if your idea is really bad? What if it is really wasteful? What if it means that you have to live with, carry around, pay to ship across the county thousands of pounds of “Jerry Maguire” VHS tapes then what if you want to raise a half a million dollars to build a pyramid-shaped house in the desert for those totally useless objects, while a person sleeps on the street outside your door?”
The Jerry Maguire Video Store will run at the iam8bit Gallery on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles from January 13-19.