Sunday, October 06, 2002

One Man's Garbage....

Barcelona and Spain in general are going through a period of prosperity and growth, and the construction industry is one of the driving forces behind the unsustainable economy. I am truly amazed at the amount of growth, a reflection of that growth is the amount and variety of containers that you see sprinkled on the streets to handle the refuse that spills out of these sites. The most common of these is the construction sack which is ubiquitous on the streets of Barcelona. This is basically a very strong bag of maybe 1.2 square meters that you buy at the local hardware store. Included in the price of purchase is that once the bag is full you call up a number normally printed on the side of the bag and magically within a day or so a truck appears and lifts it in to the back of the truck and whisks it away to construction sack heaven.

The sack, more common on the streets of Barcelona than pay phones and mailboxes put together.

At some point in time I began to look at these objects with different eyes, they are ever present yet somehow they blend into the urban landscape to the point that you don't even register them. They come, they fill, they overflow, they disappear leaving a residue as the only testament to their existence. Like some wierd temporary organic installation. Anyway they caught my interest and I began to plot out a way of making some sort of creative registration of them.

Now it's 2002 and I have recently acquired my very first digital camera, which is going to change my life. No more trips to the camera store to develop a roll of film that will probably yield 4 interesting photos out of 30 at the low cost of 20€ or something. No digital photography liberated me from all that. Now I could click to my hearts delight or at least until my memory card was full and delete all the garbage (no pun intended), in the privacy of my own computer.

Previously if I wanted to use photographic material I would have to develop the photos and scan them, now I just download them directly onto the hardrive and into photoshop or whichever program I happen to using. also This would be my first excursion into actually incorporating original photographic material in the finished work. The manner in which I am working in steel has it's limitations as far as the amount of detail you can recreate.

So the idea was to recreate some of the information in steel and then have photos blown up to the according size and glued onto pvc plates that I cut to the exact dimensions of the photos then mount them on the drawing in steel

Basuralona Saco I, Steel, PVC, Photo, 95x74, 2002

It wasn't long before I began to look at not just the construction sacks but trash containers of every shape and size, domestic dumpsters, recycling bins everything. These objects play a role in the everyday existence of the city dweller and by recreating them in steel and photo I wanted to people to focus and think about this small detail of their daily experience. I proposed the series for an exhibition of BAC! ( Barcelona Arte Contemporanea ) Organized by La Santa and it inaugurated in November of 2002.

Basuralona I, Steel, PVC, Photo, 172x83, 2002

Basuralona II (Man), Steel, PVC, Photo, 118x85, 2002

Technical description of construction