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Art thats trash

19 October 2008 No Comment

Vivan Sundaram does exactly that.

These are collages and juxtaposition with the city of Delhi. A plain reminder of the gap that exists between the cliche ‘Haves’ and ‘Haves not’. But Trash does more than that. It constantly gnaws at one, all the trash and waste that is generated out of us. Who will take care of it?

He seems to have traversed dump yards, trying to make sense amidst it. Out of which he has built city landscapes. One would definitely think of the Walt Disney animation movie ‘WallE’, where a machines compact trash on earth while all humans are away on this spaceship, having left due to all the garbage that accumulated the earth. The machines create blocks and blocks of trash, creating a similar cityscape.

The work itself is compelling. Vernacular India made use of everything, there was barely any ‘garbage’ around. Everything had its place in the system. The rise of industrialisation and use of plastics changed all that. When one lives in Europe, the proportion of inorganic waste to organic is far greater, almost 4 fold. Alarming, enough!

Sundaram states simply about and through his work, “I suggest that the urban middle and upper class, rather than turn away from the garbage they generate, must face the reality of the urbanscape and the people, outside of their gated colonies. In these very large photographs there are dense urban conglomerations, with uneasy prospects and unsettling perspectives. The scale of the spatial is not easily defined and these fragile structures are exposed to the constant possibility of being demolished.”

Sustainable living calls for a full cycle, like one of hydrology. Take as much as we can give.

photo credit: Art threat


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