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 Cultural Innovation Editor | hello@monagendart.com | N°40 AUGUST 2020  
...is the new destination for discoverers defending the best of Art, Architecture and Design
in order to reinvent your contemporary lifestyle
.
Washed Up | 2013 | Alejandro Durán©

"It is not that there are two worlds, that of the rich and that of the poor. It's much bigger than that: there is only one world, that of the rich, and, next to or behind it, a shapeless block of its waste."

Christian Bobin

LIGHT OF THE FORGOTTEN
#StuartHaygarth
STRANDED AND VISIBLE
#AlejandroDuran
 

FROM ONE BEACH TO ANOTHER
„ 

 

In the 39th edition of CULTURAMA we discussed masks and their transformational power. With their massive use all over the planet, these now essential accessories are also causing an ecological disaster. We all have in mind images of masks thrown on the streets. It becomes worse once we grasp that their lifespan is approximately four hundred years: such kind of waste will pollute the oceans for a long time.
 

Living Sculptures | Study of living organisms in the digital age | 2019 | H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g© | Photo. NAARO©
Mycelium Chair | Study of living organisms in the digital age | 2019 | Erik Klarenbeek & Mike Roelofs©


From one coast to another, from one continent to another, the wastes of our frantic consumption end their drifting course on a shore. CULTURAMA presents two artists, Stuart Haygarth and Alejandro Durán, who, one ocean apart, from one beach to another, sort and reuse trash. Their approach thus offers a possible redemption from the fruits of our collective overindulgence.

 

Categorizing the chaos
LIGHT OF THE FORGOTTEN
STUART HAYGARTH
 
Optical chandelier | 4,500 spectacle lenses extracted from frames and arranged by color density | 2009 | Stuart Haygarth©

 

Eric of CULTURAMA: Your designs and installations evolve only around inanimate objects. Is it impossible to achieve your usual geometrical perfectionism with animate objects within the frame?

Stuart Haygarth: Although people are not directly my subject matter, their behaviour and relationship with inanimate items is a fundamental part of my work. I’m interested in the human stories and emotions that are ingrained in the everyday objects that surround us. I try to give the mundane and overlooked objects a second life, collating archives, creating order and symmetry out of randomness and waste.

Eric: At what moment of your life did you start practicing photography?

Stuart: I was a photographer and illustrator earlier in my career and studied photography at art school. As an illustrator, I created assemblages using found objects and printed materials. The resulting constructions were then photographed in my studio so that it could be used in print, for magazine articles or book covers. I still use photography to archive collections of objects. In 2016, for example, I published a book entitled STRAND which documented a collection of man-made objects found on a 500-mile coastal walk. They were all categorised by colour, shape, and function.

STRAND | Classification of objects stranded on UK beaches according to their shape and color | Stuart Haygarth©

Eric: What was the most challenging project for you during your career?

Stuart: With no doubt, it was STRAND 2012. The work was a commission for a new UCH Macmillan cancer hospital in central London and represented a suspended chandelier-sculpture installed in the entrance lobby above a circular reception desk. For this project, I walked 450 miles along the southeast coastline of the UK from Gravesend to Lands End. Along the walk I collected man-made items that had been washed ashore; these objects would form the material for the sculpture. The walking and collecting were both physically and mentally intense. The most challenging aspect was to build the sculpture of 6 metres wide, 3.5 metres deep that hung at 8 metres. I had to rent a large enough studio to assemble the sculpture and then a scaffold framework in order to fix a ceiling panel from which all the lines of objects would hang. This structure would not have a light source, but the illumination effect was meant to be created by colour categorising — with white objects at the centre and black objects on the outside.

STRAND 2012 | Stuart Haygarth©

Further technical issues arose during the installation in the hospital. Due to the limited door access, we could only use very specific and expensive spider lifts with trained operators to hang the lines of objects. The fixed reception desk caused accessibility problems, and having to work throughout the night after normal working hours also added to the installation costs. Furthermore, all the materials had to be sonically washed before they could be used within the medical establishment because of the health and safety restrictions.

Optical chandelier | Details of color graduations | 2009 | Stuart Haygarth©

Eric: How would you describe the ultimate goal of your Art?

Stuart: To communicate to the viewer that there is more than one way to establish the value and use of an everyday object. Why can’t a pair of spectacles be utilized to create a chandelier? They are, after all, both tools for seeing the world more clearly.

Courriel
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CULTURAMA HOMEMADE
PEPS & VITAMINS


CULTURAMA HOMEMADE was born on April 1, 2020, during the lockdown spring, long before Netflix's namesake show. The means of production are limited and collaborators can't come close to each other, but the desire to share our passion for Art and to prevail over restrictions on freedom is still here, fueling us.

The conditions in which we operate are therefore quite  special. Everyone works at home and communicates only by email or phone. HOMEMADE episodes so far confirmed that the hunger for exchange of artistic knowledge remains, whatever the circumstances. This mini-series thus takes the challenge to present artists with diverse cultures and identities from all over the world, during and after lockdown, no matter how complicated the logistics might be.
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Transmutation of plastic waste
STRANDED AND VISIBLE
ALEJANDRO DURÁN
 
Washed Up | 2013 | Alejandro Durán©

Washed Up is a photo-installation formed from waste collected on the beaches of the Caribbean coast of Mexico. The result, both aesthetic and disturbing, warns us of the dangers of our overconsumption.

During this project, its creator Alejandro Durán, Mexican-born multimedia artist, identified plastic waste from fifty-eight nations which all ended up along the coast of Sian Ka'an. This coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the largest federally protected reserves in Mexico. In Washed Up, Alejandro Durán sorts and reuses litter from all continents to create paintings inspired by colours specific to a natural habitat, thus confronting consumerism with Nature. He tidies up plastic like waves, mimicking algae, roots, rivers, or fruits, highlighting the growing influence of pollution on ecosystems. His works alert us of the ecological impact of our behavior.

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Washed Up | 2013 | Alejandro Durán©


CULTURAMA STUDIO


CULTURAMA, the new destination for discoverers, accompanies you in the exploration of the 21st century Art and Design. To achieve this, CULTURAMA STUDIO produces exclusive interviews, reports, and mini-series.

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CULTURAMA STUDIO 2020 — CULTURAL INNOVATION EDITOR
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