There is no away
Form follows garbage, a new film by friend and Finding Blake colleague James Murray-White for GroundWork Gallery, follows artist Jan Eric Visser. Visser transforms everyday garbage into art — and a new kind of environmental politics.
His assertion that “the story of more should end” comes up hard against the evidence of another excellent film: last night’s BBC documentary The secret life of landfill: a rubbish history.
With each of the UK’s 20,000 landfill sites acting as human-made landscape, monument to ‘throw away’ culture and living, breathing entity housing newly-evolving bacteria, our way of life is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. But “there is no away; what we throw away is still here.” The film looks to the future too, and prospects for (re)mining our crap for the oil and minerals we put so much ingenuity, blood and habitat destruction into digging up first time. A weird mix of horror and hope: it’s a strange optimism which looks at our destructive ‘throw away’ legacy for new ways to keep the machine turning.
As Visser says, “we think we have found a modus vivendi, but there is no life and future in the way we deal with waste.”