Emptiness

1

This work can be temporarily found in the home of one of the artists of the Unintentional Art Movement. At first sight it appears to be an empty kitchen paper roll, standing on the kitchen counter of what presumably is the artist’s kitchen. Despite its recognizable, lean design the work contains a couple of strong elements, making it a daring and valuable part of the UAM oeuvre.

The empty paper roll symbolizes the individual whose freedom is permanently restrained. We think we are free, yet we are stuck, trapped in structures, rules and other boundaries that limit our ability to fully decide on how to live our lives. The roll is helpless. It cannot set itself free, but can only escape its “iron prisoner” through the intervention of a higher being or an external energy (for instance a gust of wind).

The fact that the kitchen paper roll is empty cannot be misunderstood. Both the trapped, modern individual as our current way of life are nearing a dead end. The rat race, defining our Western society, is just like the kitchen paper holder a structure where its participants cannot escape from. We are all working relentlessly, with no clear goal and with both our days passing by and our natural resources depleted. Just like this roll we are nearing the end.

The chosen material is no coincidence either. Isn’t the use of kitchen paper a clear sign of our mass consumption and its consequence? We create waste in order to clean up waste. We waste time in order to have enough money to hopefully one day catch up with it, forgetting to live in the here and the now. This unintentional artwork doesn’t limit its scope. It poses us a direct and crucial question: Will we take a new kitchen roll and continue towards the dead end or will we choose another option? Will we head in the right (and presumably better) direction?

 

Advertisements

Landing Bird

1

“Landing Bird” is a strong visual work, defined by a striking simplicity when it comes to the chosen material, but a complex interaction with its environment and the meaning of the artwork.

The artwork features a piece of black plastic, playfully jammed in a leafless tree, standing in a desolate Lowland landscape. From a distance the spectator might be deceived into thinking it is a big, black bird. Is it a raven? A crow? A jackdaw perhaps? The spastic and inconsistent movement, caused by the strong wind, draw the attention of walkers or other random spectators.

The use of plastic is of course not a coincidence, despite the artwork itself being very unintentional. It is a strong allusion on the pollution of our planet and our direct environment. It alludes to the plastic soup in our oceans, as well as air pollution, symbolized by the waving piece of plastic. The “Landing Bird” has a clear double message. Pollution is everywhere and it’s killing of biodiversity and is threatening fauna and flora on our planet.

The black colour adds an element of danger or ill-fate. For centuries the black bird has been seen as a symbol of evil, a harbinger of bad news, a storm crow. Cleverly, this universal representation of hazard is present in the work. And here the landing bird is composed of the thing we should be afraid of, the disintegration of our natural environment by our own garbage, caused by overconsumption and general carelessness.

“Landing  Bird” is an example of a temporary artwork. We do not know if it will stay, it can easily be blown away.