In the three lower galleries, the Centre presents The Stuff of Life|The Life of Stuff, exploring artistic responses to consumption, overproduction and waste streams in modern society. Many of the artists chosen for this exhibition draw attention to the ubiquitous presence of plastic in our daily lives, and adopt technologies developed in the fields of anthropology, geology, engineering and biology to classify, quantify and document the effects of pollution. These works encourage us to reflect on our relationship to synthetic materials and obsolescent design. Artworks created from salvaged materials range from assortments of dislocated parts to assemblages in which fragments have been re-synthesised and given a new coherence and meaning. The materiality of the artworks, be it e-waste, plastic, metal or fibre, is used to investigate themes ranging from geopolitics and boundary crossing to communication and exchange. Rather than only commenting on the dystopian aspects of climate change and pollution, The Stuff of Life | The Life of Stuff reminds us of the poetry in our daily existence and our interconnectedness. Divided into three core themes, the structure of the exhibition takes the audience on a journey that begins with individual consumption, reveals the consequences of over production and excess waste, and concludes with an exploration of social resilience and ingenuity. The exhibition focuses on artworks that critique society and generate further questions, as opposed to offering design solutions that would only fuel further consumption.
Participating artists: Madi Acharya-Baskerville, El Anatsui, Mandy Barker, Karla Black, Ayan Farah, Daiga Grantina, Romuald Hazoumè, Diana Lelonek, Ibrahim Mahama, Mary Mattingly, Fabrice Monteiro, Marlie Mul, Samara Scott, Tejal Shah, Elias Sime, Michael E. Smith, Sarah Sze, Gavin Turk and Maarten Vanden Eynde.