Craig Davies for Art-Sheep
Washed Up is an ongoing project by artist Alejandro Duran, that explores how the earth’s nature is constantly being polluted and destroyed by humans.
Duran is working along a single stretch of coastline in Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve, and he collects trash that wash up there. The plastic junk he has discovered so far has come from dozen of countries, while the quality, color and shape of it vary. Duran, who has been awarded with the Juror’s Award from CENTER, creates interesting and powerful installations that form aesthetically pleasing landscapes, but also defile the natural habitat they are on. This exact contradiction is created by the artist, to raise awareness on environmental issues like the global catastrophe of ocean pollution.
As he explains on his statement about Washed Up:
Over the course of this project, I have identified plastic waste from fifty nations on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an. I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament. The resulting photo series depicts a new form of colonization by consumerism, where even undeveloped land is not safe from the far-reaching impact of our disposable culture.