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Saturday 05/30/15 12PM-6PM

RRRC: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost

Cover Image:

Wojciech Gilewicz, Residency Unlimited, 2012 (still)

Part of the Street Program

During the course of the IDEAS CITY Festival, Polish-American artist Wojciech Gilewicz will quietly collect, sort, and recycle discarded waste produced by visitors to the event. Blurring the intersections of civic and artistic engagements and responsibilities, Gilewicz will explore the impact that can be made with a single invisible gesture.

In Gilewicz’s statement on the project, he explains:

“People who collect cans and plastic bottles from the New York City streets have their monetary reasons for collecting those items; however, no one is really interested in selecting paper or composting materials from public waste bins because it is not sellable. Be it laziness, lack of interest, or confusion within the existing recycling rules, we produce an enormous amount of waste out of recyclable and compostable materials. The recycling and reuse of items has long been an area of interest for me, as both a person and as an artist. Although I’m aware of the small, and maybe insignificant, impact this kind of project might have, I would like to draw people’s attention to the question of recycling in the city, something that often goes unnoticed, something that we do not see. This kind of action reflects a broader problem of citizenship today: in running a household and obeying all of the rules of proper recycling and composting, we are only effecting small amounts of change, compared to the volume of waste produced by corporations or factories operating on a global scale. While my project cannot combat waste on a global scale, incremental change can still be produced.”

Like many of Gilewicz’s previous interdisciplinary works (e.g. Shanghai, realized in China for Zendai MoMA, 2008; Residency Unlimited, Flux Factory, New York, 2012; Food Justice, Santa Fe Art Institute, 2014), his “cleaning” project for this edition of IDEAS CITY questions the distinctions, or lack thereof, between social responsibility and artistic practice. Can a cleaner become an artist as much as an artist can become a cleaner?

This project is presented in collaboration with Artists Alliance Inc.

Participating Organizations: Artists Alliance Inc., Wojciech Gilewicz

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