In the autumn of 2018 I completed the “Copypaste” project on how people recreate nature inside and outside the house. During the project work, two packages accumulated, all stuffed with plastic flowers, foam plastic fruits and polyethylene curtains with sunsets. Dealing with the imitation of natural objects in artificial materials, I myself have become a cause of garbage that is harmful to the environment. Absorbed in the project, not realizing what I was doing, I reproduced the ecological path of humankind – unintended in its consequences, from the viewpoint of the philosopher Timothy Morton: “We have been driving the wrong way, looking in the wrong direction — that’s exactly why all this happened”.
Trying to cope with this sense of environmental guilt, I began to explore how to utilize plastic in my artistic practice. Plastic decays slowly, it takes hundreds of years to decompose. However, scientists started to find organisms and microorganisms that adapted to the rapid digestion of various types of plastics.
The idea that nature itself can help humans deal with plastic has become crucial for me. But with each new thought about biorefinary my frustration and doubts as whether I would do everything right this time were only increasing. Is it bioethical to use mealworms that can digest plastic? And to create specific bacteria? Am I at the right top from which new consequences can be foreseen? And should I now carry my plastic cargo with me everywhere?
Not knowing what to do, I presented the results of my research, inviting the viewer to share my feeling of horror and choose where to send the garbage: to waste processing or to feeding organisms.
"Horror: You are here", curator: Feodora Domozhilova-Kaplan, ZGA Gallery, St. Petersburg