In the context of a temporary exhibition about the cycle of plastics and the plastics industry we were approached to develop a temporary installation for the central cloister of the Museu de Leiria. Thinking about the discussions about the Anthropocene and the blurring of the concepts of natural and artificial, we wanted to somehow reveal the plastics as a raw material almost like an ore. Disconnecting it from its normal recognisable form as objects and utilities.
Our proposal was to install a squared courtyard within the museums central cloister, creating inside a scenography of an artificial landscape secretly hidden behind white plastic canvas walls. To understand and unveil the “inner soul” of plastics we went through an investigation into the plastics recycling cycle looking for its less recognisable in-between states. This included visiting the region's industries and transformation processes and eventually relying on its support in supplying much of the material. The final work is performed on different plastic components like the pvc pipes for the structure and polyethylene for the coating canvas. Inside we used grinded recycled high density polyethylene in two different forms: as grain spread out forming a “natural” topography and by heating it in an oven we were able to fuse it and mould it into small plates and create objects.
As we took this materials from the industrial cycle we assured the whole thing in the end could return to the recycling process and tranformed again into one of the objects of our daily lifes.
Project developed with colectivo Til.
Photos by João Gonçalo Lopes