Collecting: Flotsam & Jetsam

How fascinating.  Mexican-born artist Gabriel Orozco created this two-part sculptural and photographic installation made up of thousands of items of flotsam and jetsam that the artist gathered at two sites—a playing field near his home in New York and a protected coastal biosphere in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where flows of industrial and commercial waste from across the Pacific Ocean arrive. It’s showing at the Guggenheim

Part of the exhibition, called Sandstars, is from the unique environment of Isla Arena, Mexico, a wildlife reserve, which is a whale mating ground, whale cemetery, and industrial wasteland. Orozco created a large sculptural installation on the gallery floor from the refuse he discovered there, including glass bottles, lightbulbs, buoys, tools, stones, and oars. A huge sculptural carpet of nearly 1,200 objects is accompanied by 12 large-scale gridded photographs of the individual objects in a studio setting, organized typologically by material, color and size. A 13th grid documents the landscape from which the objects were retrieved.

One of the grids – Astroturf constellation, (photo: photo: Alessandro Leggio)

Astroturf Constellation is a collection of small particles and minuscule forms of debris left behind by athletes and spectators in the Astroturf of a playing field on Pier 40 in New York City. Orozco displays these items—including coins, sneakers logos, bits of soccer balls, candy wrappers, wads of chewing gum, and tangles of thread—on a large platform.  As in Sandstars, the objects are displayed alongside 13 photographic grids, creating a kind of visual ricochet between an individual object and its photographic representation.

Installation view, from Asterisms when it was exhibited at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, July 6–Oct. 21, 2012

Objects collected for Sandstars (2012) on Isla Arena, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Guggenheim, New York, exhibit link, here.

Gabriel Orozco’s biography, here.

11 replies »

  1. I can really relate to this! I have even dreamed of doing something like this. Really. I am getting my PhD in information organization, plus I love art. Enough said? LOL!


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