Artist: Christian Holstad
Venue: Schmidt & Handrup, Cologne
Exhibition Title: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Date: September 3 – November 12, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Schmidt & Handrup, Cologne
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the first solo exhibition by the American artist Christian Holstad in Germany for over seven years and follows a series of highly respected solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as the Galleria Civica di Modena, the New Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.
On this occasion, Holstad has created a series of luminous soft sculptures, that are presented in a large-scale, fantastically eerie installation claiming the whole of the 160 square metres Cologne gallery space. In addition, black light and a flood- light sculpture with purple, blue and pink spotlights gives the exhibition space a mystical marine atmosphere, leading the visitor into a dark dreamscape.
Like beings from another world those glittering, pastel-colored sculptures inhabit a landscape of islands of black volcanic rock split. On the silver gallery floor, resembling a shimmering water surface, the creators lie with their long tentacles like dying jellyfish washed onto the beach. These collapsing objects are made of recycled fabric sewn and woven together. In fact they are soft sculptures of shopping carts of leading retail chain giants. Through their increasing expansion these companies are forcing alternative retailer to close down; their logos are dominating the face of our cities. Akin to the ubiquitous presence of these giants the number of jellyfish in the oceans become more and more – by overfishing their natural enemies, by global warming and the excessive pollution of water and our coastlines.
Christian Holstad confronts us with the works shown in this exhibition on an emotional and subtle way with the consequences of our consumption. The shopping cart symbolize for him the link in which each consumer is taking on the environmental responsibility.
The title of the exhibition draws attention to a 1997 first described phenomenon: the remains of our consumer garbage, mostly plastic parts and their decomposition products, gather in vortexes in the oceans and accumulate to significant concentrations in certain maritime regions of so-called ‚trash vortexes or islands‘. The most famous among them is the ‚Great Pacific Garbage Patch‘ in the North Pacific, with an estimated expansion of twice the size of Texas.
Christian Holstad was born in 1972 in Anaheim, California, he lives and works in New York City. His work is represented internationally in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Astrup Fearnley Museeet of Modern Art, Oslo, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.