‘Uncomfortable’ reveals, on a sensorial level, the uncomfortable presence of microplastic hidden under our skin. This piece aims to generate awareness on the plastic pollution issue by stimulating the tactile sense and by translating its uncomfortableness in an everyday object.
‘Uncomfortable’ is made by using 100% plastic waste collected in Aruba during an Art Residency at Ateliers’ 89.
“For one month I have been talking plastic, collecting plastic, reading plastic, teaching plastic and making plastic. At the very beginning of the process, I decided to use the extruder machine as my main tool, which works in a similar way the 3D printer does but is bigger and positioned horizontally. By modifying the exit part I started to create plastic filament with different shapes, and for the first 10 days, I just spend my time getting to know the machine and the different ways I could use it.
In the meantime, by reading, listening to podcasts and talking with people I realized how difficult it is to recycle plastic and to reintroduce it as a new material in the chain of production.
Plastic waste needs, first of all, to be properly washed out from the leftovers of food, otherwise is very difficult to reuse, I did not know about that. I learned that not all the type of plastic can actually be reused and that the production system to melt the waste into a new material can be toxic and bad for the environment as well. I also started to read articles saying that plastic (microplastic) is more and more found into humans body, I got to know that we eat microplastic by eating animals that had previously ingested plastic themselves or by contamination with plastic packaging, we drink microplastic as water is often polluted and we even breathe microplastic through the fibers of our polyester clothes, etc. By collecting plastic waste, especially on the cost, I was surprised to encounter so many traces that tell about our lives and we do not see as waste in our daily routine, pieces of Lego toys, brushes, shoes, bottles of Venus cream for shaving, spoons, an endless list..
I was a bit shocked and for a while, I had to think about how to better express this new knowledge and new feelings into a work.
Mini-documentary realized by Anne Lakeman.
In my practice tactility is the medium through which I communicate and in my works, I often explore the tactile perception to create a more intimate and interactive relationship between the space, the work and the visitors. So, by using plastic waste and the dear extruder machine, I created an organic and repetitive shape, (which later on I found out was extremely similar to a natural rock formation growing into the caves of the National Park of the island), that I used to make a chair. This chair is made to feel very uncomfortable if people would sit in it. Even though the structures that the chair is made of are intricate and detailed and look flexible, malleable and soft on the tactile side the same structures are cold, rigid and quite uncomfortable. this is why this work is called uncomfortable as I wanted to translate my thoughts and my experience into a tactile feeling and be able to share it with other people” said Margherita.
Pictures by Anne Lakeman and Konstantin Guz.
Special thanks to all the supporters from VoordeKunst, Bank Giro Loterij Doen, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Brenchies Lab, Mediamatic and Ateliers’ 89.
More information about the project? You can read more here!