Gavin Turk's (Guilford, UK, 1967) fascination with waste is a reoccurring theme throughout his body of work, exploring its aesthetic, function, and value. With nods to our consumer society and by working with mass-produced machine-made products, the artist is subverting the socially dictated “natural order” of things, devoting more attention to something that appears to be waste. Dysfunctional objects usually ignored are put under a magnifying glass in the confinements of the gallery.
“Across the globe a million consumed single-use plastic bottles are let go of every minute!” A bottle may be discarded on the street, carried along by the wind, and eventually run over by a car or collected in bulk and sold by weight. However, this is not where the story of our bottle ends. Instead, it meets the Hand of the Artist who plays and fools with the plastic remains, immortalizing it in watercolours or casting it in bronze.
Not only does the work comment on our paradigms of value, but they also speak simple truths about the objects and the artist himself: the watercolours illustrate the curves and dents of transparent single-use plastic, as well as its light reflecting and refracting nature.
The artist takes on the role of an observer, watching human behaviour, closely examining and questioning the nature of objects. Where has it been? What interactions did it have with its environment? What happens to them from here on?
This screenprint entitled "Bag Soup" comes housed in a handmade linen slipcase alongside a signed copy of the publication made in close collaboration with the artist on the occasion of his exhibition Letting Go.