Netherlands Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Exhibition: Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project

8 Dec 16 23 Apr 17

The exhibition turns the focus on the end of the design history of useful objects: the center of the exhibition Out to Sea? and the symbol of the ecological catastrophe is an installation of plastic flotsam from the world’s various seas.

Plastic bags, children’s toys, PET bottles, food packaging… since the beginning of the 20th century this mineral oil based product has advanced triumphantly through the world of consumption. Its ad-vantages are obvious: it is cheap, easy to process and can be given almost any qualities required. Our everyday lives are filled with plastic. But what happens to a plastic product at the end of its life cycle?
A large proportion of these products – every year more than 6.4 million tons – lands unchecked in our environment and, ultimately, in our seas, which are gradually being transformed into a global plastic soup. Already today not a single square kilometer of seawater is free of pieces of plastic. Although only a small amount floats around on the surface, sea currents have led to the formation of enormous plastic gyres. As standard plastic is not biodegradable, it gets broken up into increasingly smaller pieces and enters the food chain. And so, at the end, we find the garbage back on our plates, with alarming consequences for our health.

In addition the exhibition illustrates the background to the problem and the fatal impact on the seas, animals and humans. The most widely used plastics are presented; questions about consumption, health hazards, micro plastic, material cycles or bioplastics are spotlighted. Additionally local and international efforts at finding a solution, such as reducing, recycling, reusing, are shown. These are intended to cause us to reflect and, ultimately, to take action.

Following the exhibition in Zurich the show was already presented in 17 cities all over the world, among others in Germany, Hong Kong, Morocco, Finland, Denmark and now in Ljubljana.

In light of the exhibition, an international symposium will be organized in March 2017 which will include the internationally known Dutch expert on the conservation and restauration of plastic art objects, Mrs Thea van Oosten.

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MAO - Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana

December 8, 2016 - April 23, 2017