NISYRIO is pleased to announce its first collaboration with Sterna Art Project inviting in residency the Austrian origin Berlin based artist, Robert Gschwantner. During his stay at Sterna, Robert, will conduct a research on microplastic on Yali island in order to create a new art piece. A hand woven carpet made of PVC pipes filled with water and the microplastic that will be collected from the beaches of Yali.
Robert investigates the unstable relationship between natural forces and human intervention. His interests are European landscapes that have been fundamentally changed by the presence of man for economic, ecological or political reasons, either through industrial accidents or pollution. The inspiration for his art is a single German term ‚Ölteppich‘, literally ‚oil carpet‘ – the ecological disaster caused by a gigantic oil slick. He weaves hundreds or sometimes thousands of meters of transparent PVC tubing into carpets and canvas (“oil paintings”) and fill them with water, sludge or crude oil. The liquids he collects from seacoasts which where site of an environmental disaster or from landscapes like islands, canals or lakes that have been designed or reshaped according to man-made functions and aesthetics. As part of the artwork the liquids are both, material and a relic of the original landscape. His wall-mounted works are exhibited in combination with photographs, videos and drawings related specifically to each project, to get a different point of view of his corresponding themes.
In front of Nisyros lies Yali island on which there is a white sandy beach, advertised as destination for tourists. Despite the beach gets cleaned up every year from washed up plastic waste, the colorful plastic particles are clearly visible in the sand. Scientific estimates assume around six to ten percent of global plastic production finds its way into the world’s oceans. Alone in the Mediterranean every year end up a half million tons of plastic waste. This corresponds to 33,800 plastic bottles per minute. The plastic gets ground and crushed by wind, weather and tides into microplastic which deposits on seafloor o mixes up with beach sand. During his residency at Sterna, he would like to collect plastic particles from the beach of Yali island. Mixed together with seawater, it will be the filling material of a carpet woven from several hundred meters of PVC tubing. Photos will document the action of collecting and the creation of the carpet.
The piece will be installed at “Pachos hardware shop” in Mandraki, 30 July to 30 September.
Robert Gschwantner was born 1968 in Steyr / Austria. After several years in Vienna and Rotterdam, he began his artistic career as autodidact in Rome in 1995 where he lived from 1992 to 2001. After 3 years in Florence, he lives and works in Berlin since 2004. Selected public exhibitions: Casa di Goethe, Rome; Kunstverein KunstHaus, Potsdam; Microwave-festival, Hong Kong; Kunstverein L40, Berlin; Künstlerhaus, Vienna; MARS, Milan; Galleria Civica, Trento; Fünfzigzwanzig, Salzburg; Palazzo Ducale, Mantua; Danube Dialoges, Novi Sad; OÖ Kunstverein, Linz; EXPO Milano – Terme Romane, Como; Site Gallery, Sheffield; MAG, Arco & MAG, Riva del Garda; NÖ Landesmuseum, St. Pölten; Kunsthaus Meran; Hazelhurst Art Center, Sydney; Matadero, Madrid; CCAS, Canberra; Città della scienza, Naples; Bumbershoot, Seattle; Casina Pompeiana Naples; The Japan Foundation, Rome. Numerous galleries exhibitions in: Berlin, Cologne, Milan, Naples, Rome, Sydney, Valencia, Vienna, Zurich.