Sašo Sedlaček: Supertrash
Supertrash – which borrows the title from the first overview exhibition of Sedlaček’s work, made in Slovenia in 2011 – presents a selection of projects from the last decade. Starting in 2001, Sedlaček developed a rich body of work, generally defined by theories of disposal and the use and reuse of cheap technologies and waste materials. His practical and humorous works result from a subversive recycling of scientific, legal, or technological facts and employing DIY (do-it-yourself) and collaborative methods. As Petja Grafenauer wrote in the Supertrash catalogue,
“His projects shift between local and global problems of waste. The artist is interested in topical themes that fall into the category of the age-old efforts to improve human life. Fortunately, he does not tackle these issues in a naïve, bigoted or moralistic manner, but rather with humor and incentive. His ideas are witty, creative and, above all, useful.”.
This can be seen in early interventions such as Just Do It (2003) and Loop (2004), where printed propaganda by big shopping malls has been turned into paper bricks that in Loop have been used to build a mobile pavilion equipped for monitoring the city’s noise; as well as in his more recent work. The issue of technological waste, which relates to planned obsolescence, returns in many works on show, from Beggar Robot (2006), a robot for the materially deprived and is constructed entirely from old computer hardware; to The Big Switch Off (2011), an action in which Sedlaček invited people from a residential building to throw analogue television sets off their windows right after the introduction of digital signal in 2011, that suddenly shot dead old technology; and The Ex (2010), huge billboard prints conceived for the public space where pictures of third world dumpsters filled with technological waste are used to advertise computer companies such as Apple and Microsoft.
Also made from waste technology, iSmoke2 (2011) thematizes the increasingly socially frowned-upon act of smoking and its perpetrators – smokers – by turning an old laptop into a lighter; while Jobless Avatars (2014) focuses on software obsolescence, presenting online speaking characters, virtual representatives and alter egos introducing themselves and begging for a job.
Unemployment, poverty and its social consequences are changing the wealthy West and generating a new iconography of the post-industrial society, that Sedlaček ironically explores in Dolce far niente (2014), a series of edible sculptures made of chocolate featuring characters such as the protester, the beggar, the junkie. In this scenario, communication technologies do not disappear, but are rather perceived as a basic need even by people who do not know where to sleep. AcDcWc, potty with a dog (2010) responds to this situation, offering a cheap solution for recycling electric power, using the extra power generated by a chemical toilet to supply various devices.
Credits and more information about this event HERE
Read “A stream of junk: interview with Sašo Sedlaček” by Filippo Lorenzin for Digicult.
The exhibition Supertrash at Ultra c/o eflux studio was introduced by the artist talk Friendly Strategies of Resistance that took place at Casa Cavazzini Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea in Udine on Saturday, May 16 at 5pm.
16 May - 10 July 2015
Ultra c/o eflux studio
Curated by: Domenico Quaranta