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Gate 27, farklı pratiklerin araştırma ve üretim süreçlerini desteklemek ve disiplinlerarası etkileşime zemin yaratmak amacıyla 2019’da kurulmuş bir uluslararası konuk sanatçı programıdır.

Leander Knust

Landscape, Portal, Paper Weight series

2019, Resin encapsulation, polystyrene, copper corals

11.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm

Sculptural editions with the title Landscape, Portal, Paper Weight result from an ongoing process that aims to archive fragile compositions of polystyrene detritus that Knust regularly forages along shore lines across the globe. Each composition he encapsulates within resin is durable enough to survive unchanged for thousands of years.

During his residency program at Gate 27, Knust took numerous trips to the Prince’s Islands to collect the polystyrene contained in these pieces. All the stone-like forms he collected contain product histories that have been lost to the erosive forces of salt and shoreline wash in terms of aesthetics and functionality. They are all so fragile that another year of churning in the sea would reduce them entirely to microplastic. Yet, in the moment he finds them, they are curiously beautiful, like stones from a Dr. Seuss book or a parallel reality. This becomes especially true when they are taken away from the beach, removed from any immediate contribution to planetary destruction and surrounded only by one another. 

Our planet continues to face ecological catastrophe in the fall of industrial consumerism and as we continue to respond to realities of this fall out, polystyrene will be one of the first marvels of human engineering to no longer be made; that is why Knust collects them. It is simply too fragile of a material that is impossible to recycle for any environmentally considerate application. Many states within the USA have already banned the material, the EU and Canada are working on banning it and others will follow suit. As humanity continues to wise up during the witness of our prior naiveté, exiling materials that are environmentally disastrous will be necessary. Meanwhile, the polystyrene that is consumed today is crumbling into invisible particles so fast that every Earth-bound life form with a mouth has already consumed it. Each edition of Landscape, Portal, Paper Weight is a relic to our contemporary moment. They will inevitably become material snapshots into an era of fragility, mismanagement and stubborn beauty. The rest of polystyrene in the world will erode, damage the ecosystem and fade to dust.