In view of the planetary crisis, the littering of the planet - alongside climate change and the extinction of species - has once again become the focus of artistic practices.
The group exhibition Territories of Waste at the Museum Tinguely focuses on positions of contemporary art and asks in which areas the confrontation with the rest manifests itself today, thus at the same time taking a new look back at the art of the second half of the 20th century. The group exhibition sees itself as an accumulation or collection of many voices, which also takes the dynamically intermingled nature of the rubbish seriously as a structuring concept. The exhibition landscape that spreads out in the space can be assigned to six central thematic areas, which run through it like a net.
As early as the 1960s, the artists of Nouveau Réalisme and Junk Art (including Jean Tinguely) reflected the fundamental social and economic change from scarcity to a consumer society and its accompanying throwaway society in their practice through the use of waste and scrap as the material of their artworks. While the mountains of waste from overflowing landfills and the carelessly dumped garbage in nature became visible everywhere in the 1960s, today it is essentially invisible in the western parts of the globalized world. A differentiated waste management system gets rid of rubbish and dirt as well as the remnants of our consumer behaviour. Sorted, transported away, incinerated, clarified, composted, recycled, deposited in mines and exported, what has been discarded is not gone, but at least it is gone.
Today, contemporary discourses and aesthetic practices ask about the hidden and repressed ecological, geological and global conditions of our consumption. Thus, the thematization of the invisible micro-dimension of waste has become increasingly important in public perception. The omnipresence of this form of waste in the air, earth, water, ice and living beings - even in areas never entered by humans - has permanently revised the idea of nature. Currently, artists are also devoting increasing attention to the territorial shifts of waste along colonial geographies. Along with the global, the geological aspects are brought to the fore. Central to this "geospheric" meaning is the reflection on the ecological dimensions of raw material extraction, especially in mining.
The territorial displacement of waste along colonial geographies is dealt with, which includes the export of waste but also the overburden of resource extraction in neo-colonial structures of exploitation. Here, the focus is also on electronic communication devices and the metals and rare earths required for their production.