Waste Managment Inside Out: Alejandro Durán’s “Washed Up”

© Alejandro Durán, Derrame, Washed Up series, 2010

“One Man’s trash is another mans treasure.” This idiom embodies Alejandro Durán’s current body of work. Durán has come a long way since his series ” Washed Up” debuted through En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards program #15 this past year, and we are excited to see the project grow.

Washed Up questions the debris existing amongst an ephemeral landscape, with the shores of the Yucatán peninsula as his studio. His installations permeate the landscape by collecting and curating clutter that does not dissolve or transcend into its surroundings. In his artist statement, Durán explains that “Sian Ka’an is also a repository for the world’s trash, which is carried there by ocean currents from every corner of the globe.”

This articulate juxtaposition and color scheme emphasizes the harsh contrast between the “natural” and “artificial,” allowing one to question the cultural significance of today’s waste in our ever-growing consumer culture. These remnants of plastic waste retain their shape and identity and lodge themselves into a permanent place in a changing scape – but with much effort, Durán disposes of the debris after he’s done.

Durán is not the first to photograph waste, and will not be the last, but his magic realist approach stands on a ground of its own.

A sneak peak of Alejandro Duran’s solo show at the GALERÍA OCTAVIO PAZ. Image Courtesy of Alejandro Durán

His work is certainly gaining notoriety. It was recently featured in El Diario, The Daily News and on the New York Times Lens Blog.

For more about this series, you can also read our prior blog post by Michael Mazzeo here.

Alejandro is also exhibiting at the Bronx Biennial of Latin American Art at Bronx Art Space, and is having his first solo show at the The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York at the Mexican consulate in October. His exhibition will inaugurate the newly renovated Octavio Paz Gallery.

Make sure to check it out it, the show dates are: October 4 through the 29, 2012.

Click here for more images and Alejandro’s personal webpage.

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