RUMEYSA – Artist Enrica Borghi breathes new life into plastic at Pasaj Galata

Artist Enrica Borghi breathes new life into plastic at Pasaj GalataAmeno- and Berlin-based Italian artist Enrica Borghi’s first solo show in Turkey is up at the Galata neighborhood’s Pasaj Galata until June 1 Consisting of three of her trademark recycled plastic works, which she has created specifically for this exhibition, the show brings issues like trash, waste, recycling and the role of art to the fore.Borghi is only exhibiting three works in her Istanbul show and this tiny number makes the audience want to learn more about herAn established artist who has been using plastic bottles, nails, packaging, tetrapak and bags to create huge installations, small jewels, mosaics and mandalas since the 1990s, Borghi is one of several leading figures in the field of art using recycled materials.

She is working on a few longitudinal projects at the same time that focus on bringing back the unneeded. In her “Metamorphosis” series, she explores the image of beauty by reusing cosmetic materials like plastic nails.

Her busts and sculptures in the form of the female body talk about vanity and waste at the same time. Similarly, in her “Fashion” series, she transforms plastic bags into quilts and masks, and uses them in performance pieces.

Some of her outstanding works include light installations made from polystyrene, plastic bottles and light in cities like Turin, Stadt Unna and Nice.In her Istanbul exhibition, which is titled “Sexy Plastic,” one can say that she follows her usual themes with her trademark material, plastic.

In the small space of Pasaj Galata, Borghi exhibits three “sexy” jellyfish sculptures that are made by hand from plastic bottles. They serve as light-reflectors at first glance, which gives them another functionality.

The audiences realize only after taking a closer look at the sculptures that these are actually bottles. In the cellar-like gallery space, the audience is almost haunted by the ghost of the plastic.

The once needed, now unneeded plastic bottles manifest beauty and elegance with the light reflected on them They are formed as jellyfish, which are also a beautiful but not terribly wanted and needed creature of the sea world. Borghi resurrects the plastic bottles from their ended life cycles as commercial materials.

Surely, looking at recycled plastic reminds one of one’s own waste. Borghi says, “The endless hours that I dedicate to the re-assembly of waste products is a time of reflection, of magical transformation, in which everything may be reintegrated or regenerated.

” The water bottles that perpetually come and go in daily life, unnecessary packaging, necessary packaging that becomes unnecessary, plastic shopping bags that are trashed or turned into trash bags. These images are even more significant in a city like Istanbul, where there is not a good recycling system for household trash.

That’s why the transformation that has occurred here touches a more tragic situation. It makes the audience look back and face irreversible consequences.

In that sense, the transformation of a product from desired to undesired in Borghi’s works also makes a statement about changing the undesired into the desired again by turning it into a work of art. Most audience members would want to get one of those sexy plastic jellyfish and install it in their own home.

By this process, the line between desired and undesired becomes vague. The unwanted trash becomes an object of value again.

In the case of Istanbul, this cycle is reflected on the city streets once art lovers leave the gallery and mix into the streets of Karaky, they will certainly encounter garbage collectors with their huge wheelbarrows, digging into big piles of trash and trying to find any items with value — plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, glass bottles. These are people who are sometimes scorned because of their proximity to the trash, but who actually turn the unwanted to something with industrial value again.

Borghi’s official website quotes Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”: “On the pavements, stuffed into gleaming plastic bags, the remains of yesterday’s Leonia await the rubbish collection truck. Rather than by what is produced, sold and purchased day after day, the opulence of Leonia is measured by the things that are thrown away on a daily basis so as to make room for new ones.

[] Of course, the rubbish collectors are welcomed like angels, and their task of removing the remains of yesterday’s existence commands silent respect, like a devotional rite, or perhaps simply because once thrown out, nobody cares to think about them any longer.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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