By Deb A.
London's Science Museum is entering the art scene this season with a load of rubbish.
Years after 'The Rubbish Library/Library Rubbish', a 2008 Japanese installation featuring the reading material thrown out by citizens of Moriya in a day and a week's worth of the local library's garbage, artist Joshua Sofaer is bringing trash into his work once again for The Rubbish Collection.
In the project's first phase, which lasts until July 15th, the public is invited to collect, sort, photograph and archive all the garbage produced by the Science Museum's staff and visitors - a task that directly engages participants in the way we dispose of waste. (In a true demonstration of the depth of human curiosity, people seem to be enjoying the discovery process.) The second phase is the exhibition itself: an installation of all the garbage produced by the institution over 30 days. Containing everything from paper to spare change to the remnants of lunch, the mountains of trash are destined to shine a spotlight on the fact that throwing garbage away may remove it from our consciousness, but not from our environment. This is, after all, a part of the museum's Climate Changing programme.
While the thought of perusing piles of putrefying banana peels might not be tempting to everyone, the idea itself is undeniably beautiful: says Sofaer, "The Rubbish Collection ... inverts the idea of the museum preserving what is sacred or unique, asking us to consider what we choose to keep, what we discard, and why."
Feel like getting your hands dirty? Visit the Science Museum by July 15th and dig in! For those who would really, truly, love to sift through trash but... won't... the museum's Tumblr might whet your appetite for a visit during Phase Two.
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