Sarah Knobel© Sarah Knobel, from “Trash 2” series.

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Project | Sarah Knobel: Trash 2

American photographer Sarah Knobel for a month documented her daily waste packed in plastic bags, trying to identify our relationship with the beautiful and the repulsive.

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Artist’s statement.

Recently, I have been interested in looking at objects that are functionally short term and insignificant yet bare permanent physical influence on our environment. For this particular work, I specifically focus on refuse, from food and packaging to cleaning and supplies.

This work serves as partial evidence of my husband’s and my own waste during a residency at AIRY in Kofu, Japan.  For a total of thirty days, I routinely put my daily waste into re-sealable plastic bags. The bags are specialized in nature and generally are purposed to protect collectible magazines and books from the effects of ultraviolet light.  At the end of each week I would document each bag and it’s contents.  I created each image with the intention of referencing product photography with its sleek and clinical reproduction and unbiased perspective. The synthetic materials and organic items merge together to create a new object and a new commodity.

I want to identify our relationship with natural and the artificial, the beautiful and the repulsive. This work isn’t meant to promote thinking about green living, but to create a dialogue about the material cast off promoted by modern life.

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© Images and text: Sarah Knobel.

Artist’s website:

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Click on any picture below to look at the project. Full screen mode is recommended.

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