Vicki Clough Curates

Musings on art and life.

Project Vortex, Featured Artist #1—Liina Klauss

My thesis is well under way, but I’ve hit a bit of a wall in terms of the content. It’s been agreed with my supervisor that my work doesn’t fit with the usual guidelines for MFA projects. I’m kind of breaking a mould. Kind of. No surprises there (confirmed by multiple friends, laughter included). The irony is that because I’m talking about socially engaged environmental art as a practice, I might not get to include detailed accounts of specific artists and their inspiring initiatives. So, I’ll be expressing that here, in a somewhat less formal way.

My focus is on Project Vortex artists and Project Vortex University‘s model of engaging with communities to address plastic waste found out of place in the environment. Three artists stand out and relate directly to the local initiative I’m working towards implementing—Aurora Robson (USA), Gabriela Bustamante (the Netherlands) and Liina Klauss (China). Liina Klauss, an illustrator, designer and environmental art activist is originally from Germany and now lives and works in Hong Kong. She travels around China and South East Asia, initiating clean-up efforts to restore the landscape. Locals are invited to attend collection events where plastic waste is picked up, sorted and arranged to form an ephemeral land artwork that is then photographed. Once the project is complete, the objects are removed and recycled, returning the area to a more *natural state. Klauss describes, in an interview for KiniTv, that she is using shock to make people really look at the effects their waste has on the ocean and landscape. However, what I have always found most shocking is that these tactics are necessary to begin with.

Using relational, educational practices appears to be a growing theme in the art world, one that allows for reflection, intersubjectivity and a challenge to cultural and political norms. The growth of “communities of practice” (a term used by Dennis Stevens in relation to craft practice) interests me greatly, as it indicates a move towards more thoughtful actions regarding the earth we live on and the animals (people are animals too) that we share it with.

Liina Klauss River of Rubbish. Shui Hau, Lantau, Hong Kong 2014. No.11 of the series trash-land-art

Liina Klauss River of Rubbish. Shui Hau, Lantau, Hong Kong 2014. No.11 of the series trash-land-art

 

Liina Klauss. Mind Your Head, Imagine Peace Festival, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2014. Participants made fascinators and hair adornments from collected trash found in the landscape.

Liina Klauss. Mind Your Head, Imagine Peace Festival, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2014. Participants made fascinators and hair adornments from collected trash found in the landscape.

 

Waste Mountain Water, Jialeshuei beach, Taiwan, 2014.

Waste Mountain Water, Jialeshuei beach, Taiwan, 2014.

 

Waste Mountain Water in Action.

Waste Mountain Water in Action.

 

Waste Water, 2013. reclaimed bottle caps in drainage. An installation for Micro Galleries

Waste Water, 2013. reclaimed bottle caps in drainage. An installation for Micro Galleries

I have not yet ben able to contact Liina Klauss with regards to my project, however all images used are hers, and link directly back to her blogspot page.

*natural is a slippery word these days.

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One comment on “Project Vortex, Featured Artist #1—Liina Klauss

  1. Pingback: Project Vortex, Featured Artist #2—Gabriela Bustamante | Vicki Clough Curates

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Vicki Clough

Vicki Clough

Vicki is an independent curator and craftsperson with a focus on socially engaged and participatory art and events. In January 2016 she helped launch Reconstructing Resilience, an ongoing research and curatorial project that aims to address the various forms of sustainable practice. She has been the Curatorial Director of Figment Toronto since 2014 and has also co-curated exhibitions including Move to Stillness, for the Harbourfront Centre's Kick Up Your Heels Festival (2015), The Duel, AGO First Thursdays (2014) and What Are You Made Of? OCAD U Graduate Gallery (2013). She initiated the Toronto based workshop model and website Polymers in Action: Socially Engaged Art and the Environment as part of her studies at OCAD University, where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. She publishes on anything that interests her deeply and moves her to the point of lengthy verbal expression.

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