June 29, 2012
These fish sculptures made from plastic bottles were apparently an officially-sanctioned part of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that took place in Brazil last week. (via: Unconsumption) The artist who designed the installation remains somewhat of an internet mystery. While most of the reaction has been very positive…
The gorgeous fish glitter with reflection of the sun’s rays, juxtaposed against a beautiful backdrop of Rio’s mountains. Each sparkles with blue hues from the plastic, but are also illuminated at night, in warm blues and reds from LED and projected lights. The oversized installations welcome visitors to wander through and around their shimmering scales…
The beautiful sculptures can be enjoyed on the idyllic Botafogo Beach for the duration of the Rio +20 conference.
… there was some dissenting opinion about the worthiness of this project. The breakdown of the glue-gunned bottle sculptures that occurred later in the week was part of a much harsher, contrasting critique by Kari Koch of the Portland Occupier:
This was a demonstration of how clever marketing and a pretty face can create lovely images that briefly cover the destruction of industry, but ultimately falls apart and leaves trash everywhere.
The water bottles are falling all over the beach and the bay at Botafogo Beach is wretched with pollutants and sewage.
The Green Economy wants us to think that our world can be preserved and sustained by continuing to create giant artifacts, plastic constructions, and endless growth. The truth is that we cannot continue to have endless growth. We cannot sustain our world and our lives by producing more and allowing corporate interests to buy off their pollution by owning a forest or by creating public art.
Instead of building fish, corporations need to clean up their messes, leave the public areas to the people who know how to protect them, and ultimately those corporations (and the plastic bottles they create) need to be dismantled.
The same system that created this mess cannot possibly understand how to build an alternative that sustains our world, our communities, and our lives.
This fish of Botafogo will soon be nothing more than plastic particles in trash bags…
Since the artist who created the sculptures is not known, it’s difficult to confirm whether Koch is correct in implying corporate sponsorship.
But there was another high-profile artwork at Rio+20 that also used “recycled” bottles which was sponsored in part by Coca-Cola…
(One more artwork, after the fold…)
A woman takes a picture of an image of Guanabara Bay made of recycled trash, part of an installation by Brazilian plastic artist Vik Muniz, during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)
Vik Muniz’s Landscape Project for Rio+20 was “partially underwritten by corporate sponsors including Coca Cola and Rio-based newspaper O Globo.”
(See also: Coca-Cola® versus SodaStream™)