Within this project Ralf Sander is developing and testing artistic strategies to raise awareness on the ecological crisis through visual art. The art installation in Glanmire Community College, Cork, Ireland is the result of an international, blind peer reviewed public art competition. It is made of cast plastic waste and awarded 35.000 EU for realization.
The aim of this research is to build a new ecological awareness within society and to make proposals for action and agenda. The project also was used to test and develop new techniques for sculpture using plastic waste. Casting marine plastic as a medium, like paint or clay, to create artwork is the idea. Although often aesthetically beautiful, this work points to the concerning profusion of these plastics in our environment. The artwork supports education and identity building using aesthetics as an integral part of the overall quality of the school environment and the educational experience. Sanders method is sometimes using irony or it is a serious attempt to find illuminating concepts and their verbalizations, using data from existing discourse, practical observations and findings. Often his work is teasing the audience and creates a moment of success mixed with doubt and guilt for the current ecological situation. Between two pillars from a certain point of observation the viewer discovers the outline of a jogger ( exercise needed today to compensate the lack of natural opportunity to use your body) and from the other side “Venus de Milo” becomes visible. A sculpture often used as the symbol of western culture and civilization but absent, surrounded by waste, but beautiful.
Looking closer however the viewer discovers that the two pillars are looking like fossil stones but not fossils of shells but cast plastic bottles and other civilization waste, the FUTURE FOSSILS of the Anthropocene.