Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape by Alejandro Durán

Issue 92

Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape is an environmental installation and photography project that transforms the international debris washing up on Mexico's Caribbean coast into aesthetic yet disquieting works.

Over the course of this project Durán has identified plastic waste from fifty-eight nations and territories on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka'an, Mexico's largest federally protected reserve and an UNESCO World Heritage site. He uses this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures that conflate the hand of man and nature. At times he distributes the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic mimics algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.

More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament. The resulting photo series depicts a new form of colonization by consumerism, where even undeveloped land is not safe from the far-reaching impact of our culture of disposable products. The alchemy of Washed Up lies not only in transforming a trashed landscape, but in the project’s potential to raise awareness and change our relationship to consumption and waste.

Alejandro Durán lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
To view more of Alejandro's work, please visit his website.

 Derrame

Derrame

 
 Amanecer

Amanecer

 
 Cocos

Cocos

 
 Raíces

Raíces

 
 Mar

Mar

 
 Bombillas

Bombillas

 
 Algas

Algas

 
 Nubes

Nubes

 
 Brotes

Brotes

 
 Luz Caída

Luz Caída

 
 Atardecer

Atardecer

 
 Plastiflor

Plastiflor

 
 Espuma

Espuma

 
 Vena

Vena

 
 Rayo

Rayo

 
 Viento de Jade

Viento de Jade

 
 Gota

Gota