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Plastic sculptures, different dimensions, 2021
Solo exhibition Hybrid Art Fair, RIU Hotel, Madrid, May 2021
In cooperation with das weisse haus & Austria Cultural Forum, Madrid
text by Frederike Sperling, (das weisse haus)
With her variously-sized sculptures, Lena Rosa Händle zooms into the complex dependencies between plastic and turbocapitalism, ultimately raising urgent questions around the affects and consequences of toxic waste for nature and its diverse ecosystems.
Multiple plastic objects are hanging or laying throughout the space. Like tentacular organisms, they gradually infiltrate the room – morphing out of the Riu Hotel’s hidden cracks and crevices. What or who are they and what are they up to? Will they do harm? Oscillating between states of living and non-living, these creatures evade any deterministic fixation. Instead, they mutate and fluctuate, seemingly ready to change rhythms and directions in no time. Their skin, though rough, is ready to bend and twist into immediate action.
The versatility and animate features of Lena Rosa Händle’s sculptures are reminiscent of the very material characteristics of plastic. Durable and hardly degradable, plastic is inside all of us and everywhere. In the course of the sixty years of plastic mass production, 8.3 billion tonnes have been produced – out of which merely 9% haven been recycled. Plastic pollution – especially in the form of microplastics – is a direct threat to wildlife habitats: In the Pacific Ocean alone, three million tons of plastic are floating between California and Hawaii with the size of Central Europe. Unsurprisingly, there are six times more items of plastic debris than plankton in that area.
Lena Rosa Händle transforms the uncanny truths about our relationship to a toxic material into an immersive spatial intervention. She makes us understand that plastic, a key component for global capitalism, will not go, it will only become more and ultimately take over.
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