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#plastic.habit


Our everyday life is full of habits. And full of plastic. Habitual plastic. Habits often run unconsciously. They are fixed points in our daily routine. Just as we often unconsciously surround ourselves with plastic and it is part of our daily routine. Opening a tube of toothpaste, a bottle cap, using a lighter to light a candle: we are used to these things. And just as we no longer question everyday habits, we don't really question our use of plastic. We buy plastic even though we want to buy something completely different: drinks, food, things that we need every day. We got used to plastic. It disappears from our consciousness at the latest when we throw it into the recycling bin. But the journey of plastic is far from over there. Plastic moves in a world that is characterized by connectivity. It is lost, carelessly thrown away or randomly blown away. The rain shower brings it to a stream, the river, the sea. No matter whether we live near or far from water, our habits have consequences that are far greater than we often realize. The bottle cap, the lost pacifier, the torn off protective film, they wander into the environment, into the sea. And some are washed back to the beaches. I look for the everyday objects of our habits on the beaches. Each of these fascinating but also horrific objects in our everyday life has its own story. And each one reminds us that little habits can take on big dimensions. I collect the plastic objects, clean them and put them in pose with my camera, very little post-processing and simple utensils. I highlight the objects as aesthetic and important, stage them colourfully. It would make sense to show the objects in the context in which I found them on the beach. I also photographed them there, as documentation. But with my way of presenting them, I consciously reduce the focus on the respective object in order to increase the effect. The combination with bright colours underlines the artificiality of the material. Every part that I have picked up symbolizes a habit of our everyday life - and the inattention or the consequences that our habits have. With every part thrown away, we increase the destruction and pollution of our environment. The plastic material itself has a strong symbolic power in this context. Just like habits, it is robust, resilient and does not simply disappear if you ignore it – it remains in the world with all the negative consequences. With this project I want to contribute to making us more aware of our habits, questioning the role of everyday actions, changing them and protecting our environment. Many habits are invisible, but they are visible through the plastic on the beach. It shows that personal habits have consequences for everyone.

Pia Parolin, 17 February 2021

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