San Francisco Airport Museum, March – October 2013
United Terminal 3 (exhibition viewable by ticketed passengers)
This exhibition presents over one-hundred pieces made by forty-five artists during their residencies at Recology. All of the works on display were made in the art studio at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Facility and constructed from materials the artists scavenged from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area. Founded in 1990, the Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Program promotes recycling and reuse, and encourages people to reflect on how their consumption practices affect the environment. Over one-hundred Bay Area artists have participated in the program since its founding.
“They’re making art out of recycled crap!” was just one of many expressions of appreciation overheard on a recent tour of the Art of Recology exhibition in Terminal 3 of San Francisco’s International Airport. Open through October 2013, the myriad of artworks displayed — including a whale tail made from discarded ropes, a gown made from newspaper delivery bags, and a life-sized Styrofoam Hummer — is expected to be viewed by more than 2.5 million people.
Having a reputation as one of San Francisco’s most trashy, wasted, and rotten reporters, I was kindly invited by the composting conglomerate to go on an artist-led tour of the exhibition, an offer I just couldn’t
throw away refuse. If you find yourself in the United Terminal at SFO over the next three months you will literally not be able to miss this extraordinary show, but for those without travel plans I’d like to share a few impressions of a collection that SFO Museum Curator of Exhibitions Tim O’Brien says conveys “the need to change our view of material goods and their disposal in the waste stream.”
The Styrofoam Hummer, by Andrew Junge
When Andrew Junge began his residency, he was impacted by the amount of Styrofoam that entered the waste stream and decided to make something from this rightfully maligned material that would be a metaphor for consumption and waste—and so the Styrofoam Hummer was born. The life-sized replica of the civilian and military vehicle was constructed from hundreds of pieces of packing material that he formed into blocks, assembled, and hand-shaped.