Dirt & dignity, 2020

The never-ending circular motion of bodies getting dirty and then bathed, clothes getting stained and then washed, the living room floor filled with toys which are then picked up again, just to be thrown all over the place once more within an hour caused me to initiate my work Dirt and Dignity. In the project, I use processes of pollution in order to produce sculptural objects. This act of letting pollution become part of an artistic method is used to visualize hierarchical differences between different sorts of production and mark-making. Playground sand collected from my children’s sneakers, a stained table cloth, and cut-outs of stains left on a plastic floor mat are examples of materials and processes used in the project. The method of autotheory is used throughout the artistic process to research and regard these mundane situations through a theoretical and philosophical lens. The esthetic choices are then informed by different sets of theory relating to the specific derivative action or situation. The sculptural objects are placed back into the situation from which they derive where they are activated in different ways by the different inhabitants of the apartment. The cat scratches her claws against one object, and falls asleep on top of another, the children use them in their play. And I move them around and clean them, an ouroboro is created.

‘Dirt is just matter out of place-sculpture’
plastic floor mat, playground sand, cardboard

‘Skratching sculpture’ (before skratches) 
Catnip spray, textile, foam rubber, cardboard

‘Crying clean’, cloth diaper, jesmonite, glass

‘Leftovers sculpture’
Stained table cloth, IKEA frames, led-lights

‘Bathroom tornado’
Washcloth, jesmonite, hair, plaster, resin, glazed tile

© Clara Aldén 2024