Schiller Students Committed to Fighting Plastic Pollution
March 15, 2023
All Knowledge Areas
On 6 March 2023, Schiller students enrolled in the IR 505 International Relations & Diplomacy Workshop could discover the “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through” exhibition at the Canadian Cultural Center of Paris.
Scientists and artists have collaborated to create a unique, ambitious, and engaging project that aims at better understanding the impact of plastic pollution in the world by placing it at the heart of the reflection. This material that causes significant pollution on our planet and particularly in the oceans, is exposed as an artistic material, cultural object, geological process, petrochemical product, and synthetic substance.
The installation displays historical and contemporary artworks which treat plastic as a politically charged material, and further investigates into the paradoxes of plastic conservation in museum collections. Already presented in the Fall of 2021 at the Art Museum of the University of Toronto, this exhibition is unveiled for the first time in Paris in a new version, entirely redesigned through the addition of works by French artists.
As a result, the exhibition provided students with the opportunity to know more about the work of Hannah Claus, Tegan Moore, Aude Pariset, Catherine Telford-Keogh, Kelly Jazvac, and Iain Baxter. Students could also watch the short film “Le Chant du styrène”. Directed by Alain Resnais in 1958, this film puts into images the eponymous poem by Raymond Queneau in alexandrines and denounces the whole industrial chain that has led to the manufacture of plastic objects.
The exhibition also demonstrated to Schiller students that it is possible to present art in a different way, for example by recovering resources. For this installation, it was indeed sought to reduce carbon footprint by choosing works that are easy to transport and not very imposing.
This outdoor learning activity was organized by Dr. Myriam Benraad, Global Academic Chair for International Relations & Diplomacy at Schiller International University, Schiller.