The dump behind the glass factory

DeTox - Clean it up!

Our work will expand the task of clean up to include a deep consideration of the act of cleaning, and of that which is being ‘cleaned up’. In doing so, clean up becomes not just an act of covering over, or moving aside, or shifting out of sight, but a reflection on cleaning as a human [and other than human] activity, and a revaluation of that which was previously deemed valueless.

  • Daniel Peltz, Rejmyre Art Lab research leader

One of the propositions of artistic research is a repositioning of the artists’ role in society, as one who, through the making of artworks, facilitates a process of public reflection and the consideration of contemporary complexities. This is what contemporary artists are being trained to do in art academies around the world but there are fewer opportunities for us to exercise these skills in real world contexts.

The philosophical proposition of Detox is that ‘waste’ is ‘valuable material’. Engaging artists in a clean-up process allows us to tap into this latent value. In order to ‘clean it up’, we need to take responsibility not just for its safe disposal but to account for its potential as a resource that allows us to consider who we were, who we are and who might be becoming.

For hundreds of years, the Reijmyre Glasbruk has produced glass objects and sold the ‘finished products’ while keeping some of the leftovers in piles behind the factory. At first the piles were clearly separate from the surrounding landscape but with time they merged with and became the landscape. Through this multi-year project we will engage a group of regional and international artists in ‘researching’ this situation, i.e. the waste that is slated to be ‘cleaned up’.

The dump behind the glass factory
The dump behind the glass factory
participating artists looking out over the dump during a site visit
participating artists looking out over the dump during a site visit
Map of Rejmyre and the contaminated area with levels, Kristoffer Tejlgaard
Project funders
Project funders
Rui Sasaki