WASTE LAND screening and talk by Russell Hill

To coincide with Advertising Exhibition’s Rubbish Gallery with Alice Bradshaw, we organised a screening of award-winning documentary WASTE LAND  and we invited Russell Hill, 2011 Catlin Art Prize winner, along to discuss found objects and his views on ‘rubbish’ in art.

Russell at Whirled Cinema

I approached Alice to ask if she wanted to collaborate on a project which extended the open-for-all remit of LINES and she suggested working on a new collection for her Museum of Contemporary Rubbish (MoCR). The year long project invited artists to send in, via our open forum, discards or any other form of rubbish: it couldn’t be used again, it had to be thrown out, given away or recycled. We then catalogued each entry, gave them a number and displayed them on the Advertising Exhibitions website.

Then we decided we wanted something more public, so…we hired Whirled Cinema for the evening and screened WASTE LAND.

Me and Russell spoke long and hard about how to link his postmodern art practice to the documentary – we are both huge fans of Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York (1960) and Michael Landy’s Breakdown (2001) and spoke about the use of commercial products and their discard. After Russell’s talk there was a lively debate and we carried all the equipment into Brixton for a few drinks.


Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.






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