Gardner Fellowship In Photography 2016

TRES Art Collective (Ilana Boltvinik + Rodrigo Viñas, Mexico City) is an art research collective that has focused on exploring the implications of public space and garbage through artistic practices that concentrate on the methodological intertwining and dialogue with science, anthropology, and archaeology among other disciplines.  Their works have been presented in Connecting Spaces, upcoming July, and festival 2015 (UK), Metropolis Biennale 2009 (Denmark), the public art section of the XV Festival of Mexico City FMCH (Mexico City), in the Amsterdam Global City #2: Mexico, WCA World Cinema (Netherlands), ViBGYOR International Film Festival (India), Festival TransitioMX_05 Bio mediations, and Cultural Center of Spain (Mexico City) among others. Individually their works have been shown in over 20 screenings and art exhibitions in Latin

For their Fellowship year, Boltvinik and Vinas will be developing the second phase of their project Ubiquitous Trash, a beach-waste, art-based, research series, which began in Hong Kong in 2015 and will now expand Western Australian beaches. Trash no longer has a clear frontier. Soda bottles made in China may wash up on a beach in Mexico or Australia; or, medical waste from New York may be found on the beaches of Brazil or Iceland. Trash from anywhere can be found everywhere.  Western Australian beaches are the most polluted in its country. A CSIRO study estimates that more than 150 million pieces of rubbish litter Australia's sand and shores, and research from the Southern Cross University has found that a third of bottles collected in a preliminary survey were from China.  The project draws upon disciplines of biology, archaeology, economics, and anthropology to create a complex understanding of the material waste at hand. An intimate relationship with the objects can be developed through physical descriptions, biological residue analysis, uses, values, decay, and site-specific context.

Since 2009, TRES Art Collective (Boltvinik and Vinas) has focused on exploring the implications of public space and garbage; in particular, garbage as a physical and conceptual residue with political and material implications. Previous projects have focused on the various aspects or qualities of garbage: its mobility (A Cluster of Oblivion 2009), its spatial traits (Blind Spots 2010), its symbolic value (An Informal Gaze 2009), its aesthetics (Desechos Reservados 2009), its intimacy (All that Shines is Gold 2011), its permanence (Chicle y Pega 2012), and  its scientific potential (Urotransfrontation DTC-UR013, 2013).

Boltvinik and Vinas have established a work methodology that involves walks and explorations (in-spired by Situationist dérives), as well as scavenging that help them detect and contextualize waste through meticulous observation. According to Boltvinik and Vinas “The intimacy with which we, as a collective, live with trash is extended into an aesthetic experience through photography. We derive a sense of pleasure and voyeurism through the close-ups and panoramic views.” Waste narratives emerge and are made visible with their fieldwork: photography, video and drawing. This work is then complemented and woven in with statistics, interviews, and art-based research to render the global dimension of the problem in a way that it is accessible to others.

Ilana Boltvinik holds a BA from the National School of the Art, Mexico City and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Netherlands and is currently working on a PhD on Public space and garbage at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM). She is a faculty member of Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana.  

Rodrigo Viñas holds a NB in Art from the University Claustro de Sor Juana, Mexico City, is a member of the alternative photographic workshops, Mexico City, and is currently completing an MA in photography at UNAM. He was head of exhibitions at Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City from 2012–2014.

Tres Art Collective website