The Trashing Gesture

The Trashing Gesture, 2020 (Het Vuilnisgebaar, 2020)

12 video’s, various durations, 4K
The Letter – 8′
The Longing – 8′
The Gesture – 4’30”
The Touch – 3’07”
The After Party – 12’29”
The Still Live – 7’51”
The Machine – 9’41”
The Gatherer – 4’56”
The Blower – 4’27”
The Search – 3’53”
The Useful – 5’46”
Residual Waste ..- 2’02”

In the project The Trashing Gesture, we explore those transitional moments that everyone conveniently sees as throwing things away. Often seen as a necessary obligation, a negligent act, a dirty chore, an annoyance. But at the same time, it is also about parting, doubt, attachment.

In the Amsterdam urban landscape, trash is visibly present. Although the underground containers should hide the garbage from view, with great regularity street corners, the vicinity of full containers and popular locations fill with garbage bags, discarded furniture, empty boxes and more. But landscapes do not arise by themselves. Our mantra: every movement creates a landscape. So we grabbed our camera and captured movements around the discarding and reclaiming of trash. And so we discovered the gap, in time and space, between throwing away and cleaning up, two actions we have come to call “Garbage Gestures. Thus, one could define the presence of garbage on the street as an unsolved (or yet to be solved) problem, we observed that between throwing away and cleaning up, there is a responsibility gap. A gap in which trash shapes its own landscape, along with others, animals and objects, that make it their temporary habitat, such as gulls, rats, dogs, inattentive passersby, rain, wind, etc.


Full credits
In cooperation with LAPS, Lectorat Art in Public Space for the Amsterdam Knowledge Workspace The Clean City (Kenniswerkplaats De Schone Stad). 
Special thanks to Stadsreiniging Amsterdam (City Cleaning Amsterdam)