Image via the City Reliquary: Larry Racioppo (2017)
From gritty bottles to old electronic waste, Brooklyn’s City Reliquary is a shrine to New York City artifacts that could easily be brushed off as garbage. On April 7th, its current exhibit, NYC Trash!: Past, Present, & Future, will debut an outdoor sculpture garden, created entirely out of trash.
The installation will serve as the second phase of the rotating exhibit, which profiles seven artists and nonprofits, and highlights the ways they are considering waste management in New York City both now and in the future. By presenting trash as cultural artifacts, viewers are able to unearth the story of New York City’s “refuse” and encounter inventive ways New Yorkers are reusing and recycling. The breath of the exhibit spans all the way back to nineteenth-century tenements, and touches upon places like Dead Horse Bay and Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, as well as agencies like the NYC Department of Sanitation.
The museum’s new sculpture garden will feature installations of trash art by local artists, including Claudia Sbrissa, Jeffrey Allen Price, Bernard Klevickas, Niki Lenderer, Barbara Lubliner, the New York Aquarium Wildlife Conservation Corps, and more. Visitors can expect to see sculptures made from salvaged bicycle parts, colorful repurposed plastic turned into hanging pieces, a succulent garden made from plastic bottles, among other sculptures fabricated from reused and found objects.
Additionally, the opening will feature an official DSNY garbage truck parked outside the museum to allow the public to get up close and personal with New York’s trash removal devices. At the opening reception, the City Reliquary will also be streaming 2 Lost Soles, a film about the urgency of conservation, and poet Jacqueline Ottman will read from her book If Trash Could Talk.
The exhibit aims to make us think twice about what we consider disposable, question if things are truly waste, and seek more sustainable methods of disposal. In addition to the debut of the sculpture garden, the City Reliquary will be hosting its 13th annual Collectors’ Night on April 14th at the New York City Fire Museum.
The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization is located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue. NYC Trash! Past, Present & Future will be on view through April 29, 2018. For more information, visit cityreliquary.org.