Recyclable coffee cups, recyclable takeaway packaging, napkins made from recycled paper – in urban cafés and bistros, the green revolution seems to have won long ago.

We ride our bikes, shop with baskets or jute bags at packaging-free supermarkets, and have helped provision boxes and glass drinking bottles achieve a renaissance. We seem to have disposed of waste from our lives – as far as a modern and urban lifestyle allows.

But the fact that we, as conscious and sustainably thinking consumers, see less waste thanks to such concepts does not mean that we no longer produce any.The 3-channel video installation „Head and Shoulders“ asks what effects it would have if „invisible“ pollution were also visible to consumers – handily packaged, ready to go:

An oversized transparent „soy fish“ with a cap stands on a turntable in the center of the room and carries a projector inside it. (Dimensions 140 cm x 90 cm) From the cap on the „mouth“ of the fish, a video work is projected onto the opposite walls: Braided artificial hair in the water, swirling, leaving traces of color, penetrating and being swallowed at the transition between thought and matter, man and nature.

The work „head and Shoulders“ thereby also reflects the milieu- and gender-specific aspects of waste generation and recycling: How does my gender role affect my consumer behavior and my handling of waste? Why are topics such as sustainability and conscious consumption mostly connoted and staged as female in the media and advertising? How can this arbitrary linkage be explained and broken? But also: Which privileges make it possible to deal with and implement conscious consumerism at all?

The „soy fish“ as a symbol of take-away food is thus decontextualized and reinterpreted, whereby the work appropriates the paradoxical simultaneity of nature (fish), pollution (plastic) and costume (soy sauce) in form, material and content, and condenses it into a reassuring unity in the stream of environmental pollution and salvation in which we all find ourselves.

video@Jakob Geßner

artist: Marie Jaksch // funded by Bezirksausschuss Neuhausen-Nymphenburg / Sponsoring: Deutsche Eiche München, DLRG Pöcking-Starnberg e.V.

Pathos München, Dachauer Str. 110D, 80636 München