Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Met the Trashiest People at Ariel Sharon Park

While perusing Facebook on the evening of Sunday, April 13th, I saw that some of my friends had spent time over the weekend attending a temporary art installation in Tel Aviv that looked pretty cool.  So cool that I simply would have died of anticipation had I been forced to wait an entire work week to go see it myself.  Fortunately, the office was closed on Tuesday, April 15th due to first day of the Passover holiday.  With great glee, I shoved TJ in the car on Tuesday morning and made him drive me to Tel Aviv.
Trash People consists of one thousand life sized humanoid
sculptures made from crushed cans, electronic waste, and other rubbish that, together, form artist HA Schult's critical commentary on human consumption.

"The Trash People are images of ourselves.  We produce trash and we will become trash.  Today's Coca-Cola bottle is the Roman archaeological find of tomorrow...The pyramids of the present are the garbage dumps"

The above quote comes from the official website, which also features numerous photos depicting the exhibit and the stunning locales in which it has been installed since its inception in 1996.  Places such as...

L:  Red Square, Moscow (1999)
R:  Great Wall of China, Beijing (2001)

L:  Pyramids of Giza (2002)
R:  Matterhorn and Lake Stellisee, Zermatt (2003)

L:  Cathedral Square, Cologne (2006)
R:  Piazza del Popolo, Rome (2007)

Israel, however, got a trash dump.  Yes.  That's right.  A trash dump.

Ariel Sharon Park, Tel Aviv (2014)

Ariel Sharon Park is located on top of what was once The Hiriya, a 60 meter high mound of waste.  The landfill is now closed but the conversion process is still underway.  Once completed, the park will be the largest new urban park to be built anywhere in the world over the last century.

When we arrived at the park, which although greatly improved still bears the visual and aromatic scars of its former existence, we felt somewhat shortchanged.  Why were we standing on top of the final resting place of someone's Tuesday night leftovers instead of in front of one of the many iconic attractions that the region has to offer?  How stunning would this exhibit have looked if displayed outside of Jerusalem's Old City?  Sure, you can see Tel Aviv in the background…but it's so far away.

Of course, when one stops to think about it, an exhibit of this nature belongs here.  What better place to acknowledge mankind's addiction to waste than on the site of man's very attempt to correct that flaw?

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