This environmental installation and photography project transforms the international debris washing up on Mexico’s Caribbean coast into aesthetic yet disquieting works. Durán has identified plastic waste from fifty-three nations and territories on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally protected reserve and an UNESCO World Heritage site. He uses this debris to create colour-based, site-specific sculptures that conflate the hand of man and nature. More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament.
Born in Mexico City in 1974, Alejandro Durán is a multimedia artist now based in Brooklyn, New York. Through photography, installation and video, his work examines the fraught intersections of man and nature, particularly revealing the pervasive impact of consumer culture on the natural world.
Durán has received various recognition for his work, most recently the 2016 Prix Thun for Art and Ethics. He has exhibited his work at the Galería Octavio Paz at the Mexican consulate in New York and was Hunter College’s Artist-in-Residence for 2014-2015 with his solo show, Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape.
Durán has taught youth and adult classes in photography and video since 2002 and has worked as a museum educator at The Museum of Modern Art and The International Center of Photography. He is also the founder of video production company Luma Projects, whose clients include MoMA, The Museum of Arts & Design, and Columbia University.