WASTED: Artist Alex White Mazzarella’s New Exhibit Explores Social Inequality Using Recycled Materials

by , 03/26/13

alex white mazzarella, wasted, recycled art, green art, eco art, sustainable art, willets point queens, willets point gentrification, willets point junkyard, resobox

INHABITAT: WASTED contains works you created while in multiple locations in the world. Did those locations have anything in common that influenced your art?

Alex White Mazzarella: For Detroit, Dharavi and Willets Point, yes there was a commonality in the fact that they were all products of different stages of our industrial process. Detroit perhaps represents the post-industrial, the decentralized, the cut and run. Dharavi and Willets Point both represent dynamic innovative places of industrial activities that are in the process of a forced de-industrialization via institutionalized real estate speculation.

INHABITAT: In addition to being an artist, you’re also the founder of ARTEFACTING. Can you tell us about that organization?

Alex White Mazzarella: Artefacting is a 501 (c)3 non-profit urban regeneration initiative that creates and curates public art projects as a vehicle to vitalize culture and stimulate social cohesion & capital.We facilitate and create inclusive cultural productions in communities worldwide. Participants and collaborators are brought together to construct a dialogue of progress and identify commonalities through a creative process that aims to work off of the social capital and social cohesion of a community. Out of this process come “Artefacts” (art, performances, photographs, film, exhibitions, etc.) that materialize and reinforce the stories, issues and cultures of a people and place. These “Artefacts” unify the creators and provide understanding to outside audiences. Ultimately our inclusive cultural productions aim to transform people into resources that can benefit themselves, their communities and their cities. In short, our teams believe that people are the central asset and key resource to their own revitalization and regeneration. Revitalization and regeneration occur through activities that create value and cultivate the minds and souls of individuals. These are means to activating people as producers of their own culture rather than simply the consumers of other people’s culture.

INHABITAT: What is the main goal you would like to achieve through WASTED?

Alex White Mazzarella: I wouldn’t say there is a main goal per se, but it’s geared to raise some awareness for the struggles of the workers of Willets Point, exhibit how my work has evolved and matured over the course of three years and provide some sparks to contemplate wasted in the context of our consumer culture – whether its natural ecology, our emotional balance, or social equity. And lastly, to find beautiful homes for the artwork.

INHABITAT: Do you have any other projects on the horizon that we should know about?

Alex White Mazzarella: Yes, I’m going to Delhi in April for an artists residency. Then looking to go to Cologne to collaborate on a performance-based project that will engage diverse citizens called “Am I Labor?”

If you would like to see WASTED for yourself, the exhibition will be on display at Resobox until April 4th.

+ Alex White Mazzarella

+ Resobox