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OED Definition
Pronunciation: /dɪˈskɑːdz/
Noun plural: things rejected as no longer useful or desirable.
Origin: late 16th century (originally in the sense ‘reject (a playing card’): from dis- (expressing removal) + the noun card

“As an artists I work with discarded objects and would rarely manufacture or fabricate a new work. Working with objects already available to me in the world is a small anti consumer, activist statement. I believe we discard too many objects that could be repaired or reused.” Hilary Jack in conversation with Alice Bradshaw, December 2012.

“I work with discards because they would normally add familiarity and association to people. But at the same time, I like to break that association by juxtaposing the objects with other elements. The purpose is to bring new perspectives to the objects which seem so familiar to many.” Livia Garcia in conversation with Alice Bradshaw, January 2013.

“I like to use found objects and images in my photographs as a kind of sculptural readymade. I am fascinated by what people leave behind either intentionally or unintentionally and I’m constantly on the watch for what we leave in our collective wake, when I am out and about with my camera I’m alert to all sorts of different visual possibilities.” Daniel Bass in conversation with Alice Bradshaw, October 2013.

“Everything we make or destroy becomes a vessel or a mirror for meaning, so I am constantly trying to negotiate this idea of depicting or holding. While I was working on Amazing Grace I had no idea what it meant, but I felt the need to collect as many of the baby strollers as was necessary for the ideas to form. The activity of looking for and finding strollers helped me develop a sene of humility and trust towards the meaning they offered. I kept asking myself what the accumulation of objects meant and why it was so important for me to collect them. Eventually I was able to find a structur4 that worked for the question I was asking. Perhaps for each viewer the discarded strollers represent a moment in time which is present in their psyche but can never be experienced again.” Nari Ward in conversation with Anna Daneri, Mousse Magazine Issue 38, April-May 2013, p.124.

“Putting the rubbish out is an age old ritual, sometimes it seems almost like it’s symbolically placed. People have always had to make the distinction, and this expresses an anthropological point, between the raw and the cooked, the clean and the dirty, the abstract and the pragmatic, in fact all those discarded objects are very culturally revealing. They are highly aesthetisized objects of amazing, capitalist complexity and how they get transported to the shops around the museum and get drunk, before getting discarded, is a wonder. The main sources of Egyptian archaeological remains are the tomb and the rubbish pile. What might archaeologists of the future make of us? How would they decipher our waste and attempt to recuperate meaning? If we were buried by Egyptian rules, what would we expect to take with us?” Richard Wentworth in conversation with James Putnam, April 1997

“I tend to try and make something of the discarded material, elevate it, value its material, and transform it, or simply recognise its worth. Sometimes it’s just a means to an end, but I don’t think of it as rubbish. I don’t have a hierarchy of worth between found or bought either way. I have always used discarded things because they are often interesting and ‘there’.” Victoria Rance in conversation with Alice Bradshaw, October 2013.

Robyn Woolston – Strangers in a Strange Land (2013) discarded plastic packaging

Robyn Woolston – Strangers in a Strange Land (2013) discarded plastic packaging.

“Recycling and responsibility is the overriding message of ‘Strangers in a Strange Land’ but the piece also represents an interesting art history reference. The layout of the bales nod to Carl Andre’s infamous ‘Equivalent VIII’ (1966), a sculpture created from 120 firebricks. Like Andre’s bricks the bales have a double-meaning; they are waste yet embody value, they have been both discarded and harvested.” Walker Art Gallery Statement 2013 on Strangers in a Strange Land (2013)

Nari Ward – Amazing Grace (1993) 310 abandoned strollers collected by the artist from the streets of his neighbourhood surrounded by a field of flattened fire hoses, accompanied by a recording of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson singing “Amazing Grace”

Livia Garcia – Once Lost (2008-2009) video and found glove, 3cm (W) x 12cm (D) x 13cm (H)

Daniel Bass – Lost Shoes (2006 – 2012)

Hayley Newman – Domestique (2010-2013) embroidered dishcloths

Maurice Carlin – The Self Publisher (2009-2011) collecting discarded material from photocopy shops

Victoria Rance – Tent (2005) silicone, bronze and steel (redundant clock hands found in a now long gone clock repair shop), 16.5 x 14.5 x 9cm

Mike Nelson – After Kerouac (2006) discarded tyres found around the M6, as shown at Eastside Projects, Birmingham

Michael Johansson – The Move Overseas (2012) containers, household items, 6 x 7.8 x 2.4m

Jonathan Callan – The Defrauder (2006) discarded books and screws, 320 x 280 x 30cm

Hilary Jack - Make do and Mend (2006) repaired and replaced umbrella

Hilary Jack – Make do and Mend (2006) repaired and replaced umbrella

Jean Shin – Chance City (2001-09) $32,404 worth of discarded “Scratch & Win” losing lottery tickets (no adhesive), 213 x 640 x 305cm.

Christian Boltanski – No Man’s Land (2010) 30 tons of discarded clothing

Martin Soto Climent – Impulsive Chorus (2010)

Hiroshi Fuji – Central Kaeru Station – Where have all these toys come from? (2012) 50,000 toys collected in “Kaekko” toy exchange over 13 years at over 5000 events across 1000 locations in Japan and further afield

Discards: Richard Wentworth – Questions of Taste (1997)

Richard Wentworth – Questions of Taste (1997)

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