July 6 to September 7, 2019
David Jacob Harder started journaling his interactions with the materiality of everyday objects in 2012. While working on large-scale projects as part of his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Thompson Rivers University, he began keeping a “metal journal” where he recorded his daily encounters with metal objects. More recently Harder has been chronicling every plastic object he uses on a daily basis. For each object, he records what it is and its estimated lifespan and he writes about his personal connection to and use of the object. Harder then casts each object in concrete, creating a monument to each of these objects while quantifying the volume of space each object takes up.
David Jacob Harder
In the case of the plastic vessels he casts, the transformation to a now solid object emphasizes the way in which it takes up space. In a time when plastic bags and bottles, expendable objects and large oceanic plastic piles are under deeper scrutiny, Harder’s meticulous recording of his experience with these objects brings attention to how much plastic we each encounter in our everyday lives and reveals how dependent we have become on the material. Some plastic objects are made for durability and to conserve weight when filled with liquid, while others are discarded immediately after a brief period of use – most do not biodegrade. By bringing attention to every object he uses, Harder points to our individual complicity, the sheer quantity of plastics discarded and the amount of resources that have gone into the creation of these modern conveniences.
Referencing the cellular make-up of plastic material itself and the transformation to cast concrete, Harder’s sculptural constellations take the form of a polyhedron, the Classical Greek word meaning “many bases” which describes a mass or surface in three dimensions with flat polygonal faces, straight edges and sharp corners. By connecting these seemingly disparate objects, Harder makes the accumulation of these materials visible and exposes the connection between individual actions and the common good.
Curated by Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.
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