Zoe-Lee Skelton

‘The comic, at its most intense, as in folly, presents a counter world, an upside-down world’ -Peter L. Berger-

The comic dimension of Human Experience To ontologically examine trash reflects obsolescence back onto us. Confronted with futility, exhorted by an object compounding our finitude only saturates the inevitable – The rot sets in. I used to pity unwanted items, once possessions in a previous life. I could grow capriciously angry towards mass-produced waste. And still I remain perplexed by the production of things envisaged to be instantaneously discarded; I empathise with Waste. We are what we throw away; a sensual archive of individual habits and desires; an extension of our being. For this reason I found trash as an entity to be effective in a provocative deployment. For protest- an invective towards human, political and social constructs. To this end, trash is a fissure in the accepted order as it was originally cast out. Trash art became a form of resistance.

Recently I have been working towards a contestive humour. For all of the bleak offerings of trash, a brief flash of humour can provide a return to common sense by distancing us from it, we return to the common world through defamiliarisation with the crisis or issue. If humour returns us to sensus communis then it does so by at first, pulling us out of common sense. The uncommon sense is the comedy of waste: the oscillation between its banality, commonness, familiarity, and then ultimately its strangeness.




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