In a field at the foot of the mountain, rows of plastic cups wisely lined up in a row grow like corn cobs; on a beach, an army of plastic soldiers have just disembarked and set out to discover the island; on the sea this time, an army of plastic bags, with identifiable marks, symbols of a consumer society that has gone freewheeling, resembles an invincible armada attacking some new coast.
Another one: at the foot of a mountain, an army of forks, proudly erected, form battalions that have nothing to envy the Napoleonic armies.
In short, the most beautiful places on the planet are in the grip of a cold and controlled invasion of plastic attackers. The effect is striking.
In 2017, the German city of Essen is nominated "Green Capital of Europe". The German photographer Dirk Krull and a friend were thinking of making a photographic series related to this event.
This is how Plastic Army was born, a series that now includes 11 images, taken in Mallorca, in the Alps, or in Iceland. The locations are varied, but the theme remains the same: to emphasize, through images, current environmental concerns. To do this, Dirk Krull becomes a land-artist and a photographer, the two often going hand in hand: he creates works of art in the landscape, in other words "land-art" based on an element that we generally hope not to find (plastic), then he immortalizes the scene with his camera. This is how scary, absurd and amusing photos emerge at the same time.
Of course, the artist photographer then dismantles his installations and nature regains its rights.
"With my colleague, we worked upstream to be able to realize the 14 defined themes, by collecting, cleaning all these plastic objects of the everyday life. We look for an idea, then we see in which theme it fits: invasion, occupation, transformation. We then look for the adequate place, we ask for the authorizations, we prepare the necessary logistics to set up the scene and its shooting. The installation itself takes us a few more days. The images are then designed to have an aesthetic, seductive aspect, and this aspect is further reinforced in the studio," explains the photographer, who works with a Nikon F 850 with excellent resolution.
"The concept of this series is very simple: the Plastic Army talks about a major problem of environmental pollution in a playful and aesthetic way. They are only metaphors, but these images tell stories about the incursion of enemies into nature, their conquest of the landscape, the mutation of the locally living, the amalgamation of waste in natural spaces, all leading straight to the dissolution of nature. These deliberately very aesthetic allegories show monstrous and frightening facts: the invasion of plastic waste into our world".
Check out the artworks of this singular artist on Artmajeur.
Born in 1958 in Düsseldorf.
Since 1988, freelance journalist and artist.
The artist had several exhibitions planned for 2020, ... all cancelled by the health situation.
Published in many magazines, including Geo, New York Times Magazine, Zeitmagazin, Spiegel...
His photographs are in several collections: Ruhrmuseum Essen; Haus der deutschen Geschichte, Leipzig; Deutsche Fussballmuseum Dortmund, etc).
Text: Anne Devailly