Showing for two more days in the Long Room at Treasury 1860, AnthropScenes’ Plastisphere is a crying exclamation to the inter-generational impacts of Climate Change.
Created by Laura Collins (theatre-maker) and Alex Borowiak (climate scientist) and joined by composer Louis Stevens and film-maker Conor Jamieson, the art collective have created a unique space embodying the cloying fear and devastation caused by environmental pollution. The collections title, Plastisphere, refers to ecosystems that have adapted to live in human-made plastic environments.
Enclosed in the dungeon-like lower rooms of the Treasury, Plastisphere is an immersive art installation containing aspects of sculpture, video, audio, and poetry. The entrance to the installation is within the Treasury’s courtyard – a member of the group stands off to one side and leads you through the labyrinthine stairs to the beginning of the Long room. Behind heavily closed doors are two adjoining rooms; a narrow hallway leading to a space the size of a small child’s bedroom. The door is shut behind you and claustrophobia is only just kept at bay.
Dead tree branches line the heavily shadowed corridor, limbs covered in threads and pieces of plastic. Speakers lie hidden in the eaves and ghostly whispers inter-spaced with raised voices are continuously played on a loop. Walking into the next space, further dead trees are arranged in the corners, covered in sheets of plastic debris as two video-pieces are projected onto the furthermost and left hand side walls. Forlorn faces are looped on the screens with captions of light placed across their bodies and faces. The statements are beautifully written laments for the hopelessness of our and future generations: “We are your stagnant future; Pump poison into the sky; Use by dates will expire; You will watch with dead eyes; Breaking the unspoken contract”. These periodic statements of poetry are the highlight of the piece and effectively mirror the sentiments created by the entire installation.
The shows concept is sound: the message is particularly pertinent during this time of climate denial and political dispute. The setting is haunting and the atmosphere of unease is incredibly well executed by AnthropScenes. However the space selected for the installation is very limiting – perfect for creating a cloying atmosphere for the audience, but impractical for the two projectors in the corner. As the only person in the room at the time, it was easy enough finding a space to situate myself that didn’t disrupt the lighting or movie. But with even two more people, it’d be difficult to not disrupt the light and the overall effect of the production.
Plastisphere presents an important message with good intentions, but was let down by the selected venue and limited space to execute their vision. An intriguing side-journey for your commute home or night-out, and certainly worth a peak and moment of self-reflection.
Tickets to the event are free. For more information, visit their Fringe page Here.
By Grace Kungel