Scarp

Jarod Charzewski’s exhibition titled Scarp opened at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art on September 5th 2008. This installation project encapsulates North America’s consumer culture which leads to overcapacity landfill sites.

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I grew up in the inner city of Winnipeg but spent summers in rural Manitoba so I try to combine my street sensibility with prairie landscape esthetics and, as in reality; the meeting is not always graceful. This installation uses the idea of land as a capsule for history. A section of exposed earth also known as escarpment reveals sedimentary layers of rock and earth containing natural geological artifacts. These layers are in essence the history of our planet. This project is about fabricating history with our own synthetic and fleeting artifacts as the medium.

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A precise wooden and cardboard armature held up the 5000 articles of clothing.

The Geology of the North American Consumer Culture

The purchasing habits of the North American consumer requires the extraction on
our planets resources only to replace them with processed goods in the form of
discarded merchandise. This geological cross section shows the new and improved
layers of the Earth. Through our ever expending and multiplying landfill sites these
new layers will provide us with a planet rich in synthetic nutrients and chemically
enhanced goodness.

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Like other projects in my portfolio Scarp references the Earth and the human presence on it. The speed at which we mass-produce, mass-consume and then reproduce goods and materials is questionable to our survival. Perceived obsolescence is a design strategy that inspires consumers to replace their perfectly good belongings with new items. This attitude towards consumerism is what this project will encapsulate.

In reality these layers are made of compressed sand, soil and rock, which posses their own geological data. The layers or the Scarp project consists of a variety of clothing to create a more immediate version of time and human history. The multi faceted outer surface materials has been obtained with the cooperation Goodwill Industries and returned to them after the exhibit has closed.