It’s what goes inside the kitchen, inside the box I call home. It is voyeurism reversed. It is what cannot be eaten, but comes with the food. As the remnants of a culture of waste, it is a reminder of where we have been. There is nothing that holds it all together, nor breaks it apart. Our personal mountains will far outlive us, telling a story—one that can be analyzed. By making them visual, things become clearer. These are our living cultural skeletons; they just won’t die or go away.
Jeff Becker’s CapaCity Project, on view in AC [Direct] II, was initially started as a response to his inability to recycle plastic caps and container lids. It quickly grew to include all plastics that were not recyclable as well as metal jar lids, egg cartons, phone books and wooden crates. Becker explores how much “trash” he—as an individual, frugal and anti-consumptive person—can generate. Transforming the concept of consumption into a visual installation, his work shows how truly monumental the issue of waste is, especially when multiplied by the world’s 6 billion consumers. Businesses, government, and industry compound the problem further.
CapaCity is one man’s city of refuse, comprised of cast-offs from life in the 21st century. Underscoring the limitations of the planet’s resources and its ability to absorb our contemporary lifestyles, Becker creates a dystopian vision with prophetically dire consequences. The concept within CapaCity also extends to all things where growth is unbounded and unchecked including traffic, the ever increasing assault on our senses by advertising, and the relentless gallop forward of technology.
Becker challenges the viewer to question the point at which the human capacity to manage “progress” is overwhelmed. Will our own mountains of trash be our undoing, or will we be torn apart by the ever increasing rate of change?
About the Artist
Jeff Becker’s work has been exhibited in a vacant storefront for Art on the Edge (New Haven), Yale Women’s Center (New Haven), Fairfield Public Library and Easton Public Library, Artspace (New Haven), Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (Hartford), Exit Art (New York), Ridgefield Guild of Artists, Silvermine Guild of Artists (New Canaan), Barnum Museum (Bridgeport), Housatonic Museum of Art (Bridgeport) Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, OH) and Real Art Ways (Hartford). He has also shown repeatedly at the NEST Building (Bridgeport) and New Haven Open Studios.
Image courtesy the artist.