Friday, 19 October 2012

In her own words - Juli Foos

One man‘s trash, another man‘s treasure
I have tried to discover things among all the garbage that no one else sees. I have transformed the trash without really making any changes. The result, in the end, were rugs or carpets that consist of beautiful graphical patterns and at the same time tell something about our throwaway society.
I like the thought to leave the trash where it usually is - on the ground - but arranged it in a certain order.

When the thrown away things are multiplied, collected and brought into a certain order, the trash can be seen in a different context and its image changes. From everyday garbage like plastic or paper bags, ordinary packagings for sweets or tissues and caps from drinking bottles, just to mention a few, I created textiles that consist of graphically interesting patterns. All the objects have different and individual qualities, but every single one is telling its own story. Because of the materials some of the rugs are perfect for outdoor or bathroom use and some are more considered to be in the living area.
The rugs don‘t have any other special use, they are just carpets. Beyond that they are nearly pieces of art that tell something about our society: What we throw away, what we are consuming and what kind of trash we have in the end. The stories are always about people and products. The objects offer the opportunity to see all the amounts of waste at once, brought together with old handicraft techniques like weaving, crocheting, ironing or welding.

 What makes me an eco-designer?
For me as a designer, the most interesting and exciting part of my work is to discover things not everybody recognizes at first. I always try to find a story behind everything.

What I really like about waste, is that it is always attached to a story because it comes from some person who has done something that produced the trash. The moment, when a certain object or packaging is no longer a packaging but turns into trash. When I was a child, I already felt sorry for objects or products that are not needed anymore and thrown away.

Within my project „one man‘s trash…“ I have mostly worked with real waste from the streets or from some shops or wherever I could get much of one certain type of trash. I tried to see not only polluted pavements in the streets but a huge material storage, free off charge. It was all a very big challenge because many artists and designers have worked with trash and recycling, but I think I am going my very own way now with arranging, ordering and connecting the trash and that‘s what I consider as the most important thing for a designer or an artist.

The so-called story of my success:
The story of my success probably is as long as I am doing creative stuff. I was always searching for „my thing“ and I always used to be interested in urban surroundings, street art, trash and all the things you can tell stories about. So this diploma work is just a logical conclusion of all the thoughts and ideas in my mind that used to be so uncoordinated at some points. I think now that I went through this project and i‘m still into it, I learned how to use my sometimes very autistic way to look at things.

I was working on a completely different topic for the diploma at first, but then I realzied that I have to change it very short in advance, cause the trash project was what I was actually really in love with. When I presented it to my professors and the first time to an audience, I put up an exhibition in a graphic design studio. The rugs were presented in a certain order that build up a story and you could go through the different rooms and follow the story. I placed rugs also in the kitchen and in the bathroom, just where they are supposed to be used. I had a brief talk and showed my short movie and everyone loved it and I never heard my professor talk like that and I was really touched and proud.

Then I was invited to present the project again, one week later at the EUNIQUE International fair for art and design in karlsruhe on a 70 squaremeter stand. I was really surprised and overwhelmed and we came up with an exhibition concept in 3 days and with the help of many people we built up a great stand on the fair and the feedback I got there was really extraordinary and amazing.
I talked to school classes, teachers, artists and designers, to children and to older people and it was so good to see that they all understand my point and liked my objects.
Some of the pieces will be taken into the kkaarrllss design collection (limited designs created by young german designers) and they can be bought from there or from upcoming exhibitions.
The Big Donut Rug has recently be shown in the Design Center in Kielce, Poland and I was told it was the „darling of the public“.

As I have been working for a summer theatre, I haven‘t worked on the project lately, but now, when autumn comes I want to get into it again and also travel a bit and find other trash in other cities and there are plans about creating a golden chandelier from the trash that a certain Black Forest beer produces.

The project has been awarded a scholarship of the german IKEA foundation to support my
diploma work and it has been nominated for the ZKM (center for arts and media in Karlsruhe)
advancement award.

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