Join an NGV Educator live from the NGV for a short and lively introduction to one work of art or design from Triennial.
- Explore the ways in which artists communicate their views, beliefs and opinions in artworks
- Identify and describe how ideas are expressed in Triennial art and design works
- Discuss how artworks are made and how the choice of materials can influence the meaning of artworks
Plastocene – Marine Mutants from a disposable world
Plastocene – Marine Mutants from a disposable world 2020 is Porky Hefer’s major new work consisting of a series of large-scale handmade environments based upon imaginary sea creatures from a dystopian future he calls the Plastocene. This collection, including a 14m wide x 3.6m high octopus constructed of giant hand-felted cigarette butts, is made with a community of artisans and the team at Southern Guild in Cape Town. Marking the end of the Anthropocene, our current fossil-fuelled epoch, Hefer’s creatures remind us of plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, trash, and the discarded detritus of hyper-consumerism, convenience and environmental neglect. He speculates that in a distant future some species might transmutate, adapting to the endless abundance of plastics and pollutants flooded into nature. In a twist of evolutionary fate, Hefer imagines what would happen if refined hydrocarbon distillates from fossil fuels fused with organic DNA to generate a new type of life – transitional forms that exemplify the mutant fruits of our fossil-fuel era. The toxic future painted here is one that humans would struggle to inhabit. But at best, Hefer hopes that life continues in this new form, following the mass extinction that he sees us so selfishly perpetuating.
Duration: 15 mins
Artist: Porky Hefer