How does material, composition, and/or context play a role in achieving this?

Posted: November 2nd, 2022

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In class, we will watch the documentary film Waste Land (2010). Complete Worksheet #4: Can Art Make a Difference? after watching the film. ( (94) Wasteland Movie – YouTube this is the film )
Waste Land (2010) is a documentary film that follows the successful New-York based photographer Vik Muniz. Muniz travels to Brazil create portraits of pickers—called “catadores”—who collect recyclable materials from the landfill Jardim Gramacho just outside the city of Rio de Janeiro. Collaborating with both individuals and such local groups as the Association of Pickers of Jardim Gramacho, the artist reveals both the dignity and despair of the people who make a living by combing through garbage for recyclable materials. Blending processes involved in painting, photography, sculpture, and alternative media, the film delves into the realm of possibility for not only methods of art-making but also the expressive potential of art in relation to the indelible human spirit.
For this assignment, write a short response to the film. Responses may be based in personal opinion, but should address some combination of the following questions.
Muniz, like many contemporary artists, attempts to break down the barriers between art and life. How does material, composition, and/or context play a role in achieving this?
Is Muniz’s choice of material different/similar to more traditional art materials? Ultimately, how can trash or recyclable materials be viewed as art?
Does this change what materials you might consider “valuable”? In what way?
In this film, Muniz’s artistic practice intertwines with social practice. Do you believe that art change people? What is the effect? What are the possible benefits or drawbacks of combining art and social practice?
Your response must be typed – no hand-written work will be accepted – Times New Roman, 12-pt font, double-spaced, 300 words minimum. Submit your assignment file (.doc, .docx, or .pdf formats only) to the assignment link.
Further reading
For reviews, images, and awards for this film, see also:
Links to an external site.
Information on the workers after the close of Jardim Garmacho:

Whatever Happened to … the Garbage Pickers from Waste Land?

Links to an external site.

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