The art installation ‘Vita Sensa Plastica’ (Live Plastic Free) created in collaboration by Dianna Cohen, artist and co-founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Alvaro Soler-Arpa, a PPC Artist Ambassador, opened on Friday, June 29 at club La Macchia on Macchiatonda Beach in Capalbio located in southern Tuscany, Italy.
The opening reception was attended by 300 guests and inspired conversations around plastic pollution, the impact as well as solutions and alternatives. Club La Macchia switched from bio-plastic to paper straws for the event and committed to serving paper straws moving forward.
Cohen and Soler-Arpa worked together over the course of five days to build and install the sculpture, using plastic gathered on Macchiatonda beach by the World Wildlife Fund’s beach cleanups. The installation was created on a sand dune about 100 yards from the shoreline, with trails of found plastic dug into the sand leading up to the main piece.
“In this piece we attempt to express suffering,” explained Cohen, “with these animal skulls reaching up and out and crying to the sky. We are suffocating in plastic and consumption, and we have a plastic pollution blindness.”
Nadja Romain, the curator of the installation and the founder Art, Action, Change, said: “Art transcends thinking and logic. It holds the power to change our mindset allowing us to create new ways of seeing the world and living in it. It’s fantastic that La Macchia, a private member club in Italy is pioneering and using its position by the sea and its network to raise awareness about the pollution of the sea to stop the epidemic of plastic pollution.”
“We have done our best to find an artistic way to express how plastic is contaminating the world,” said Alvaro Soler-Arpa about the installation and process. “We have experienced firsthand that many Italians are not yet aware of the problem but are interested in the issue and looking forward to learning more about it.”
Dianna Cohen is a Los Angeles based visual artist, who has shown her work internationally at galleries, foundations, and museums. She uses plastic in her artwork to make a visual and social impact. With plastic bags as her primary material for the past 27 years, Cohen explores its materiality through modifications and the material’s relationship to culture, media, toxicity, and the world at large.
Cohen invited Catalan artist Alvaro Soler-Arpa to collaborate based on some ideas they had shared within their respective bodies of work. Soler-Arpa’s previous work includes Vida Tóxica (Toxic Life), which featured imaginary contemporary creatures composed of assorted animal bones, wire, and plastic waste. His “contemporary dinosaurs” draw a strong parallel to fossil fuels, the common denominator between plastic pollution and climate change.