Turning trash into art – Argentinian visual arts group Bazofia Estenopeica, or “Pinhole Trash”, is giving rubbish bins a whole new raison d‘être.
After cleaning the bins, the trio transforms them into improvised cameras.
Pinhole cameras are simple devices, which consist of a light-proof box with a small hole in one side, which records images by letting light through to the film or paper placed inside.
“I work with digital cameras and, personally, I find it really boring to use a camera that decides how the pictures will be taken,” says group member Natacha Ebers. “This is the opposite, I can get the picture I want because I made the camera. And it has interesting properties such as an infinite depth of field, the images are very plasticised, very manual, so it has another feel.”
Creating these installations is also a way of turning something that is normally shunned into an object of art.
“I mean, when you see a rubbish bin in the street it’s disgusting. Nobody wants to get close to it and in the summer when it smells, people don’t want to get close. Well, what happens here is that people do get close to the rubbish bin and want to have a good look at it. It’s given a new meaning. Now it is an object of art and also something to be shared,” says Bazofia Estenopeica member Méndez Brisighelli.
The group then develops the pictures in a darkroom set up in one of their homes. Providing a more affordable alternative to pricey, mainstream photography, the result comes in black and white or colour, and often conveys a more dreamy feel than digital images.
An initiative that goes to show that one man’s rubbish can be another man’s pinhole.