Cultural tip for SDG 14: "Discofish" by Swaantje Güntzel

  • 2022-12-20
  • Janna Degener-Storr
MIKROPLASTIK III DISCOFISCH by Swaantje Güntzel: Fish with glitter
MIKROPLASTIK III DISCOFISCH, 2016, Swaantje Güntzel, Photo © Henriette Pogoda

Swaantje Güntzel raises awareness of pollution of the seas with her ‘Discofish’ - a problem that SDG 14 "" also points out.

A gigantic fish is covered in countless sparkling dots in every colour imaginable. It is a simple creature of nature that is decorated artificially, giving it an otherworldly appearance. The somewhat technical explanation is shown next to the piece: ‘MICROPLASTICS III / Discofish, 2016. Diasec. 66.7 x 100 cm. Plaice (pleuronectes platessa) covered with glitter particles extracted from beauty products.’

As the name suggests, ‘MICROPLASTICS III’ is the third explores microplastics: those tiny plastic particles that are used in peelings and other types of cosmetics and that find their way from our sinks into the sea, where they are eaten by animals and harming the environment.

In the artist explains that the glitter particles used to coat the plaice were extracted from commercially available cosmetics products. She also emphasises that she is dealing with the dysfunctional relationship that human beings have with nature and with pollution of the oceans in particular not only in this piece and its two predecessors, but also in her artistic work as a whole.

Swaantje Güntzel speaks about wanting to prompt people to ‘take a look in the mirror and look at themselves’ and how her work was considered ‘too challenging’ by gallery operators for a long time. Galerie Holthoff presents the artist’s work in and other formats.

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