Screening free at Alice Cinematheque on Wednesday 12 February at 6pm, this award-winning film tracks the development of a 2008 series of monumental photographic portraits made from trash. Called Pictures of Garbage they were created by artist Vik Muniz in collaboration with the garbage pickers who separate recyclable materials in Jardim Gramacho, a 321 acre open-air dump just outside Rio de Janiero.
Muniz initially planned to paint portraits with the garbage, but instead he worked with them to create enormous photographs of each person from materials in the dump.
In the film, the careful collaboration results in a cash course in contemporary art and theory. Muniz has to persuade his subjects to participate, shoot portraits of them in an impromptu studio in the dump, get the collectors to pick garbage to sculpt with for their portraits and then document the final collage.
Muniz's efforts help the catadores to take charge of their lives, while giving them a new perspective on the world and themselves thorough art.