Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19

Groves, Andrew 2021. Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19. London Gallery West 08 - 28 Jun 2021

CreatorsGroves, Andrew
Description

In 2020, it was estimated that 129 billion face masks were used globally each month, with the vast majority of them containing disposable plastic microfibres. Undercover: from Necessity to Debris, The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19, documents these discarded face coverings found and photographed in the streets during the last year.

Strewn across rain-sodden pavements and gutters, at first glance, these masks may seem unremarkable, indistinguishable, unworthy of attention. While it is true that a face mask, even if only worn across the mouth, serves to conceal the wearer’s identity, a closer look at these objects reveals clues to the lives of their previous owners. As such, these photographs serve as a form of absentee portraiture.

The complete series of 365 images were first shown in May 2020, as non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) on OpenSea, where 52 were given away for free. Reimagined in this grandiose physical scale, the images function as abstract meditations on the minutiae of the urban environment, serving as both an archive of highly disposable material culture and a reflection on the environmental impact of our response to COVID-19.

Date09 Jun 2021
KeywordsFace coverings
Pollution
COVID-19
Archives
Photography
Files
Image credit
Discarded mask #204. Photograph by Andrew Groves.
Measurements
120 x 72cm
Rights
All rights reserved
Media type
Image
License
All rights reserved

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/v601z/undercover-from-necessity-to-debris-the-pollution-of-face-coverings-during-covid-19


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