We as citizens often walk so hurriedly from A to B that we don’t look at the people and buildings around us, let alone at what’s under our feet — many of us function on autopilot the majority of the time. It’s exactly there though, on the pavements and the streets of our cities, that we can find the most remarkable objects and traces. They are nuisances, trash, littering our beautiful surroundings, yet they can tell us so much about who we are as a community, what we desire, what we value, what we choose to keep and what we discard. Why was it acquired initially? What was the reason why it is no longer considered of value and worthy of keeping? These are some of the questions which prompted Brighton-based photographer Chloe Juno to turn her camera downwards.
Someone’s Rubbish consists of more than 2500 photographs, religiously taken daily since 2014 — the commitment and dedication are truly remarkable. We have all walked past detritus like this, it could be a coffee cup, a pack of cigarettes, a condom box, or, more recently, a Covid antigen test. We have been conditioned to think that these objects are of little value but it really depends on how we determine value, because if we move away from the financial sense of the word they can do a really good job in illustrating the big picture of what life is like in the present, as Juno tells us. The photographer sees these as a street museum of the time we live in — they are objects belonging to their time which we need for play, work, education, bills, entertainment, general life.
Raw red meat, something which has become almost a metaphor for masculinity, juxtaposed with some light feathers on top of it — what a contrast. Condoms and fags, face masks, signs advertising cults, disused wigs, spiritual artefacts, old sofas, class A drugs, blown up animal balloons, cable ties, Halloween leftovers.
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