With darkness enveloping the United Kingdom in both the literal and metaphorical senses, our Creative Director & CSO and emerging video artist Asad Yawar depicts this urgent sense of desperation in his blunt new work, The Trashcan of Society? (‘Trashcan’.) Set on the platform of a London Overground station – Imperial Wharf – that is surrounded by East Asian-style towers containing millions of pounds of mortgage debt, Trashcan focuses on the feet of a passenger waiting for a train; perhaps predictably and realistically, the train does not arrive. Instead, the viewer’s attention is drawn to the precarious nature of contemporary existence as exemplified by a shot of the passenger’s feet between two lines – one of which is a warning line beyond which it is dangerous to stray. This dilemma is resolved by the final two shots focusing on a transparent litter bin of the kind that can be found throughout the Overground network, with the last shot seeing the artist-passenger thrust deep into the refuse-laden receptacle.
A particularly notable feature of this work is the eerie soundtrack, a noise produced by the way the wind blows around the unusual, half-finished cityscape of Imperial Wharf, where tall buildings give way to barren construction sites; this adds to the unique atmosphere of the piece.