Within the framework of the 58th Venice Biennial: May we Live in Interesting Times, the Colombian-American artist Federico Uribe exhibits Plastic Coral Reef Installation. The ambitious installation produced with plastic waste expands through the walls and floor of two rooms of the palace located meters from the emblematic Rialto Bridge, representing a marine coral.


Based on the climate crisis that has threatened the planet since the last decades, Uribe dedicated his exhibition at the Biennial to reflect on a theme that is not minor: plastic.

" Plastic Coral Reef Installation reflects how human activity can influence reef organisms and marine ecosystems around the world," the artist explained. "While we cannot stop the great impact of global warming on coral health in the short term, we can certainly reduce plastic pollution. My work should make the viewer reflect on the indiscriminate use of plastic. "

The plastic reef built by Uribe is a huge ecosystem where bottles, plastic covers, wrappings, fishing tanks, drums and all kinds of plastic waste that are found today in the drift of the ocean coexist as if they were one more element of the landscape. At first glance, the installation reflects a beautiful and colorful coral, just like those that exist in marine ecosystems. As the viewer approaches, the reality is different, it is plastic. "The idea is to think about the presence of Nature and, in turn, to return what was taken away from it: marine species and corals that are in danger due to excessive consumption of plastic," Uribe said. In this way, based on what the Latin American artist calls "aesthetic instinct", Plastic Coral Reef Installation sensorial activates the viewer from a dialectic between the marine ecosystem, full of life, as an object of representation and the plastic waste used as a medium, potentially destructive of what they represent. And, as if that were not enough, located in the heart of Venice, a city that floats on the Adriatic Sea.

"Distance, proximity and perception are key factors in the interconnection between the work of art and its viewers," says Facundo Uribe. "This false reef that bursts with colors and transports the viewer underwater to a tropical oasis, also faces a vibrant underwater world that reminds us of the fragility of life."

Mounted in rooms 8 and 9 of Palazzo Bembo, in front of the Grand Canal, Plastic Coral Reef Instalation is complemented by a sound landscape created by Brazilian producer and engineer Álvaro Alencar, in collaboration with Chilean musician and composer Sebastian Selam.