Everlasting Plastics is an exhibition that investigates our relationship with plasticity—both as a metaphor and material construction. The exhibition makes its North American debut in Pittsburgh following an inaugural presentation as the US Pavilion at the 18th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2023.
Through site-specific commissions by five artists, architects, and designers from the United States—Xavi L. Aguirre, Simon Anton, Ang Li, Norman Teague, and Lauren Yeager—Everlasting Plastics considers the ways these materials both shape and erode contemporary ecologies, economies, and the built environment.
Originally commissioned for the inaugural presentation in Venice, the installations are adapted for the presentation at Carnegie Museum of Art, with the artists conversing with the museum’s collection and in a region known for its inextricable link to the petrochemical manufacturing of consumer goods. The pollution and waste from this manufacturing continue to be produced and passed on from Pennsylvania’s Beaver County cracker plant to the fracklands of the Marcellus Shale. The five projects expand ways of thinking, allowing for a more confrontational, tangible, social, and plastic approach.
Everlasting Plastics is curated by Tizziana Baldenebro, SPACES’ curator of special projects, Lauren Leving, curator-at-large at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and assistant curator Paula Volpato. Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation is organized by Theodossis Issaias, associate curator at Heinz Architectural Center, with Alyssa Velazquez, assistant curator of decorative arts and design.