Why Did This Portrait Photographer Save Up Four Years’ Worth of Trash?

French photographer Antoine Repesse is, if anything, dedicated to his trade. As showcased in his recent body of work, Unpacked, he’s willing to go to extreme lengths to bring his concepts to life. In his critical portrait series focused on the worldwide waste epidemic, he features his subjects literally engulfed in garbage:

At the risk of being labeled insane, he collected four years’ worth of recyclables. All 70 cubic meters of it were stored in his small apartment. When he was satisfied with what he had managed to gather, he finally began the process of transferring everything to the studio.

Unpacked behind the scenes

Though there’s certainly some madness to Repessė’s method, there’s no doubting the success of the end product. While fun and colorful, the images featured in Unpacked are simultaneously disturbing and surreal. The subjects are portrayed going about their banal daily lives. However, the mountains of newspaper, plastic, and cardboard surrounding each person are difficult to look away from.

Athlete with plastic bottles

Concerning the message he wanted to convey through the series, Repessė stated the following:

“The idea is to confront the public with this reality that they are usually able to avoid. It’s easy every week to throw your rubbish in a bin; it goes away and you never know what it becomes. The idea was really to put into pictures and to have some picture which the public might find a little shocking, so that we might then be encouraged to change our consumption habits.”

Considering the images quickly went viral, we’d say he certainly achieved that goal!

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One response to “Why Did This Portrait Photographer Save Up Four Years’ Worth of Trash?”

  1. spanish to english says:

    he’s willing to go to extreme lengths to bring his concepts to life

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