Peter Wareing

La Nuda Vida (2016)

1 hour 30 min 53 sec2 channel installation / Digital Video / Black & White / Sound

La Nuda Vida is a two-channel video installation that observes and documents the chatarreros (scrap metal collectors) who make a living wandering the streets of Barcelona. Filmed over a period of four years, the work depicts the peripatetic form of life for those who survive the current economic and labour conditions through recycling the detritus of modern life. La Nuda Vida is a Spanish translation of Giorgio Agamben’s concept 'bare life', which draws a distinction between citizens who are able to participate in society and those without rights reduced to existing outside the boundaries of humanity. The chatarreros presented here push supermarket trolleys—a transitory practice that harks back to medieval times—making paths through Poblenou, an area that was once the industrial heart of the city, the Manchester of Spain, and home to active labour unions, now the building site of Smart City, hotels and high-end construction projects. These undocumented immigrant chatarreros are an emblem of La Nuda Vida, the human spectre of contemporary European cities.

Other works by Peter Wareing

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