Singe Use Exhibition by Miska Mandic

Kevina-Jo Smith and myself have an upcoming exhibition at 107 Projects in Redfern, Sydney. It's something I've been working on for quite a while now, so it'll be exciting to see it up finally.

Single Use puts focus on the lingering impression of the small actions of our collective routines: picking up groceries on the way home from work, putting a take-away coffee in the bin, washing pre-mixed salad in its bag from the store.

Over weeks and months Miška Mandić photographs and films familiar supermarket goods: strawberries in a plastic box, or potatoes in plastic and polystyrene. The resulting images record the disintegration of fruit and vegetables and the endurance of the single-use packaging left behind.

The surviving packaging is then washed and handed over to Kevina-Jo Smith who uses it to create mixed media works. These pieces function as interventions: altering the journey of our forgettable discards by transforming them into intricate, lasting artefacts.

The exhibition will feature a soundtrack by Sydney noise artist Luke Bacon.

Opening Wednesday 26th October | 6–8pm.
Exhibition continues until Sunday 6th November.
Gallery open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm | Sunday 11am–4pm.



Chasing Asylum theatrical trailer by Miska Mandic

A few months ago I worked with director Eva Orner to create a theatrical trailer for Chasing Asylum, a compelling feature doco about Australia's offshore detention policy, specifically the 'turn back the boats' policy.

It is a powerful, visceral and important film I think every Australian must see. It is also a piece of evidence for future Australians to look back on and know that this happened. Chasing Asylum will make it impossible to say anything other than we knew this was going on and we didn't do enough to stop it.

Eva, who won an Oscar in 2007 for 'Taxi to the Darkside' has done a truly excellent job of exposing the consequences and impact of our treatment of refugees. It's been tough watching the film so many times but I'm so proud to have been involved.

On a personal and professional note, it was great to see the wide reach of the trailer, which was premiered on Ch 10's The Project and has since been on many news websites, from The Guardian, to Vice and Huffington Post.

Single Use project update - the tomatoes that won't die by Miska Mandic

It's been five months now that I have been shooting three separate timelapse setups for the upcoming Single Use exhibition I am putting on with Blue Mountains artist Kevina-Jo Smith. This means that for 5 straight months I've had up to two cameras continuously taking photos every 5 minutes, as fruit and vegetables have been decomposing in their store bought single use packaging.

I'm really pleased with how it's going and I've finally got a little time to start grading two of the three finished setups.

The third setup, which started on the 9th of February, had largely decomposed by the end of March. This means that the broccoli, potatoes and salad had entirely collapsed and changed colour within two months. However, the fourth character in this gruesome scene of carnage and destruction just won't die. I think you'll be surprised to find out just who the culprit is.

A packet of cherry tomatoes from Parisi's supermarket in Rose Bay.

It's now exactly 4 months since they were bought and arranged in the still life, and to this day their colour remains unchanged. There is a little wrinkling on the skin, but the plumpness also is fairly unchanged.

Tomatoes are not supposed to last this long. If you've ever grown your own you know that once picked, they quickly decompose. As all organic matter should.

There is something seriously alarming about these tomatoes, I have no idea what they're putting in them but evidently something is being done to alter their natural life cycle.

As intrigued (and disgusted) as I am by this strange development, and as much as I want to see it out to the bitter end, it's seriously affecting my ideal timeline for this project. I can't progress to the next stage until this timelapse is concluded. Not sure what I should do, but I think at some point I'm going to have to call it quits on the old Frankenstein toms.

A terrible photo from my phone, hopefully not a reflection of my otherwise generally in-focus photographic skills.

A terrible photo from my phone, hopefully not a reflection of my otherwise generally in-focus photographic skills.

How I repaired my Melissa shoes by Miska Mandic

Being a vegetarian / vegan who also happens to be an environmentalist can sometimes make it hard to find shoes. Especially when you throw in a personal sense of style. Often vegan shoes and wallets are made of cheap and badly made faux leather which isn't biodegradable, falls apart quickly and goes to landfill; on the other hand, the long lasting, repairable and well wearing shoes are made from leather which poses quite a conundrum to vegetarian environmentalists like myself!

This is why I love my Melissas. They're sturdy, not tested on animals, made of a non toxic rubber and are entirely recyclable at the end of their life. I have pairs of Melissas that I've worn for over 5 years and I've never thrown out a pair yet. I was so upset when recently after 3 and 4 years of heavy wear two of my Melissa sandals tore at the strap. So here I am with two pairs of beloved shoes, unwearable because of torn straps, but otherwise in tip top shape.

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You have lived well, the alien said. by Miska Mandic

In 2015 my fairy godmother Samuel Icklow asked me to edit his short film Angel. Hopefully I'll get to link to something more comprehensive on this soon because it's an exciting project, but for now I'll say only that this meant spending two months in LA, and the opportunity of an American holiday at the end of the project was not to be missed!

So, in August Luke came to join me in LA and we treated ourselves to an amazing trip. We drove from LA along the 1 to Big Sur, and then all the way to the Bay area, where we stayed in Oakland - a 10 minute train ride to San Francisco. On the way back we drove through and stayed in Yosemite (and saw a bear, deer and a coyote!) and then the trip back, nestled between the Sierra Nevada and the wide open plains of Death Valley, was truly spectacular.


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Single Use Project by Miska Mandic

I'm currently creating a series of photographs and videos exploring single-use packaging culture.

So many of the things we buy every day come packaged in layers of plastic, paper, styrofoam; all to be instantly discarded once we get it home. What we don’t often consider is the effect this has on our environment. A plastic water bottle, or a plastic container for example, has already gone through an elaborate process before reaching the shop; oil is extracted from the ground, shipped to a refinery, turned into plastic, shaped and then trucked to the store. This process - as well as the process of recycling that ideally should follow - is energy, water and carbon dioxide intensive, and takes many months to complete. Not to mention that 80% of water bottles don’t get recycled at all, but rather end up in landfill; by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

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