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For Pam Longobardi, art is a form of reparation.
“I travel all over the world to high-impact beaches and I collect ocean plastic from those beaches,” she said. “We are haunted by the ghosts of our consumption, especially when we see them coming back from the dead.”
We throw away the plastic containers and wrapping, she said, little aware that they will not disappear, that our trash will return to us, often in a different form. As microplastics we ingest. As carpets of refuse covering our beaches. As poisonous weapons that kill wildlife.
“I want to take that material out of the space where it doesn’t belong and bring it back into a social space, where it can do its work, which I think is to deliver us a message.”
Longobardi’s art installations have been shown around the world. Now she has work in a show called “Can’t You Sea? Ocean Plastic Artifacts,” on view through Sept. 8 at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.