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A project about the significance of bottles and collections.  

I got intrigued by the Pfandsammler*innen, deposit collectors, during my internship in Berlin. They roam around, looking for bottles that are waiting underneath trash cans to become part of a collection. People leave their bottles behind for the collectors to find them. Intrigued by this social system which is  overshadowed by melancholy, I spent a month in Berlin, observing the bottle circulation and talking to these collectors.  Their collection is not built to be kept, they exchange it for money at the end of the day.  The collection starts over again every day. The bottles are never presented and looked at as a collection, and therefore, do not get the appreciation they deserve.

I used my role as an illustrator and bottle enthusiast to visualise this invisible collection of bottles, with the goal to create appreciation for these collectors, their bottles and their collection. Stepping into the role of an illustrating bottle collector resulted in an ever growing collection of drawings, lithographs and ceramic bottles. This bottle research is still ongoing.


All copyrights Merel Wendt
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