Brett Kallusky is an assistant professor in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where he teaches photography. He has been the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, a Fulbright to Italy, and a Fulbright Travel Grant. His work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Kallusky has been a regular student portfolio reviewer at SPE national conferences since 2012. He lives and maintains his studio practice in Minneapolis, MN.
This ongoing project frames geographical and ecological information related to energy consumption and monoculture. Since 2013 I have had unfettered access to photograph in the Santa Maria Regional Landfill. This particular location and photographic series is a microcosm of a larger cycle that is occurring in the nascent economy of renewable energy sources and perpetually relevant concerns of land management.
Sugar Street (the street in the landfill that runs parallel to the adjacent Santa Maria river) is situated directly alongside hundreds of acres of agricultural fields, where produce such as strawberries, carrots, and cauliflower are grown for Driscoll’s and Bolthouse Farms. To me this place is like an alien landscape, wholly foreign to my eyes, filled with visual juxtapositions. It is a place of verdant green hills that conceal thousands of tons of garbage.
The landfill is also the site of an extraordinary practical engineering solution happening behind the scenes, as this particular landfill has developed an innovative program of recycling soil that had been previously contaminated by the oil industry. I’m interested in the visual and conceptual paradoxes that present themselves: the perfect, iconic forms of the commercially-grown produce juxtaposed with the ever-changing artificial hills of the landfill site, native wildflowers returning to grow on the newly cleansed soil.
To view more of Brett Kallusky’s work please visit their website.