Berlin, February 2018

Artist Dis-Placement 05: Ben Nathan at the metal recycling company (TSR)


Placement 05:

Ben Nathan is the fifth artist to be taking part in the Artist Dis-Placement project at ZK/U. He is visiting the TSR metal recycling company in Berlin for six months.

Ben is a multidisciplinary artists usually based in London. Through his project the Artist aims to gain an understanding into the recycling process of ferrous, household scrap and other more valuable types of metal. He is interested in the specialist processes and machinery used to transform the variety of metal that comes into the plant with a particular interest in the informal resource recovery or waste picker. It is the Artist’s method to gather this information through conversations, drawings, photos and videos made whilst on site. The work produced will be shared with site workers at TSR and those who deliver and dispatch material from the scrapyard. 


Ben is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Drawing School. He works across different media, from painting and photography to film and sculpture. Explorations in the urban infrastructure act as a catalyst to question the changing nature of our cities environment. The works are also a way of documenting the evolution of urban change. Recent works have focused on experiences investigating the UK power generating industry.

About Artist Dis-Placement: 

The Idea of the Artist Dis-Placement programm is to connect artists to organisations which are not situated in the classical context of the art-sphere in order  to reach a different engagement and an audience which is not naturally in contact with art. ZK/U aims to look at the ‘invisible’ communal services provided by a city. Through the Artist Dis-Placement the ZK/U is extending its actions to the central organisations of the city’s infrastructure.  With this initiative, ZK/U aims to get an artistic overview on what makes a city what it is. By placing artists in organisations involved in a city’s functioning level, we wish to set up a framework for artists to research on the open field of public or semi-public services.

Apart from Ben, four other artists are or have been placed at different institutions: Victoria Tomaschko (DE) works with inmates and employees of the women’s prison, Jan van Esch (NL) was at the DRK Berlin, Czech artist Viktor Vejvoda worked at the BSR (Berlin waste management) and Alona Rodeh, a Berlin based Israeli artist, looked behind the scenes of the Feuerwehr Berlin (Berlin fire brigade).   


More info about the Artist Dis-Placement program here. 

More about Ben:


All pictures © Ben Nathan