Trash or Art? “WASTE ART” Exhibition at the JKU Campus

A spectacular multimedia art exhibition titled "WASTE ART" will be at the Kepler Hall between June 22 and July 13, 2021.

F.l.: Ina Loitzl, Willi Bergthaler, Meinhard Lukas
F.l.: Ina Loitzl, Willi Bergthaler, Meinhard Lukas

The JKU aims to initiate more awareness as to how we use our resources and treat our environment. The exhibition opened yesterday with a vernissage. Initiated by Willi Bergthaler (professor at the Institute for Environmental Law at the Johannes Kepler University Linz), this exhibition curated by Ina Loitzl makes use of plastic materials and was recently at the Künstlerhaus Wien until the beginning of February and will be in Munich in July. Renowned contemporary artists confront us with the back side of our “brave new worlds’ of commodities” by displaying excess and upheaval. That what is considered worthless is ultimately transformed, rearranged, collected, thereby documenting the way we handle waste.

As a freelance artist in Vienna and Carinthia, Ina Loitzl, opens an external URL in a new window's work has been shown at, among other places, the Albertina, the Schlossmuseum Linz, the Künstlerhaus Wien, and the Rathausgalerie in Munich.

Ina Loitzl explains: "I believe art can change our status quo. I believe in the power and strength images have and an exhibition like this is not only thought-provoking, it can also spotlight the beauty and quality of trash as a material, sparking a creative streak in all of us. I would like visitors to leave the "WASTE ART" exhibition feeling different and wanting to actively reinvent themselves in their own little everyday world. About 25 years ago and even longer, sustainability was considered to be a luxury and insular interest. Today, we know that reducing waste will make our lives better in the future. Our grandparents were less aware and lived less sustainably but today we have to make the conscious decision to be better aware."

Exhibition initiator Willi Bergthaler (Institute for Environmental Law) added: "If waste is were to be considered art, our commodity values would be turned upside down and we would see what our "true values" would be. "WASTE ART" is both provocative and encouraging: provocative because it gives us a look behind the façade of smooth surfaces and encouraging because it shows how we can reverse developments by using creativity. The JKU is the ideal location for the exhibition. Where else - if not at a university – would it be the right place to challenge ourselves when it comes to finding new, smart solutions in regard to waste management."

Sustainability at the JKU
Bees, orchards, frisbees made out of recycled bottle caps - in addition to the "WASTE ART" exhibition, the JKU has many other projects that support and encourage sustainability as well as being more environmentally conscious on campus, inviting us to be more mindful when it comes to the way we use our resources.

An overview is available at: Sustainability at the JKU, opens an external URL in a new window

At the opening, JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas remarked: "Here at the JKU, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it is responsibility in action. We joined the Climate Alliance, opens an external URL in a new window, declared sustainability as a university-wide objective years ago, and implemented a number of projects - such as organic ingredients used at our cafeteria, beehives and an orchard on campus, etc. – to support sustainability on campus. Universities have a pioneering role here and should serve as a model. The JKU aims to show just how much is possible within its own sphere of influence. I would like to invite everyone in Linz to visit the "WASTE ART" exhibition and I hope it will encourage visitors to become more aware of just how we use our resources and treat our environment. Importing waste – both legally and illegally - are just the tip of the iceberg in a system that has gone off the rails and of which we are all a part of."

Information about the Exhibition
Visit the "WASTE ART" exhibition now to July 13, 2021, during Kepler Hall hours (7:00 AM to 5:00 PM/summer holidays to 4:00 PM, Fridays to 1:00 PM). Download the audio guide and information materials for more insight into the exhibition. Outside of the Kepler Hall hours, visitors can also view the exhibition from the outside (through the Kepler Hall windows).

Group guided tours are available by appointment. Contact the Institute for Environmental Law by calling +43 732 2468 3570 or sending an e-mail to: iur(at)