German artist Ha Schult found that last week’s International Tourism Fair in Madrid was the perfect place to highlight a major environmental concern within the tourism sector. He constructed the ‘Beach Garbage Hotel’ - a temporary five-room, fully functioning hotel - in Plaza de Callao and invited visitors at the exhibition to stay the night.
Schult collected debris from tourist beaches in France, Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy and recycled the assorted junk into a habitable form with the line: “We must know and we must understand that the oceans are the biggest garbage dumps of the world.” This message is conveyed through the musical instruments, stuffed animals, discarded clothes, trashy novels, plastic drums and endless other bits and pieces scooped off our beloved tourist destinations and plastered onto the hotel's walls.
This wreckage is combined with scrap landfill and flea markets hunted down by the devoted artist, who opened a similar statement hotel in Rome last year where model Helena Christensen is rumoured to have stayed. In support of his environmental proclamation, Schult told reporters: “The world is a hotel and so as a parable, I show the world as a hotel, and this world we only have rented and we have to realise that we in this time fill up the whole world with garbage.”