Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store Debuts at MASS MoCA for Environmental Awareness

Robin Frohart

Robin Frohart, the artist behind The Plastic Bag Store, coming to MASS MoCA in Early May, 2024

This May, MASS MoCA exhibits The Plastic Bag Store subtitled “a tragicomic ode to the foreverness of plastic” by Robin Frohardt. The playful, immersive, and guided experience is in partnership with the Williamstown Theater Festival and produced by Pomegranate Arts will showcase sculptures and films constructed with single-use plastic.

A supermarket also made of washed and upcycled single-use plastic, the installation features “Plastic Dew” made from old soda bottles, “capperonnis” made from plastic caps, and carrots made from yellow tarps.

Frohardt brings a comedic perspective to climate change by examining the habitual habits of consumption and convenience. In tandem with the sculptural works, timed activations will occur where performers further transform the space into an immersive cinema using puppetry, shadow play, and intricate handmade sets – an ode to the artist’s notable background in theater and film.

The hand-sculpted pieces tell an intricate narrative that is anything less than dystopian when realities are taken into consideration.

The Plastic Bag Store

The Plastic Bag Store, coming to MASS MoCA in Early May, 2024

“Beyond the soaring spaces where ideas of scale can stretch out, MASS MoCA, at its core, is about an entrusted relationship with artists where going beyond the fenceline of the familiar is not only possible, it’s elemental. It is also crystal clear that MASS MoCA’s next 25 years must be grounded in durable and environmentally resilient systems. The manifestation of The Plastic Bag Store on our campus—in addition to its long duration and joy-inducing wit—opens pathways for learning and conversation in our community on reducing our collective environmental impact.”

The project that started back in 2015 and its 2020 Times Square debut got postponed due to an unforeseen pandemic has since traveled to Times Square, Los Angeles, Chicago, Adelaide, and Austin. As it makes its way to Massachusetts, there is also a companion project on view now in MASS MoCA’s Kidspace, Cardboard Cinema: Robin Frohardt’s Handmade Worlds.

“Artists like Robin have an artistic practice of responding to what’s happening in the world around them by designing familiar objects that have the power to draw audiences of all ages in, and inspire them to take action in their own lives and communities,” says Lisa Dent, MASS MoCA’s Director of Public Programs.

he Plastic Bag Store, coming to MASS MoCA

The Plastic Bag Store, coming to MASS MoCA in Early May, 2024

The Plastic Bag Store makes its museum debut starting May 9, 2024.