Kolektio Sakoj / Spurensuche

WERKSTADT GRAZ, ZOLLAMT BAD RADKERSBURG

The exhibition KOLEKTIO SAKOJ by the artist Karmen Janĉar, who lives in the border town of Gornja Radgona (Bad Radkersburg), is first and foremost a display of her extensive plastic bag collection. The artist began her collection as a young girl back in the 1970s, when she lived in former Yugoslavia, on the border between Slovenia and Austria.

Growing up on the border meant that she never got to be part of the consumer frenzy in western society, which is why she began collecting empty carrier bags from different countries, thereby building up her own world of subject matter. Plastic bags, shopping bags, carrier bags, grocery bags...call them what you will, these familiar yet environmentally unfriendly means of transporting anything from food to luxury goods constitute an entertaining exhibition of storage and transport containers – contemporary, everyday reliquaries from a consumer-oriented society. Beyond serving as carrying receptacles, plastic bags (in Esperanto 'sako') offer a depiction of the world expressed virtually in terms of their design, shape and possible contents.
The KOLEKTIO SAKOJ not only allows visitors to enter the world of Karmen Janĉar’s collection, but also focuses on the debate around an essential everyday item of consumer society that is so incompatible with the environment. The collection – which comprises some 7,000 items from different countries, cultures and periods – provides a look at continuity and evolution in the use and design of the practical carrier bag-cum-advertising medium over the past few decades. EDITION ZOLLAMT 2016 "SPURENSUCHE" (SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE) illustrates the potential of natural materials for making packaging, both before and after the 'plastic era', based on examples of traditional Vietnamese natural packaging and compostable cellulose tube netting by VPZ respectively.

EXHIBITION DATES: 2.10– 20.11.16

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