The banning of plastic bags in New York State in March, 2020, was temporarily put on hold due to the pandemic. Now that the ‘pause’ is up on the banning of plastic, The Plastic Bag Store installation returns to Times Square. Let’s take a deep-dive into our culture of consumption and convenience.
This public art installation, by artist and director Robin Frohardt, will occupy 20 Times Square, with shelves stocked with thousands of original, hand-sculpted items like produce and meat, dry goods, and toiletries, cakes and sushi rolls ~ each made from discarded single-use plastics in an endless flux of packaging.
At night, The Plastic Bag Store transforms into an immersive, dynamic set for free performances where hidden worlds and inventive puppetry tell the darkly comedic, sometimes tender story of how the plastic waste we leave behind might be misinterpreted by future generations.
“The Plastic Bag Store is a visually rich, tactile, and humorous experience that hopefully encourages a different way of thinking about the foreverness of plastic, the permanence of the disposable, and that there is no ‘away’ when we throw something out. It is my attempt to make something authentic and human from that which is mass-produced. There is great humor to be found in the pitfalls of capitalism, and I find that humor and satire can be powerful tools for social criticism especially with issues that feel too sad and overwhelming to confront directly.” ~ Artist, Robin Frohardt
“Robin has created the quintessential New York City public artwork — satire, smarts, local politics, global concerns, challenging Times Square’s love affair with consumerism and spectacle, and all within an beautiful project artwork quite literally made for and by New Yorkers, specifically from our trash.” ~ Jean Cooney, Director, Times Square Arts
The Plastic Bag Store is created, written, designed, and directed by Robin Frohardt, commissioned by Times Square Arts, and produced by Pomegranate Arts, with original score by Freddi Price. The Plastic Bag Store would not be possible without the generous support of Mark Siffin, CEO Maefield Development and owner of 20 Times Square.
“Amidst society’s relentless cycles of consumption and destruction, this project drives us to create and re-create — rather than just destroy — so that hundreds of years from now we find that it is our cultural products which endure: our plays rather than our piles of plastics, our shows rather than our scraps, our imagination rather than our excess. Frohardt’s work is one of the most significant and ambitious Times Square Arts public projects to date, combining environmentally-conscious art, immersive installation, and live performance.” ~ Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Alliance
The Plastic Bag Store will be on view beginning Thursday, October 22 through November 7, 2020, located at 20 Times Square, West 47th Street and 7th Avenue. This is a Free Event. Register Here.
For those who aren’t able to visit The Plastic Bag Store in-person, sign up for the Times Square Arts newsletter to receive updates on virtual visits, an artist talk, and a feature-length film to be released in the spring of 2021, commissioned by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.