More or less since the 1960s, one of the most eloquent symbols of our lives has been the plastic bag. It’s part of our daily life and in its apparent innocence, represents the small but significant responsibility that each of us has towards the environment. We use it with levity, distractedly, with laziness and superficiality and we never reflect enough on the fact that each bag takes over 400 years to biodegrade (this why United Colors of Benetton bags are made from recycled paper).
The exhibition Would You Like a Bag with That? is dedicated to this universal emblem of consumerism. It is being held at the Mudac, the museum of contemporary art in Lausanne, a center that has always shown itself to be lively, inventive and ready to intercept social and environmental change. The exhibition addresses the theme of the plastic bag in the widest sense, through objects, works of design, videos and installations and, with a little Dadaistic irony, reconstructs a brief history of culture and daily life.
So it seems that Dadaism still casts its shadow on contemporary art. Its language, based on the re-use of objects and more precisely on the ‘ready-made’, lends itself as the perfect metaphor for one of the most pressing dilemmas of recent decades: how to live with waste and above all, how to try to gain something beneficial from it.