Message From The Artist | Robin Frohardt on Plastic Bag Store: The Film

Robin Frohardt

Dear Most Valued Customers:

It’s almost impossible for me to try to explain what it is you are about to watch and the journey it took to get here. I started working on The Plastic Bag Store in 2015 after watching someone bag and double bag all my groceries that were already bags inside of bags inside of boxes. I wanted to highlight the absurd amount of packaging we are using and throwing away by making something even more absurd, a grocery store that only sold packaging. Over time the project evolved into an elaborate immersive puppet play with transforming sets and hidden rooms. For several years, my amazing team and I slowly pieced together this epic beast of a project. Sometimes that meant working with the support of prestigious residencies at architectural firms and fellowships at Universities. But more often it meant grueling rehearsals, endless schlepping and hours spent sifting through NYC garbage.

With all the pieces finally in place and a venue to die for, The Plastic Bag Store was set to open in the heart of Times Square on March 18, 2020…ya know… the day the whole world shut down? We did one amazing dress rehearsal and locked the doors and walked away.

I think part of me wanted to give up after that. When the opportunity presented itself to create a filmed version of the project, I was relieved that there would be some record of what we created (we didn’t film that rehearsal). I never imagined how beautiful the film would turn out, and how perfectly it would capture the story as I see it in my head. We then found a way to integrate the film into the installation for a live experience which we ultimately got to show in Times Square and take to Australia! So, creating the film has made The Plastic Bag Store viable and tourable in this time in a way that other projects haven’t been. For that, I cannot be more grateful.

Plastic Bag Store: The Film is a labor of love from many hands. The film is in no way a substitute for seeing the complete installation live, but it tells a story that I have been dying to tell you for a very long time.

—Robin Frohardt

Plastic Bag Store: The Film will be available on demand for a week starting Saturday, April 24 at 7PM.