“The plastic bag is a vessel for an ever-changing content” Heidi Voet
Laboriously woven from thousands of plastic carrier bags, each flag is drawn from countries that declared independence but no longer exist. Within the life span of a disposable plastic bag hundreds of nation states have formed and collapsed, the geopolitical map changed and reconfigured. In a world where the history of war and strife is predicated on nationalism, the colorful flags convey the transient and impermanent nature of so-called national identity.
The 500 years exhibition included three interrelated bodies of work that take the lifespan of a plastic bag as a historical period. Instead of looking forward, however, it looks back to link a period of history that has defined the contemporary age, from the earliest colonisation of Latin America, the Renaissance in Europe and the subsequent modernisation, industrialisation and globalization that pervade contemporary life.