Masks and costumes, mainly copied from collections in Western museums, are reproduced by weaving together plastic bags. The masks are displayed on wooden stands made from sections of a recreation of the Dutch, iconic modernist Rietveld chair. The interwoven associations create a critical dialogue between European global hegemony and its on-going impact on other cultures. The work finds analogies between the single-use plastic bags that transport goods from one state to the next – store to home – and the masks which are now commodified objects adrift, removed from their cultural and geographic origins with devastating effects.
This series of masks was first exhibited in the exhibition entitled 500 years. The 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 the Americas, the Renaissance in Europe and the subsequent modernisation, industrialisation and globalization that pervade contemporary life.