The University Musical Society
(UMS) will open its newest iteration of the "renegade arts festival" No Safety Net
with a Brooklyn-based artist's pop-up "store" stocked with items made entirely of discarded plastic.
Robin Frohardt's interactive art and film installation, "The Plastic Bag Store," will open on Jan. 17 at a location to be determined in Ann Arbor. It will also be the installation’s final location after a two-year tour of the United States and Australia.The installation is a commentary on consumption and the overuse of plastic, featuring thousands of replica consumer goods made of plastic collected from the trash and from the street. Frohardt says the piece represents her "attempt to make something authentic and human" from items that are traditionally single-use.
"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," Frohardt says.
Frohardt's piece is one of six different events making up No Safety Net 3.0. UMS Marketing and Media Relations Manager Lilian Varner says each of the six performances have a good balance of "playfulness and aspects that are sobering," with topics including the rise of fascism, the continuing issue of forced migration, and the featured artists' personal lives.
"UMS has no specific agenda, political or otherwise, in putting these titles together as part of No Safety Net," Varner says. "We find them in their exceptional quality, and they delve deeply into subjects that are important to our society. They foster timely conversation about social themes, and these themes continue to evolve."
Other events will take place throughout Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan Stamps Gallery, the Power Center, and the Arthur Miller Theater, as well as a free digital performance that will be available to view throughout the three-week festival period.
"I'm really excited about all the collaboration," says Varner. "We're continuing to add partners, and I hope this continues to expand and create a space to continue these initiatives."
Individual event tickets and festival passes are available here
. Festival passes are available until Jan. 19. More information on the "Plastic Bag Store" and other events can be found here
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