Detail of decomposing dress by designer Scarlett Yang. Made of bioplastic. Photo: Scarlett Yang Design
Press release:

Plastic Crush: Plastic dreams at Wereldmuseum Amsterdam

With work by Scarlett Yang, Hozan Zangana, Benjamin Benmoyal, and others

A cape made of VHS tape, a sculpture as an ode to plastic as a lifesaver, and a dress made of bioplastic that is slowly dissolving. On Saturday, 5 November, Plastic Crush opens at Wereldmuseum Amsterdam. A new exhibition about a world full of plastic and our changing relationship with this malleable material. With exciting new work by Scarlett Yang, Hozan Zangana, Benjamin Benmoyal, and others.

Plastic Crush shows the different ways people around the world live with items made from plastic. Personal and local stories, objects from the museum’s collection, plastic icons and contemporary art are all linked to the global trade systems that introduced and spread the material. 

Decomposing dress

Many artists and designers are looking into the value of plastic. The personal value of the material itself, as a democratic good, as well as its cost to the climate. Conceptual fashion designer Scarlett Yang reacts to the polluting fashion industry. Its remnants will linger on our planet for a long time. She designed a decomposing dress from bioplastics that she made from algae and water. The dress is an exclusive and on temporary display at Wereldmuseum Amsterdam: during the exhibition, the piece will completely dissolve, leaving no trace. It is the first time Yang’s physical work is on display in the Netherlands.

'Onzichtbare Wond' van Hozan Zangana
3D model of artwork 'Invisible Wound' by Hozan Zangana. Made of recycled plastic. Image: Hozan Zangana studio.

Carrying plastic bottles on the run

In the commissioned artwork Brineki Nabinraw (‘Invisible Wound’), made of recycled plastic, award-winning designer Hozan Zangana shows the luggage carried by the Yezidis fleeing Islamic State (IS). In the summer of 2014, the terrorist group invaded the homes of the Yezidi community in Iraq. A genocide took place, and the survivors rushed to the Sinjar mountains. The plastic bottles and bags they carried were their dearest possessions during their flight. Zangana reminds us that thinking about the climate crisis is a privilege, in a way.

Cape van tape
Cape by fashion designer Benjamin Benmoyal, woven from tape from VHS video tapes and cassette tapes and material from deadstock (unsold clothes) of fashion houses. Purchased in 2022. R-5074

A cape made of tape

VHS tapes and cassette tapes are the ultimate examples of plastic that physically carried music and language. Tape had a voice, literally. Childhood memories of the carriers inspired fashion designer Benjamin Benmoyal. The exhibition contains one of his capes, woven from old video and cassette tapes and material taken from the ‘deadstock’ (unsold clothing) of fashion houses.

Museum Night 2022

Plastic Crush features these works as well as contributions by Shahar Livne, Flory Sinanduku, Wesley Wolfe, Margot Vos, Digna Poelman and Yilmaz Zenger. The festive public opening will take place during Museum Night 2022. With speed tours by the exhibition designers, talks with plastics expert Daniël Poolen and others, performances by Chihiro Geuzebroek & The Sound of Climate Justice band, and more.



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