English / Deutsch

9.4.2008 | Alexa Shopping Center, Berlin

Bag Lady

Performance by Pilvi Takala

Bag Lady is a performance that will take place in the large, new ALEXA shopping mall at Alexanderplatz. It was realized for the first time in the Arkaden shopping mall on Potsdamer Platz in 2006 for the duration of one week; the artist’s book Bag Lady, published in 2007, is based on this performance. A neatly dressed woman will appear, carrying a lot of cash in a transparent plastic bag. Behaving like a perfect customer while doing something completely “wrong,” Bag Lady is both a security threat and a subject of protection. Existing in both roles but fitting in neither, she challenges the pleasant and secure shopping atmosphere of the mall, especially the people responsible for maintaining it. This slight intervention sheds controversial light on the fragility of the social order, where private property in the form of money or a consumer product is of such supreme value that it is under constant intuitive public control.