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Germán Valenzuela

A plastic bag who dreamed of being a ballerina

In a far far away land, a black plastic bag was sitting under the sky, daydreaming of becoming the world’s most famous ballerina. So she rose up, took a plane a flew across the ocean, landing in Germany. For all the time she was in the sky, she looked below.

This might look like some kind of 21st-century tale, one of those you could find in very progressive children’s books, the ones that speak about recycling, environment, and ordinary and discarded objects becoming some kind of heroes. Instead, this is the concept behind MÏLLTÜTEN, a project conceived by Juan Roman, German Valenzuela, Blanca Zuñiga and Glen Deulofeu and realized by freshmen students of the School of Architecture of the Universidad de Talca, in Chile.

The title is a fusion of MIL (Spanish) and MÜLLTÜTEN (trash bags in German), a reflection of the fact that the project was conceived in the context of Documenta 13 (hence the airplane landing in Germany) but carried out in Chile. Here students used 1000 trash bags - ordinary black plastic bags - to create "an object of a certain beauty and variation" starting from "an element as despised as the garbage bag".

The video is both a documentation of the project and of an urban performance. In fact, it is only when installed that MÏLLTÜTEN finally came to life, becoming an installation that transformed the outdoor spaces of the university, even if for a brief time. The wind, another important "tool" of the installation, moved the quilted trash bags, creating the impression of a moveable threshold or of a theatre curtain, a flying wall that made the space playful. As the assignment noted, there is a certain beauty in the way it moves, covering and revealing the space, blocking and opening the view, encouraging people to run under it or to stop it with their bodies.

What's important here is the editing of the film, not only for a visual point of view: here the sound deceives us, viewers, making us daydream a little bit, such as the trash bag wishing to be a ballerina.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Producer: Juan Roman
Architects: Blanca Zuñiga, Glenn Deulofeu and German Valenzuela, (realized by freshmen students of the School of Architecture of the Universidad de Talca)
Mentioned project: MÏLLTÜTEN (2012)
Project location: School of Architecture of the Universidad de Talca, in Chile
Editing: Felipe Miño

Germany 2012
Duration: 3'23"