Plastic Bag

  • Dance & performance
  • Part of Aerowaves Twenty22

40 min.

© Plastic Bag, Yulia Arsen




CNDB "Stere Popescu” hall (Mărășești, 80-82)


Femininity is a product. A mass-produced product you can find in a store. Determined to achieve full-fledged femininity, Yulia Arsen goes to the shop with a plastic bag where she means to purchase it for a reasonable price.

Ironic, honest and intimate, in this piece Arsen plays with clichés about what it means to be a woman, and to examine your gender identity.

Even in 2022, there are still a lot of patriarchal voices and expectations about women’s behavior. With the help of humor, I try to understand what all this leads us to. If it is assumed that a woman should be someone passive and quiet, and a male should be someone active and not sensitive, then this forces us to endlessly reproduce the model of the victim and the rapist, and we must find the strength to break this vicious circle and reassess our views and values. For me, feminist optics are important not only because they give a voice to a woman, but also because they allow both men and women to go beyond the patriarchy. With this work, I would like to support people who do not want to fit into any “normal” framework, who just want to be themselves and develop empathy as the main value in life

(Yulia Arsen, the author)

Made and performed by: Yulia Arsen
Outside eye by: Nastya Nikolaeva
Music: Philip Kirkorov “Diva”, Robert Parker “Sweet Nothings”
Video: Sasha Panichkin
Photo: Egor Gogen
Editare: Katya Mordvinkina

Yulia Arsen is an interdisciplinary artist and choreographer based in Moscow who works at the intersection of dance, theater and contemporary art. Arsen studied in Germany, and performed in festivals in Korea, Hungary, Germany, Russia, Estonia and Ireland. Within her artistic practice Arsen is interested in the constant fluctuations in herself between honesty and irony, conceptual and popular, trash and tenderness and fun and tragic. She is inspired by the idea of creating works that will capture the audience’s imagination. Arsen is a resident at the Meyerhold Centre (Moscow), the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art (Moscow), collaborates with the V-A-C Foundation, various Moscow theaters and the Kuflex laboratory of media art. She was a Scholarship holder of the STD of the Russian Federation (2020) and laureate of the Kulturamt der Stadt Kassel grant (2020). With her work “Plastic bag” she was selected by the Aerowaves partners as one of the Twenty22 artists.

Supported by
STANTSIA_art and Tatiana Gordeeva (curator)

Special mentions

The Plastic Bag piece is one of the 20 works selected in the Twenty22 program of the European contemporary dance network Aerowaves, of which CNDB is part together with similar institutions from Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Croatia, Russia, Iceland, Ireland, and others.

The performance is followed by a discussion with artist Yulia Arsen, moderated by Mihaela Michailov.

Skip to content