With the onset of modern travel culture, the demand for large steamer trunks declined. Trains, cars, and finally airplanes required smaller items of luggage. Today, luggage in carry-on size and trolleys are everyday objects. The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic put a sudden end to travelling, all international travels had to be cancelled. During the shutdown, the practical companions turned into relics of a carefree time and even more, with regard to climate change, they could be viewed as a memorial for environmentally harmful low-cost flights.
For her exhibition at the MAK, artist Sophie Gogl created Storno, an overall installation resembling an airport terminal abandoned long ago. Different models of suitcases can be found in this utopian setting including fake metal detectors and artificial plants: open or closed, painted and with personalized stickers, with artificial moss or little mushroom sculptures made of clay growing on them. They serve as a frame for portraits of important people from pop culture and TV series whose attitude towards climate change and society the artist views critically. However, they also act as containers for arrangements of objects and sculptures which are “preserved” in a kind of “microclimate” as relics and snapshots of our consumer society.