This artistic work deals with the topic of misappropriation and wants to encourage the recipients
to reflect on their own actions and their consequences. Using the example of shopping trolleys,
which are stolen from supermarkets, we want to draw attention to a social problem: our unselfish
and destructive treatment of our immediate surroundings, both in rural and urban areas. Public
space is seen as a zone in which one can let off steam and exhibit questionable behavior without
having to bear the direct consequences. I've been wondering about this for some time, including
why so many items are thrown away or why useful things are vandalized - and thus become useless waste. Is this simply due to people's indifference?
I feel that we no longer perceive certain objects properly, they are simply there and are neither
questioned nor paid attention to. And despite this lack of attention, they have a decisive influence
on the cityscape. This applies to a wide variety of things that have been thrown away and ignored:
rubbish, half bicycles, lost objects, cigarette butts or even shopping trolleys. I have devoted my
attention to you for two years. The book is intended to encourage the viewer to reflect on our behavior. The aim is to increase awareness of our surroundings so that public space, the living room
of society so to speak, can continue to be used by everyone. But what exactly is the shopping
cart all about?
According to the definition, a shopping trolley is “a push trolley, usually consisting of a wire basket
with four self-steering Castor wheels, which is used to transport the customer’s goods in supermarkets”. However, the latter aspect is often forgotten; Customers like to take their shopping trolley home with them. But what happens to it after the purchases have been unloaded at home -
and the shopping trolley is no longer needed? The shopping trolley is often brought back, but now
and then it is simply placed on the street. At this point a new story begins. Pedestrians often take
the cars with them, rearrange them, throw them around and vandalize them, often at night. And
maybe I spotted and photographed one of those wagons lying around the next day on one of my
During the last two years I have photographed around 500 shopping trolleys, in various positions, at all times of the year and at all times of the day.
What is their function on the
street? Do they even belong there?
I try to give possible answers to these questions with my photos, without questioning the subjectivity of the viewer.
The project is not intended to convey any
solutions or evaluations per se, but rather to offer food for thought on how we could deal with the
Luca Ellena (b. 1997, Fribourg, Switzerland)
is a photographer who deals, in his works, predominantly with the city as a place where diverse objects, forms and materials collide and with the perception and transformation of public space.
He works in Fribourg and is regularly in Berlin. The photographer is represented by the Gallery Monika Wertheimer in Basel. Ellena studied Photography at the Neue Schule für Fotografie in Berlin (2017-2021), holds a BA in Communication and Media Research from the University of Fribourg (2018-2021) and is a member of .near, the swiss association for contemporary photography.