Opening night photography courtesy of The SUBSTATION
Performance, video, installation
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Plantation Dance (reprise) (video still), 2016, digital video, 3:29 mins
All the Goodness without the Work, 2016, acrylic on paper, 59 x 39cm
The legacy of Chiquita Brands International (formerly The United Fruit Company) is deeply rooted in the expansion of American and European colonial empires. It is associated with a history of plantation agriculture that has contributed to large disparities of wealth and income, political influence, foreign ownership, and exploitative social systems such as indentured labour and slavery. At present, Chiquita describes its history as “a story of unique and positive transformation,” distancing itself from the implications of its political reality in an erasure of its iniquitous history of capitalist imperialism.
Garcia’s performance, video and installation offers a counter-hegemonic response to the Chiquita legacy. This interdisciplinary work explores the social weight, status and economic power of the banana, which is currently the world’s fourth major food. By borrowing the artistry and aesthetic of Josephine Baker, subverting the marketing prowess of the Chiquita Brand, and disrupting the physical state of the banana, Garcia confronts the bitter lineage of the fruit through a critical contestation of neocolonialism.