Indepth Arts News: |
"Exchange Values: Images of Invisible Lives"
2001-04-21 until 2001-07-29
South African National Gallery
Cape Town, ,
A social sculpture project by Shelley Sacks in collaboration with the Social
Sculpture Forum, and banana growers of the Windward Islands and
representative organisations. The basis of the installation is formed by stitched 'sheets of skin' from 20
randomly selected boxes of Windward Island bananas. The artist traced each
box back to its origin in the Caribbean and recorded the voices of the
growers. These recordings accompany each sheet of skin.
Through the situation of the banana producers and the effects of 'free
trade' in one particular region of the world, EXCHANGE VALUES emphasises the
interconnections between producers and consumers in our complex global
economy and our roles as 'artists' in re-envisioning our world.
Through the integration of the aesthetic and the political in this work an
imaginative space is created in which we can engage with the re-shaping and
transforming of our lives and our society, and explore ways to develop a
more participatory and sustainable society. This expanded workspace where we
work with the invisible materials available to us all, where the personal
and social imagination moves and weaves, is a creative space accessible to
EXCHANGE VALUES begun over 20 years ago has brought together a whole
spectrum of people: activists, farmers, economists, government ministers and
officials, ecological campaigners, artists, psychotherapists, engineers,
cultural geographers, writers and of course, consumers.
A number of 'social sculpture' forums have taken place during the course of
the project: whilst collecting the skins from members of the public over two
weekends in the centre of Nottingham, where free bananas were given out in
exchange for their skins; in the Windward Islands with growers and
sustainable development activists, and in the social sculpture forums that
take place alongside the physical installation.
This project has been supported by the St. Lucia Banana Growers Association,
The UK Presidency Project, The Foundation for Sport and Arts, East Midlands
Arts, The New Arts Symposium at Nottingham Trent University, The Bonington
Gallery, Nottingham and the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes