Land of Plenty. 2018

Installation

12 framed drawings and set of materials (metal roof tiles, glass sheets, 15 meters of thick nylon)

 

Following the agrarian reforms in the 60’s in Cuba, only the State can be in control of the administration, production and distribution of the earth’s riches. The National Association of Small Farms (ANAP) is a state entity and for decades has been setting the price of the harvests. The structure of this entity has been unjustly rewarding the farmers, essentially turning them into slaves of their own production and moreover, inefficiently administering the large quantities of produce resulting to an overall and unnecessary shortage of food in local markets. Yet there are some farmers who have developed a system that undermines the authority over their land and labour. On the one hand, farmers are working for a government that will not reward them accordingly and on the other, they are unable to find another buyer (as there are no private entities) and therefore they prefer to secretly destroy it than hand it over to the State. The circle of production is interrupted through an act of  silent protest, the labour of a whole year goes to waste and so do large quantities of food. The farmers use as their principal ally the sunlight, direct or redirected and intensified through thick glass sheets installed in place of windows. The carefully designed nylon covered packages are distributed within the warehouse directly below the sunlight flooding through the windows and any holes that are pierced through the aluminium rooftop. Through years of practice the farmers have created an efficient system of composting to make everything inedible in a matter of days. 

 

The Land of Plenty brings to light this system of destruction by asking the farmers to explain the logistics of this process through notes and drawings. Although the drawings seem naive and abstract each farmer outlines his methodology as he understands it. Following the farmers’ instructions, a set of materials, including aluminium roof tiles, glass sheets and fifteen meters of thick nylon sheets, necessary to conduct the accelerated spoiling, are presented together with the drawings. Seemingly random and harmless, this set of materials contains all compartments used for carrying out this act of protest. A well-calculated, almost perfect system metaphor brings to surface the disconnection between the government and state interest and the effort of the farmers. 

Land of Plenty, solo show

El Apartamento gallery

 Sept/Nov 2018,

Havana, Cuba