A Mercantile Novel

Door: Oscar Morillo.

“The assembly line installation, A Mercantile Novel (2014), is a collaboration with the Colombian candy manufacturer Colombina and based on a similar plant in Murillo’s hometown of La Paila. Many members of the artist’s family have worked there since it opened in the early-20th century, packing up the company’s well-known Chocmelos candy. Thirteen Colombina workers have been flown from Colombia to Chelsea to run the satellite factory-artwork, and video documentation of their journeys and experiences plays on screens near the front of the gallery space.

… Beyond fitting nicely with David Zwirner’s recent string of crowd-pleasing extravaganzas—after all, everybody likes free candy!—Murillo’s installation is intended to raise questions about labor, globalization, outsourcing, and migrant workers. His project earlier this year at Los Angeles’s new art space the Mistake Room took on similar themes, without taking them quite so literally. Coming face to face with a dozen Colombian chocolate factory workers in the heart of Chelsea is, if nothing else, a profoundly weird experience—even more so in light of their all-white, hazmat suit-like uniforms.”

Aldus news.artnet.com

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