Economic Supply Chains are Driving me Bananas!

Mi familia es Hondureña, Mexicana, Nahua, Española.

These are constants in my life, and they have been ever since I was born. The banana for example, has been the fruit I have come in contact with the most frequently in my life. Digging deeper into what that means, and how that looks has been extremely generative to my practice. Not only that but, it has uncovered connections to the artwork of many queer and artists of color. It has also been a point of resistance. Artists have used the banana as a reference to sexual practices, to the tropical/savage Other, to a commodity. Yet, whenever I see it, there is a precious and simple quality. I can see how my grandpa has cared for a banana plant, and many do not know of its cycle of life and how much danger its cultivation has caused, but how beloved and necessary it has remained. They simply see it as a crop. A fruit, with no association with a plant, with a process. This is how I see the art world functioning at many times; you see the crop, the fruit, the art PIECE, but ignore the process, the intention, the destruction.


"In Defense of Bananas and Agricultural Workers" (2018)

“In Defense of Bananas and Agricultural Workers” (2018)

printed poster image
24 in x 16 in

 

As Honduran-Mexican and first generation US-citizen I have deep connections with my family outside of the US. I have come to love the food my mother makes, and whenever we visit Honduras I can't hold back when it comes to the food. However, we are also posed with the dangers of the land. Due to a lots of corruption, pushes toward a capitalist economy, and military control, the (agriculture) industrial complex has been a leader in violating people's rights. This creates a conflicting political and cultural context for many products that are produced and consumed within the country. I love bananas, but I must also resist the process in which they are currently created.





“(Central) American (Cultural) Production” (2018)
Epson Archival Print
5ft x 7 ft



A photographic diptych positing the brown Latinx body into the colonizer's co-opted items of production. In this case being sugar and tobacco. Both are also agents of modern day overconsumption and addiction, leading to the destruction of healthy bodies. In the case of tobacco, I as a Latino have origins in the land where it first toiled. I grew from the same soil. Meanwhile sugar has been a product which has perpetuated death all over the history of the Latinx/Carribean continent. The nose in a bag of sugar being a placeholder for a head.



“Economic Supply Chains are Driving Me Bananas” (2019)
UCLA Broad Art Center

My exploration into the social stratification of the banana as a rare, exotic, and overly-sexual fruit to one which has been genetically modified to bear no seeds and internationally to be sold at prices lower than $0.70 per lb.





“Dame Mis Lenguas Y Te Contaré Sobre Mi Amor y Odio De los Plátanos.” (2019)






A culminating presentation of my work at UCLA in which storytelling takes the forefront. “Dame mis lenguas” refers to the tongue, disembodied. The tongue which we need in order to keep telling the stories, of those who have been silenced through colonial forms of . in an attempt to reform colonial tools into ones of resistance--especially through the narratives of nude in photography and the demon vs. saint complex within Catholic-dominant society as well as an expanded look into the Mexican and Central American floral and landscape.


LALÍN

San Diego, CA