It's profoundly historical in an ever-widening pattern web of relationships and events connecting the European Middle Ages to the present, economically, culturally and politically.
This is revealed immediately in the title she has given this show is brilliant, invoking European history back to the crusading medieval era, when the lucrative, if dangerous and very expensive sugar trade with the Middle East brought the sweet stuff to the tables of the ruling elite. Their kitchens fashioned the sugar into extravagant shapes, landscapes and emblems served as centerpieces at banquets, called an entremet, and in England, more commonly by the Renaissance, a subtlety. By the Renaissance the Europeans were already slaving Africa, taking the people to the New World, to work in the gold and silver mines that financed the architecture and wars of Europe's baroque, rococo and neoclassical periods, and the sugar plantations that would finance the Industrial Revolution.
|"Carrying either big baskets or bunches of bananas, they are enlarged from small cheap ceramic figurines still made in China."|
... Dominated by an enormous sugarcoated woman-sphinx with undeniably black features and wearing only an Aunt Jemima kerchief and earrings, it is beautiful, brazen and disturbing, and above all a densely layered statement that both indicts and pays tribute. It all but throws possible interpretations and inescapable meanings at you.