Monday, May 23, 2016

Migration










Migration.
15-plate Intaglio.
60cm x 90cm. 
2016.

The prints I started in January are finally coming together and one by one I'm finishing them now. I wanted to be done months ago, but the printing process I'm working with now is slower than ever and sometimes I feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel: I work and work at the studio but it feels like I'm not really getting anywhere. Well, I hope the next few posts will prove this feeling wrong.
I've started utilizing my printing plates almost as drawing tools, where I print smaller plates (most of my plates are 30cm x 30cm) relatively loosely on a large sheet of Asian paper. Some of plate marks remain visible in the final pieces, but I don't really mind that part of the process is visible.
Migration is a 15-plate print, which means I often print one plate which I then need to let dry for a day before I continue (sometimes I print a few when I don't mind loosing some wet ink through offset). I continued playing with some of the cloud imagery I started with earlier. In this piece, the ominous swopping cloud was inspired by the toxic clouds of crop dusters. I've been researching the soy industry and soy plantations in Paraguay and there are so many accounts where soy fields surround small villages and peasant farms. Often the crop dusters will spray villages, in a few instances even children on their way home from school, or the crops of subsistence farmers which then wilt and die from the herbicides. Inequality is a really big issue in Paraguay, mostly tied to land ownership, and more and more peasants are displaced by large agribusiness enterprises. While these big companies claim that their way of farming is necessary to combat world hunger, in reality it contributes to world hunger since almost the entire crops are exported to other first world countries as feed for meat production, while local subsistence farmers are being displaced and migrate to the slums of the bigger cities where they can't grow their own food. Well, these are some of the issues I tried to portray in this piece, by printing some of the traditional subsistence crops on the back side of the Asian paper to shine faintly through and to create a physical separation between the plants and the figures, and with a torrent of soy beans falling from a harvest-combine spout onto the gardens and people, displacing them (see detail below).




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