Chris Charbonneau

Sugar Coated: The Pyramid Falls Down Upon Children

Sugar Coated: The Pyramid Falls Down Upon Children
Sugar Coated: The Pyramid Falls Down Upon Children
Sugar Coated: The Pyramid Falls Down Upon Children
Sugar Coated: The Pyramid Falls Down Upon Children
Sugar Coated (detail)
Sugar Coated (detail)
Sugar Coated (detail)
Sugar Coated (detail)

Statement

Metal Rod, Receipts, Welch’s Jelly, Dolls. Performance / Installation in Exhibition Room, Regis E. Spring 2008.

The concept and execution of this piece came before the financial crisis, and, for me, the moral issues that it rose feel today almost as a premonition of that diaster. Specifically, I was working with the idea of the economic pyramid as both a system of supports that couldn't withstand its strains and an object of oppression. The people at the top draw their power from the people at the bottom, from their purchases, alluded to in the myriad reciepts covering the pyramid structure hanging over the dolls. The pyramid was cut and had a spike in its interior to "communicate" the force of the bottom-most section of the pyramid onto the dolls. I preformed the piece as a sort of "Groundhog's Day" experiment, asking whether the children would be impaled by the pyramid. When I preformed the piece they were not, and the piece ended on an optimistic note.

The dolls were covered in jelly. For me, this imagery developed a commentary about how we spin systems to be favorable or to simply distract others from the precarious nature of these systems. To our children, these institutional systems are very much "sugar-coated." The juxtaposition of sweets and children also brings up a contemporary dialogue about childhood obesity, pointing out connections between economic systems and the amount of sugar consummed by small children.