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Incident No.57: Galería Perdida

Two Chins to Swallow

Report by Marcus Civin

As they exist now, the systems of export and import between nations do not support healthy living. Sustenance is dependent on shopping and shopping is subsistence, a constant appraisal of accumulated cost. All over the world, it has become increasingly difficult to throw together a salad for cheap or without trepidation about what company hired the vegetable truck and therefore whether or not the driver who drove in with that vegetable-load can afford to pay down the associated diesel bill they must pay down themselves. Food is food. Food should not be food crisis.

Bananas ripen then brown. Fruit is always just about to rot, to become wrinkled fruit fly target. That particular evolution is enough. More than ever, each vegetable and each fruit is insecure. Good food could soon be an impossibility, a wisp, a painful memory accompanying shadowy grey clumps that recall food but are more like deformities, abstractions of food.

galeria perdida brought to Hudson, New York, the material for plastic strands to weave a network of Mexico City plastic shopping bag-style shelves. There are bright herringbone-patterned shelves, diamond-patterned shelves, and overlapping dazzle grids. Wrote galeria perdida in an e-mail:

“We procured our lanyard material in Mexico City and imported it all the way back here. The material in Mexico is best known for making shopping bags/baskets and patio furniture. We hand-wove all the panels. We purchased all the produce local to Hudson, NY, and designed the steel armature. Our interest in the material and method comes from its relationship to rigor, design, and those inherent relationships to market and taxonomical (classification) structures.”

I observe the colors in galeria perdida’s Hudson storefront windows. I read all kinds of complexities:

Blue, for example, is stasis, where global north is global north and global south is global south. Blue is pollen-crusty patio furniture. Blue is a good life where a good life is fixed, inaccessible like a snail that has retreated into its shell. Blue, the color of great tides, also expresses the very difficulty of moving great tides.

Brown is fruit flies. Fruit flies get bored with fruit, with, say, a decaying pear because the pear juice gets too far buried as pear becomes a sour habitat. Brown turns a sickly green.

Orange is prayer. In prayer as in the supposed confidence of advanced age, there is great need, great desire. And, in prayer, in orange, when the heaving old farm ought to be paid off, but it is not, there is desperation.

In these Hudson storefront widows, this still life, these fruits and vegetables could rot; a few are in danger of slipping.