The necessity of luxury requires no conscience 2009

Mixed media sculptureMixed media: EPNS compotier, carved wooden cup and saucer, spoon and pair of dice of bone and carved Makonde (Mozambique) zebra-wood figurine made for tourist market
37 x 23 x 23 cm

Colonial and post colonial capitalist exploitation accounts for much of the high standard of living first world countries enjoy. Crops of coffee or cocoa or the mining of metals and minerals feeds the greedy consumption needs of the developed world. To obtain these essentials at the right price they must be produced at a minimum dollar cost to ensure a maximum profit return. To achieve this requires maximum exploitative skills. It requires deception and dishonesty on the part of the producers and traders and turning a blind eye to the sourcing of goods on the part of the consumer.

I have combined cuktural aesthetics in including a curio/sculpture made specifically for the tourist market by the forced labour of political prisoners in Mozambique under the Portuguese secret police (Pide) in the early seventies. This exquisite Zebra wood carving of an emaciated old man is made by an unknown Makonde wood carver, a suspected Frelimo freedom fighter. He is immersed in a hand carved wooden cup and metaphorically becomes the coffee. The two die on the saucer are the sugar cubes and the teaspoon is made of carved bone. Now sanitised the cup of coffee is elegantly supported and propped up on an inverted European compotier (fruit bowl).