05.04.2017 - 28.04.2017
The term ‘banana republic’ originates in political science, describing politically unstable countries whose economies are largely dependent on the export of a single resource, such as bananas. It arose in the 1870s when bananas were introduced to the United States as a cheap and nutritional food source, and North American companies subsequently began manipulating national land use laws in Central and South America to acquire vast areas of land for agriculture while employing dispossessed native peoples as low-wage workers. Though this practice originated in Latin America it has also been broadly adapted to characterise nations with corrupt governance whose economies are vulnerable to exploitation by foreign corporate interests.
Coconut Republic is a series of new works that explore how American corporate ideology has colonised our modern field of vision. A cast of iconic international brands and emblems are deployed as ambassadors of a seemingly counterfeit reality in which ‘America’ is the single most valuable and volatile export of our time.
Born 1988, Sydney. Lives and works, Sydney
JD Reforma is an artist, writer and curator, with a Master of Fine Arts (2014) from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. His work encompasses sculpture, performance, and installation. He has exhibited extensively throughout NSW, including Artspace, Firstdraft, MOP Projects, Alaska Projects, Kudos Gallery, 55 Sydenham Rd, Breezeblock and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney; as well as Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, and Success, Fremantle, WA. His work has been commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney.
He is currently working towards a new art and writing commission for the Bayanihan Philippines Art Project, a multi-institutional collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, Mosman Art Gallery, Blacktown Arts Centre, Peacock Gallery (Auburn), Campbelltown Arts Centre and Museums & Galleries of NSW.