Yoshua Okón

Octopus, 2011

Two synchronized projections and Home Depot buckets with foam

Digital videos with sound

17:12 minutes, loop

Dimensions Variable 

Courtesy of the Artist 

Octopus is titled after a local nickname given to the Guatemalan-based American monopolyUnited Fruit Company, now known popularly as Chiquita Banana. The CIA, working to protect the United States’ investments in the United Fruit Company—then Guatemala’s largest land-owner—deposed the country’s democratically elected president in a coup that led to the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996). Okón’s work documents the performances of Indigenous Mayan day laborers who were displaced by this war as they reenact gestures of military formations and covert operations drawn from their experiences of warfare. Set in the parking lot of a Los Angeles Home Depot, the video critiques the alliances between politics, capitalism, and the devastating fall-out of American imperialism abroad. 

360 Installation View

Photo Credit Mirna Chacín

Using Format