José Caerols


La Marcha








20 kg of bananas and a pine wood plank

In this installation the Chilean artist José Caerols (also known as “Yisa”) has placed several bunches of bananas on a shelf. From far away, the bunches look almost like groups of people hugging each other, as though it were a reunion of several families. In fact, the artist highlights this relationship between the bunches through the words “somos familia” (‘we are family’) cut into the skin of the bunches.  The technique of making incisions on the skin of the bananas is directly reminiscent of tattoo art. Furthermore, the gothic font is similar to the tattoo style that many young Latinos wear today. Thus the phrase ‘we are family’ emphasizes the idea of an association not only through family ties but also through relationships which exist at the edge of the law, like mafia and gangs.  Yisa links the Latino identity with the banana plant, responding to the perception that exists of Latin American and Caribbean migrants in the US as a homogenous and exoticized whole. Nevertheless, the artist is aware of how the perceptions others have of us can become our perceptions of ourselves. Therefore Latin American and Caribbean migrants in the US feel the need to unite because they share a similar experience of being uprooted, and because they must find strength as a community in a new place.