Victoria Cabezas






USA-Costa Rica


29.8 x 40.6 cm; 30.5 x 39.3 cm; 30.5 x 38.8 cm; 30.5 x 38.8 cm


4 digital copies of black and white photographs coloured by hand

Créditos: Cortesía de Victoria Cabezas

Victoria Cabezas created a series of photos reflecting her experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. in which she reflects on the relationship between the body and the banana and the imaginative constructions that this relationship suggests. When she was studying at the University of Florida in the early 1960s, the artist experienced  firsthand the immediate association that people made between her native Costa Rica and the concept of the “banana republic”, a pejorative term that was born specifically from the occupation of certain Latin American territories by the United Fruit Company. The term “banana republic” refers to corrupt, poor and underdeveloped Latin American states, a product of negligent governments quietly supported by the U.S. As a result of this alienating experience, Cabezas created a series of photos that satirize the perceptions of the banana abroad. In the images the fruit grow on an innocuous tree or perch on the body of a semi-naked man as if they were maggots. Some are edited so that the characteristic yellow colour of the banana contrasts with the black and white of the photos. In addition, the position of the bodies depicted alludes to religious iconography, here subverted by the artist’s decisions. In this way, the man lying on the floor refers to Christ on the cross, but instead of hanging, he lies placidly on the floor while the bananas overrun him. In the same way, the photo showing a sleepy man under the shade of a banana tree references the iconography of Paradise, except that the banana replaces the apple as the forbidden fruit.