Raúl Quintanilla








80 x 125 cm


Mixed media

Credits: Museo de Fundación Ortiz Gurdián

GloBananalización is a piece by Nicaraguan artist, Raúl Quintanilla, which shows a miniature plastic man posed as a goalkeeper raising his arms to stop a goal. In front of the goalkeeper, the artist places a sphere much larger than the small character, created by overlaying fragments of local pre-Columbian ceramics onto a plastic reproduction of planet earth. The two objects are arranged on a green cloth surface, thus alluding to a football field where the modern white man and a “giant” sphere containing the face of a pre-Columbian animal face off against each other. The title of the piece is a play on words that hints at the globalisation of the banana market and the trivialisation of the cultures of countries like Nicaragua, which have been victims of the banana companies’ interests since the end of the 19th century. Since the turn of the century, the Nicaraguan government has finally sought to integrate its economy into world development, following ideas rolled out since the 1960s by programmes such as the Alliance for Progress. Quintanilla’s work questions these neoliberal ideals and argues that globalisation could end up wiping out the local economy. But Quintanilla’s staging could also be read as a bid for reversing the power roles established up to now in many of the Latin American countries that were part of the banana industry boom, since in the fictitious diorama posed by the artist, local pre-Columbian cultures would win the match by flattening the goalkeeper. Originally, the title of the piece was accompanied by a dedication to Carlo Guiliani, a 20-year-old protester who was killed by Italian police in an anti-globalisation protest that took place in Genoa in 2001. However, the organisers of the Third Central American Biennial, where this piece was unveiled for the first time, and won second prize, removed the dedication.