Minerva Cuevas b. 1975, Mexico City
Acrylic paint on wall, acrylic on canvas, acrylic on metal, Del Monte can, advertisement on sheet metal, wooden table, magazine advertisements, glass jar with paint, hay, magnifying glass, plastic palm trees, postcards, silkscreen on canvas, and wood pallets
overall dimensions variable
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2014
Centered on the image of a banana plant over which a modified version of the Fresh Del Monte Produce logo is superimposed, Del Montte—Bananeras narrates a history of tension between major transnational banana companies and various Latin American countries, Guatemala in particular. Representing the process by which natural resources are exploited by corporate interests, it also references cynical complicity on the part local elites. The doubled letter in the modified brand name of the title refers to José Efraín Ríos Montt, the military president of Guatemala in 1982 and 1983, who was responsible for the genocidal slaughter of members of the indigenous Ixil ethnic group. Minerva Cuevas has also hijacked the authority of the logo by replacing the self-congratulatory language of advertising with a potent message of political opposition on behalf of a long-subjugated population and landscape.