Can This Marriage Be Saved?
NOVEMBER 4 - DECEMBER 14, 2017
Opening reception: Saturday November 4
Can this Marriage Be Saved? Here Beatriz Cortez disturbs the common assumption that nature and politics are safely on separate ends of a binary. We think we are looking at “just” a plant but the label and audio tell the story about the disciplining of plants and humans through institutions, corporations, and the entertainment industry, particularly with regards to ideas about race, marriage, and reproduction. That one of the plants is called Velo de novia (bride’s veil) is an added ironic twist.
The work engages with the life and work of Wilson Popenoe, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an Agricultural Explorer and with the United Fruit Company as Director of the Panamerican School of Agriculture in Zamora, Honduras; and his brother Paul Popenoe, former secretary of the Human Betterment Foundation, an institution founded to further eugenic ideas in the 1930s in Pasadena, California. After World War II, Paul Popenoe continued with his eugenics agenda under a different front, The National Marriage Project, located at 5287 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, the first marriage counseling institution of Los Angeles, which was meant to ensure that the fit would remain married and reproduce.