Photos: Branson Tate Sugar
by Beauchamp Art
Macro photos of sugar cubes from the Virgin Money Lounge, taken with the lens inverted for maximum magnification, producing an aesthetic like Brassai’s Involuntary Sculptures, the micro made uncanny be intimate examination. The image could be seen as one taken at the crossroads of three forces of Capitalism, reflecting Richard Branson (as owner of Virgin), Tate (whose wealth was built on the sugar trade, a product of colonialism and slavery), Alan Sugar (by name alone). But the images also serve as a textural exploration of the sweet substance that was once, like salt, a status symbol, but now is saturated into all foodstuffs, replacing nutritional quality with an addictive glucose content.
To the producers and distributors; food is no longer that which is eaten to survive, at the foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, but it is a commodity like any other to be sol, tread, and mass manufactured for the lowest cost and highest profit, with little or no concern given to the consumers, the population, and a disregard to the farm workers and labours of the land who rarely see a fair representation of their efforts in the financial feedback they receive.