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Karine Giboulo

All You Can Eat

Artist

Karine Giboulo
Born in Sainte-Émélie-de-l'Énergie, Quebec, in 1980

Title

All You Can Eat

Date

2008

Materials

Wood, oven-hardened polymer clay, acrylic paint, Plexiglas, glass, cloth, light bulbs, other materials

Dimensions

187 x 217 x 191.5 cm

Credits

Purchase, the Canada Council for the Arts' Acquisition Assistance Program and the Museum Campaign 1998-2002 Fund, inv. 2009.40.1-8

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Karine Giboulo creates miniature worlds in which she compresses a childlike but terrifying vision of contemporary reality. Enclosed in transparent plastic spheres or in sky-blue plinths, her “life bubbles,” as she calls them, present miniaturized pseudo-naïve visions of compelling and serious subjects: consumption, globalization, nationalism, the media, the environment, food, artificiality and waste. Giboulo created All You Can Eat after a trip to China, where she visited the dormitory-factories of Shenzhen. Set ingeniously inside three plinths and visible from a number of angles, her miniature scenes portray, playfully but with crystal clarity, the terrifying mechanics of the trade that governs the global food chain. Little figures of painted polymer clay represent Chinese workers, pigs destined for the slaughterhouse, greedy American consumers, all playing their parts and living their lives of hope, ignorance and tragedy. Believing, to paraphrase Léon Bloy, that hell is more terrifying seen though the eye of a needle than through vast embrasures, Giboulo opens tiny windows onto the implacable and monstrous mechanism of world trade.

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