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OPENINGS: ADRIANA MARTÍNEZ

Still from Adriana Martínez’s Shipping and Handling, 2016, 3-D digital animation, color, silent, 1 minute.

IN ADRIANA MARTÍNEZ’S 2016 video work Shipping and Handling, a familiar brown box rotates evenly, suspended in the pitch-black interior of a gleaming white stand. Bar codes are visible on several sides of this simulated cardboard cube, as are simple black images of arrows, goblets, and umbrellas—all graphics borrowed from the inscrutable iconography of packaging. Yet the real meaning of the work seems to lie not so much in these specific details but in the general allegory Martínez has constructed: The box stands in for Earth, our spherical home replaced with a generic cardboard package holding unknown commercial goods, positing the planet as one enormous commodity ready to be packed and shipped beyond any borders. International commerce—as the old adage goes—makes the world go round.

Born in 1988, Martínez is part of a younger generation of Latin American artists

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