Our taste for sweetness is a powerful force. It is one of the foundations of empires; of slavery; of ecological devastation; and of modern health epidemics and food injustice.
Even knowing this, we love it. Flowers and fruits seduce birds and insects with their nectars; for human beings, sugar starts as cane, beets, or corn, and people have harvested and manipulated and packaged it to suit consumers’ fancies. We continually construct and reconstruct its meanings.
Like Sugar will explore both the problematic and the joyful aspects of sugar, complicating our view of how this multi-layered substance affects us. Through artwork by contemporary artists such as Vik Muniz, Julia Jacquette, Zineb Sedira, Laurie Simmons, and others; historical materials such as maps, prints, and books; and material culture such as cane-cutting tools and sugar dishes, the show will raise questions and provide a space for dialogue about sugar in our lives.