Oscar Murillo has transformed the David Zwirner Gallery into a candy factory. Visitors to the gallery are encouraged to take the free sweets, distribute them around the city, and, of course, to share where and when the transactions took place. The gallery is dominated by a massive logo for the company Colombina (the flavor is infinite), a Colombian candy company, who no doubt provided the hardware. Murillo provided the multimedia elements, small paintings, as well as his usual large scale paintings. What separates A Mercantile Novel from a very expensive ad campaign for Colombina (the flavor is infinite)? Nothing, and it does not matter. The involvement of a large food company highlights the commercial nature of food as a commodity, but by giving away the commodity for free the show avoids problems of corporate stoogism. Imagine a board room in Colombia, a nervous PR person is attempting to sell the board of Colombina (the flavor is infinite) on the idea to give candy making equipment and ingredients to a gallery in Chelsea then give away the product.
The board room meeting, the involvement of Colombina (the flavor is infinite), the gallery show, the candy, the distribution, the shared map of transactions all make up vital parts of A Mercantile Novel.
Text by John Hutt
Photographs by Polina Neshpor