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Apparatus SuperCenter

Jean Borbridge
January 29 – March 12, 2022
Reception: January 29, 7 – 9 pm

Apparatus SuperCenter
The ubiquitous image of circular fruit stacked into a pyramid frequently greets supermarket shoppers. The perfectly waxed round oranges betray no traces of the time and labour it took to grow, pick, and transport the fruit to the market and ultimately to our plates. Jean Borbridge’s Apparatus SuperCenter peers into what is unseen and too easily ignored: the physical labour of food production workers who are often migrants or prisoners, labouring under grotesque working conditions. The super-exploitation of these labourers depends on crowded living and working conditions, conditions of even heightened risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. By employing chroma key green, the colour used in green screen technology to allow the easy manipulation of digital photography or video, the artist references the way in which meaning is projected onto manipulated images. Even though production labour is unseen by the majority of consumers, Borbridge asks viewers to envision the unseen traces of exploited labour for themselves.

Jean Borbridge is a queer, working-class multimedia artist based out of Treaty 1. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors through the University of Manitoba. Using photography, video, and installation, Jean seeks to understand the illusion and spectacle of photography in relation to the body, advertisement, and labour, as well as the fallibility of such endeavours. Jean is the Education Coordinator at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery. She received the Platform Photography Award in 2020. Building community, relationships, and solidarity are crucial to her practice.