MeM#4 —4) Freedom Fries: Still Life


Freedom Fries: Still Life (Yoshua Okón. Mexico.) 3:42 min.

Freedom Fries: Still Life, 2014 includes a single channel video installation, a single channel video sculpture and a series of photographic triptychs. For this piece, Okón convinced both a McDonald’s manager to grant him access for an overnight shoot and a McDonald’s loyal costumer to participate as a model. The resulting work references the way in which the body is tricked and, above all, dehumanized by the corporate environment. In this sense, the site itself acquires a symbolic nature: McDonald’s, as a representative of corporate culture, references the way in which ‘‘consumer society’’ alienates the human body. In Freedom Fries the obese body becomes the evidence of a neoliberal system which 4_freedom fries_still_02_bajaideology promotes an idea of freedom based on disproportionate consumption and the continuous promotion of low self-esteem. In such a context, the work points out the irony of how, in the name of Freedom, we have become prisoners of our own bodies. Freedom Fries documents the consequences of an economic and political system that has eroded our agency so deeply that we have lost not only the connection with other species and other human beings but we have also become alienated from our own corporality.

Duration: 3:42 min. loop.

It has participated in the Festivals: Zona MACO

Director: Yoshua Okón

Photography: Rodrigo Cervantes

Editing by: Rodrigo Cervantes

Production: Okon Studio







Yoshua Okón was born in Mexico City in 1970 where he currently lives. His work, like a series of near-sociological experiments executed for the camera, blends staged situations, documentation and improvisation and questions habitual perceptions of reality and truth, selfhood and morality. In 2002 he received an MFA from UCLA with a Fulbright scholarship. His solo shows exhibitions include: Salò Island,UC Irvine, Irvine; Piovra, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Poulpe, Mor Charpentier, Paris; Octopus, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and SUBTITLE, Städtische Kunsthalle, Munich. His group exhibitions include: Gwangju Biennale, Korea; Antes de la resaca, MUAC, Mexico City; Incongruous, Musèe Cantonal des Beux-Arts, Lausanne; The Mole´s Horizon, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre; Amateurs, CCA Wattis; San Francisco; Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London; Adaptive Behavior, New Museum, NY and Mexico City: an exhibition about the exchange rates between bodies and values, PS1, MoMA, NY, and Kunstwerke, Berlin. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, Hammer Museum, LACMA, Colección Jumex and MUAC, among others.


(Subtitles in process.)