(Australia 1953– )
vitrine/plinth: 174.0 x 132.2 x 57.2cm approx overall:
cccc - vitrine/ stand; 114 x 130.3 x 54.2cm; vitrine
cccc - vitrine/ stand; 60 x 132.2 x 57.2cm; plinth
'Cash Crop' consists of a vitrine filled with little sculptures of fruit and vegetables carved from a variety of natural soaps. These pieces of 'fruit' are accompanied by labels and painted bank notes. The terms appearing on the labels are taken from the language of economic activity. The juxtapositions are both amusing and sharply critical: 'liquid asset' is a grape; 'share market float' is a lotus; 'tax return' is a peanut; 'global liquidity' is a cola nut.
In 'Cash Crop', Fiona Hall explores the connections between trade, natural resources and botany. These concerns have been central to Hall's body of work since the 1970s. Soap is destroyed by water: it is ephemeral and changing. Commerce and trade, too, change with the slides in 'global liquidity'. Botany, like trade, is a system: of classification and collection. Botany is a science developed in order to 'collect' the world of nature. Cash Crop is about the exploitation of natural resources for commercial interests and the artifice of classification.
Julie Ewington writes, "Sir Joseph Banks created elaborate cabinets for the exploration voyages of James Cook, in which numerous specimens of plants were taken back to England, studied, dissected, analysed and planted. Later, the economic uses of collected plants were investigated, for medicine, cosmetics, prophylactics and profit... Fiona Hall has selectively emphasised the tendency towards conjoined terms in systems of Western classification. This is not a merely whimsical rubbing together of similarities, differences, binaries: it is a purposeful play between different orders of things, set up to embrace, pull apart, to slip and to slide".
Anthony Bond (England; Australia) (Commissioning Editor), Wayne Tunnicliffe (New Zealand; Australia) (Commissioning Editor), Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 2006, 310, 311 (colour illus.).
Julie Ewington (Australia) (Author), Fiona Hall, Annandale, 2005, 142, 143 (colour illus.). illustration is a detail
'Something of value: An interview with Tony Palmer' by Laura Murray Cree, pg. 580-589., Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 4) Jun 2000-Aug 2000, Jun 2000-Aug 2000, 582, 583 (colour illus.), 587.
John McDonald (Australia, b.1961) (Author), Federation: Australian art and society 1901-2001, Canberra, 2000, 211.
'Australia's 50 most collectable artists' by Andrew Frost (Chief writer), pg.59-96, Australian art collector Jan 2000-Mar 2000, Jan 2000-Mar 2000, 70 (colour illus.). illustration is a detail
'Cash Crop' by Julie Ewington, pg.41-43, Artlink [vol. 19, no. 4] Dec 1999, Dec 1999, cover (colour illus.), 41 (illus.), 42-43 (colour illus.), 41-43. all 3 illustrations are details
'Fiona Hall: Cash crop' by Timothy Morrell, pg.4-5, Art Monthly Australia Nov 1999, Nov 1999, inside cover (illus.), back cover (colour illus.), 5 (illus.), 4-5. all 3 illustrations are details
'Concepts take root' by Sebastian Smee, The Sydney Morning Herald 05 Oct 1999, 05 Oct 1999. Review in 'The galleries' section
'Fiona Hall: Cash Crop' by Timothy Morrell, Eyeline Summer 1998-1999, Summer 1998-1999, 38 (illus.). illustration is a detail
Institute of Modern Art (Australia, estab. 1975) (Organiser), Cash Crop, Brisbane, 1998.
Cash Crop, Institute of Modern Art, 08 Oct 1998–31 Oct 1998.
Cash Crop - an art exhibition by Fiona Hall, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 20 Nov 1998–29 Nov 1998.
Fieldwork, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, 29 Sep 1999–23 Oct 1999.
Fiona Hall, Queensland Art Gallery, 19 Mar 2005–05 Jun 2005.
Fiona Hall, Art Gallery of South Australia, 15 Jul 2005–18 Sep 2005.
Fiona Hall: Force Field, Museum of Contemporary Art, 06 Mar 2008–01 Jun 2008.
Fiona Hall: Force Field, City Gallery Wellington, 28 Jun 2008–19 Oct 2008.