Pia Camil’s work uses textile, sculpture, and performance to create environments which confront the politics of global consumerism through the language of theater and retail.
Recently, Camil has begun to recycle and alter textiles to reflect the larger socio-political forces which inform their production and distribution. In several of her works, hundreds of secondhand t-shirts with wildly different logos are sewn together into massive curtains that illustrate a shared cycle of consumption.
Inspired by the open-air markets of Latin America, particularly Iztapalapa in Mexico City, the artist comments on a cycle in which shirts designed in the U.S. are manufactured in Latin America, worn and discarded in the United States, and then sent back to Latin America to be sold again in second-hand markets, where their logos advocate for causes far removed from local culture.
Camil engages the relationship between the Global North and South by re-importing these t-shirts once again into the United States as art so that they may, as the artist says, “haunt” their places of origin.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website