This is the last week to see Sarah Ayala’s site-specific installation at the SoMa micro-park located in the South Main District of Fort Worth. Curated by Art Tooth, a North Texas nonprofit that supports local artists through opportunities and resources, Ayala was invited to kick-off the 2022 SoMa installations with a work she proposed last year.
What comes off as a fun and lavish installation with pink iridescent streamers, fluffy stuffing (lit by purple LEDs) filling the floor, and brightly painted cakes set at a long rectangular table, broaches more serious topics than what meets the eye.
In Cuntrol: A Lavish Socioeconomic Ecosystem Controlling the Underfunded, Ayala builds off of a series of cake sculptures that she created in 2020 in response to the Economic Impact Payments. These payments, or stimulus funds, initially provided eligible adults $1,200, and later paid an additional $600. The colorful cakes include the hand-lettered words “Let Them Eat…” as a reference to the phrase often attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. Ayala pointedly uses this phrase to indicate that the payments made by the U.S. government weren’t nearly enough to ease the hardships faced by lower income individuals, but served merely as a political optic.
For this installation, Ayala and her collaborator Deryk Poynor expand on the idea of these cakes and point to other issues related to compensation (like the struggle to garner wide support for the $15/hour minimum wage), and also to reproductive rights.
If you’re in Fort Worth, stop by to see the installation before it closes on Friday, February 11, 2022.