RETURN TO SENDER, 2015, cast cultured granite, cement and metal boxes, variable dimensions
Unsolicited gifts, packaged just the same as the most wanted, weigh a little more with postage due.
Our desire for oil, opium, and geopolitical advantage is concealed when boxed to ship abroad. The contents are padded with humanitarian gestures and egalitarian promises. The containers are labeled and stamped for export with ‘democracy,’ ‘human rights,’ and ‘economic aid’. They are addressed to recipients outside of the fold—future friends now in need.
When opened, and the stuffing removed, the gifts of promise are heavy. Small or large, eagerly awaited or unexpected, these boxes scarcely require anyone to open them. The contents explode or leak out, change shape, or morph into intended forms and consequences—of death and destruction. The devastation is no longer contained; it is boundless.
Some collect precious personal bits and pieces nearby, others include missionary memorabilia or trophies from collaborators of an alien cause. Whether to reciprocate or share the abundance, improvised presents don’t require specific addresses. Unopened or provisionally repackaged in what is left at hand, these boxes may be sent back merely marked ‘return to sender.’