Who Got the Corn?

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin / Pitkin Studio
2002
Fencing, cornstalks, table-fan screens, found metal, chicken wire, wire, enamel, and spray paint on canvas on wood
55 x 78 x 8 inches

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In this work, a bundle of dried cornstalks, imprisoned behind a grid, makes an inquiry into the inequalities of sharecropping in the post-Civil War South.

In this work, a bundle of dried cornstalks, imprisoned behind a grid, makes an inquiry into the inequalities of sharecropping in the post-Civil War South. Little more than an extended form of slavery, the system of Southern sharecropping often demanded that black tenant farmers turn over the majority of their yield to absentee white landlords. Here, Dial fences up the withered remains of the golden harvest to ponder the tensions between entitlement and denial to ask a question about a chapter in American history in which such injustices were allowed to flourish. —Joanne Cubbs