Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Patna Black

Deptford X : Temporary Projects
26 September – 19 October 2008

Saturday & Sunday 1-5pm
Creekside Centre
14 Creekside SE8 4SQ

Tea, porcelain, opium, silver and consumerism...

Or in this case, a silver car-paint-sprayed shopping trolley rescued from the Creek, car-paint-sprayed plastic footballs from Terry’s, Gunpowder loose tea from Housewives’ Cash n’ Carry, plus surprisingly pricey microwaveable Willow Pattern plates and the last 5 metres of silver coin dress edging from Peter & Joan’s.

A partly buried upturned shopping trolley disgorges its cargo like a shipwreck. The East India Company, who repaired its ships at Deptford, had free rein to use military force to establish monopolies in the trading of tea, silk and porcelain, wielding more power than any other commercial organisation in history. The Company's strategy for trade in China involved smuggling opium to pay for tea, a policy of state sanctioned drug running that created millions of Chinese addicts.

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