Saturday, 25 June 2022
1 – 10.30 pm
Bournville Village Festival, Linden Road, B30 1JR
Jon McCurley’s Monsters of the World focuses on the global chocolate trade through the lens of his Irish-Vietnamese roots, and his parents’ experience of meeting whilst working for Cadbury’s in the 1970s.
McCurley’s parents met in Montreal while working for Cadbury Schweppes Canada confectionery company as Technical Director, and Director of Quality Control. Throughout his childhood, their work had them travelling to the Cadbury Bournville location, as well as plants in India, South Africa, Australia, America, and Canada.
With his parents’ help and expertise, McCurley has created a replica chocolate bar food made of 100% Coberine: a manufactured vegetable fat product invented by Cadbury’s as an inexpensive replacement for cocoa during the 1970s.
On Saturday 25 June between 1pm – 10.30pm, join McCurley at a potentially humorous, and definitely satirical Taste Test, an interactive stall as part of the Bournville Village Festival.
Audiences can interact with Jon’s live consumer survey before taking a whirl on the bumper cars, or helter-skelter, or enjoying the maypole celebrations of the village.
Taste Test is part of Monsters of the World, which considers Cadbury’s role in the Age of Globalisation, and draws parallels to the Middle Ages and Age of Discovery. The so-called ‘edges of the known world’, where mythical monsters were claimed to have existed in previous centuries, appear to mirror today where multinational companies extract resources, exploit labour, open new markets, and sell products.
Jon McCurley (b.1982, Toronto) works in performance, film, sculpture, and theatre. He was half of the art group Life of a Craphead (2006 – 2020), projects include King Edward VII Equestrian Statue Floating Down the Don River (2017), where a life-size replica of a well-known colonial statue was dumped into a Toronto river on a weekly basis for a month; and Doored (2012 – 2017), a monthly live broadcast performance art show that featured over 150 performers over the span of 5 years. In 2018 Life of a Craphead was nominated for the Sobey Art Award.
His work investigates the diaspora, identity and white supremacist culture. His most recent show, Skull Island (2022) at Écart, Rouyn Noranda, is a collection of work about a trip to Vietnam where he discovered that the King Kong movie Kong: Skull Island (2017) had been filmed in the city where his family comes from, Ninh Bình. In 2023, he has an upcoming show at Richmond Gallery (Vancouver).