Alexandru Salceanu (US/RO)

Alexandru Salceanu (US/RO)
Text written by GHA

“The video “Expedited Labor” by American-Romanian artist Alexandru Salceanu delves into the global movement and exploitation of migrant workers within the food industry, a system heavily reliant on their low-wage labor.”

Salceanu’s video collection offers a poignant and symbolic exploration of consumption and decay. A time-lapse video of fresh produce deteriorating unfolds against a minimalist background with shipping details, reminiscent of passport stamps. This creative use of travel labels provides a human perspective on the global dependency on migrant labor. As the food rots, viewers are reminded of the waste inherent in consumer culture, sustained by the underpaid work of seasonal migrants.

Alexandru Salceanu (US/RO)

The film visualises the severe consequences of this exploitation, particularly how reliance on migrant workers can lead to crises when their movement is restricted. The border policies implemented in 2020,worldwide, in response to COVID-19 disrupted the flow of migrant labor, exposing the fragility of this system and the resulting imbalance between Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Northern and Southern America.

By visually depicting food waste alongside stamps marking global distribution, Salceanu underscores both the exploitation of workers and the inefficiencies of the global food system. The video also prompts viewers to reflect on their own role within this cycle of waste and exploitation.

Find video productions by the artist here >>>

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