‘Late’ Capitalism: Always Read the Label

Following on from his vaguely controversial video art piece Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright (13th September 2013), Asad Yawar has once again turned his lens to the theme of post-financialisation consumerism. ‘Late’ Capitalism: Always Read the Label sees Yawar depict the London branch of M&M’s World, arguably a cultural equivalent of the United States’ Embassy which sits proudly and unmistakably in Leicester Square, the tourist epicentre of the United Kingdom’s capital city.

In a similar fashion to the global financial industry, M&M’s underwent ‘deep’ globalisation in the early 1980s, successfully making the transition into new markets from its base in New Jersey: the first, exterior shot represents this reality. As Yawar moves further into M&M’s World, the artificial facade of a ‘spokescandie’ dressed in a Queen’s Guard uniform gives way to a branded but otherwise generic teddy bear. The turning of the bear’s label in the final shot to reveal the bear’s country of manufacture is likely to be a metaphor for outsourcing; at a time of relatively high wages in East Asia the overtones of abnormally cheap labour are not as pronounced as they once might have been, but they remain highly germane.



Filed under Business, Culture, Technology

2 responses to “‘Late’ Capitalism: Always Read the Label

  1. Well they’re making a film about Paddington Bear which has got Nicole Kidman in it. So films about bears are certainly topical.

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