esther sibiude: back box

penske truck, manhattan, 2017

Curated by Lolita Cros


Walking down a city street in the daylight, one can observe the frenzied movements of delivery trucks, loading stacks of packages into every building—objects ordered online and shipped through UPS, Amazon, or Fedex. In the evening, piles of cardboard boxes and packing materials are regurgitated on to the sidewalk, folded and empty this time, awaiting the garbage trucks that will shepherd them into the next step of their endless journey.

It seems like city apartments have swallowed the content of these packages and spit out the non-nutritional parts; the non-digestible skin. This worldwide ingestion system has its own motility— creating both energy and transition in the process. 

The reflected nature of these movements, these logistics, feel like automated magic to us. They are what we call "black boxed"; the term given to complex, ubiquitous systems of which users have no understanding. Packages are moved methodically, and we remain clueless about the extensive procedures and coordination necessary to make deliveries. The human body is another black box we naturally rely upon without much thought until something goes wrong. 

The textures and exoskeletons of distribution are like an inner life we will never be able to see. Through this immersive installation, Black Box shines a light on the impersonal life that surrounds and infuses us.



Esther Sibiude (born in 1988 in Prades, France) lives and works between Berlin and New York. She studied fine arts at the Universität der Künste Berlin in the class of Thomas Zipp and Leiko Ikemura between 2009 and 2014. Her work has been shown at Mindscape Universe, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Galerie Cruise und Callas, Galerie Gerken, and the Tändstickmuseet in Sweden. This year she was awarded with the Bernhard Heiliger Grant.


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