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America's Chocolate Factory

America's Chocolate Factory is an installation confronting the never-ending cycle of unrealistic standards and ideals imposed upon young Black girls. At the center of the piece is a Disney Princess TV placed atop a porcelain toilet, looping the artist's video performance art, Chocolate Girl. In Chocolate Girl, the artist is physically forced into her piece Relaxher, the artist's reinterpretation of a hair relaxer box marketed towards young girls in the 2000s, while a sped-up version of the Rolling Stones’ controversial song Brown Sugar plays on a loop.

The installation's title references Tim Burton's "Chocolate Factory." It plays off the director's infamous lack of diverse casting in his films, which he once defended with the dismissive statement, "Things either call for things, or they don't." This attitude reflects America’s pervasive exclusionary practices that persist in the entertainment industry and beyond, denying Black women a sense of representation and belonging.

America's Chocolate Factory critiques the capitalistic systems that profit from the exploitation of black women's identities, commodifying and objectifying their bodies and experiences for commercial gain while simultaneously rejecting and denying them a place within the very societal structures that perpetuate these harmful narratives. America’s Chocolate Factory is a reminder of how deeply constructed these oppressive structures are, grooming young Black girls into a cycle of conformity and self-denial from a young age through the influence of media and popular culture.

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