On the Chocolate Trail

Smiley Chocolate

Chocmelos from A Mercantile Novel

Chocmelos, A Mercantile Novel

We hit the mother lode. This chocolate factory came to us from Columbia, unlike the others we were fortunate to trek to in Belgium, England, France, Israel, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland. To be precise to the David Zwirner gallery near the High Line in Chelsea. Oscar Murillo’s performance art installation, A Mercantile Novel, mashes up NYC with Columbian chocolate, importing a factory line and its workers, culminating in a treat packed in foil decorated with a smiley face and the Columbina Candy Company logo.

Murillo’s novel plot of commerce and relationships features his tribute to his mother in blow up photos of her work in the factory in South America. Video of the chocolate equipment enrobing marshmallows (the Chocmelos©) along with shots of visitors to the Gallery streams from the Mercantile Novel website. Instagrammers are eligible for prizes by documenting their gifting forward of the thousands of freebies dispensed at 19th Street.

While the exhibit includes some pieces molded from melted chocolate and tennis balls, (I have not figured out that story) not unlike many other uses of sculpted chocolate, (which I generally find wasteful of good chocolate) here we see happy candy makers on their break chatting with visitors; happy tourists grabbing samples before, during and after viewing; and, happy stories of sharing the goods around town.

From Murillo’s core experience with the factory through his beloved mother’s labor, to the chocolate interplay between continents, to the melting of roles of recipient to gifter to recipient, one can only happily unwrap the smiley packet, and, as it reads: “Have a nice day!”


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On the Chocolate Trail

On the Chocolate Trail