NAFTA 9/9 P. Roch Smith

Steel and Bronze
4.5 × 30 inches
11.43 × 76.2 cm
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The title of this playful sculpture by P. Roch Smith refers to the North America Free Trade Agreement - a trade relationship between the US and Canada (and Mexico). The cast bronze figures of the elephant and the mouse derive from a statement made by former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. In March, 1969, Trudeau made an Aesopian analogy for the Canada-US relationship in a speech to the Washington Press Club. He said: "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt." This image captures the imbalance of the relationship and the sense of Canadian vulnerability on the one hand, and American obliviousness on the other. However, sculptor P. Roch Smith has different interpretation of this relationship - face to face along a red teeter-totter, the mouse outweighs the elephant.

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