Inspired by propaganda imagery and horror movie posters, Monopoly tells the story of the crop that dominates the continent: corn. In the foreground five types of corn—sweet, flint, dent, white, and pop— cast a shadow of monoculture across a once-diverse American prairie. More than 91 million acres of corn (comparable to the area of Montana, the country’s fourth largest state) were planted in the U.S. in 2019;
the crop is found in everything from sweeteners to cosmetics to packaging. A Western Meadowlark occupies a lonely sliver of wild land blooming with Indian blanket and Mexican hat flowers. An oil slick, suggestive of corn’s thirst for fossil fuel-intensive fertilizers, spills from a stalk of dent corn, used for animal feed. A red barn in the form of a Monopoly hotel game piece stands upon the shadow of teosinte, the ancestor of modern corn.