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Mineral Invisibility

Mineral Invisibility stages a productive dialogue between historic illustrations, archival material and the artist’s own documentary footage on mining. It unfolds in the backdrop of the continuous expansion of mining activities in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais — a rampant process of industrialization which, despite its significant ecological and social impact, has raised little public awareness so far.

Illustrations extracted from De Re Metallica, by Georgius Agricola (1557) — a historical book on mining — are references for classifying the different works happening in the mines. The workers’ images were selected from complex scenes in the book and printed as posters. The series is put in relation to a projection of photographs coming from the mining sector of the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment of Minas Gerais. Their photographs show the reality of the present conditions of the work in this field: security, equipment and environment, how workers are transported and nourished, etc.

A text by Anselm Jappe, collaborator for this project, reflects on the history of slavery tied to the history of mining. In parallel, a video considers names of mines in relation to the history of Brazil and a written essay by the artist considers the act of cleaning the mine and the home as associated works, related to forgetfulness and erasure.

[2014] Multimedia installation in three parts. 44 black and white digital prints on paper [66x99 cm]; vinyl applied on floor; framed photograph [18x24 cm]; poster [inkjet color print, 70x50 cm]; 3 handouts [texts by Mabe Bethônico and Anselm Jappe]; Printed reports from the brazilian Ministry of Labour and Employment; 3 videos [Part 1: 15'30"; Part 2: 19'34"; Part 3: 03'02"].

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