São Paulo

Melanie Smith, Untitled, 2014, collage, 17 × 11".

Melanie Smith, Untitled, 2014, collage, 17 × 11".

Melanie Smith

Galeria Nara Roesler | São Paulo

Melanie Smith, Untitled, 2014, collage, 17 × 11".

In Melanie Smith’s recent exhibition “Fordlandia,” five paintings, eight collages, and a video (all works 2014) address an industrial complex constructed by Henry Ford in the middle of Brazil’s Amazon jungle in the late 1920s. The compound was intended not only as a site for the processing of natural rubber but also as home to a model community of producers, fostered through education and prescribed diets. In the collages on display (all Untitled), Smith pasted blueprints from the Ford Foundation’s archive of technical drawings of car parts on top of images of Amazonian flora and fauna cut out from various sources. The semitransparency of the blueprints gives the underlying representations of nature a diaphanous quality that results in the co-penetration of the two elements, as when the graphic lines and text identifying automobile components seem to be inscribed on the body of

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