• Melanie Smith, María Elena, 2018, HD video projection, color, sound, 24 minutes.

    Melanie Smith

    Galerie Peter Kilchmann

    In 2014, Melanie Smith made a video work called Fordlandia, a study of the eponymous abandoned town in the Brazilian rain forest where Henry Ford had attempted to establish a vast rubber plantation in the 1920s. In spite of the enormous resources at Ford’s disposal and the best possible techniques of scientific management, the plantation proved a catastrophic failure and the rain forest slowly engulfed its ruins. Fordlandia was inevitably read as a parable about hubris, but it was as concerned with how to convey an atmosphere of heat, humidity, and lethargy as it was with colonial economics.

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