Mark Boulos: All That is Solid Melts Into Air
October 1–December 11, 2011
Curated by Barbara Fischer
Presented at the Coach House Institute
Marshall McLuhan had foreseen that, in the electronic age, information would cause us to be ever more intensely involved in each other’s lives-no matter how near or far we are in a physical or geographical sense. Events taking place on one side of the globe would affect in accelerating speeds those living on the other, producing a kind of instantaneity that might be experienced as numbing, exhilarating, or even impose a state of constant terror. Increasingly, artists have become interested in examining this mediated landscape of human events and the particularity and nature of the involvement in each other’s affairs. The question of responsibility and possibility of participation, as well as collective response and action, all loom large in recent works and exhibitions around the world.
At the McLuhan Coach House, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is proud to present Amsterdam-based Mark Boulos’s large-scale video projection, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, which highlights the distance between global capital speculation and its local effects. The work consists of two videos projected simultaneously on opposing walls, which confront the viewing audience with conflicting yet inextricably emeshed forces. One screen presents frenzied stock traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange-the largest commodities exchange in the world-speculating on the futures of oil; the other shows documentary footage of guerrilla fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) preparing for battle against oil companies that extract and export oil from their land.
On loan from the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery (UBC, Vancouver), the project is part of a series of fall and winter exhibitions and interrelated public programs presented by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in conjunction with McLuhan100.
We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts with additional project support from the Toronto Arts Council, and the Hal Jackman Foundation.
Title Image: Installation view of Mark Boulos: All That is Solid Melts Into Air, 2011. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.