Concert Baroque, 2016-18
2 channel HD video / stereo sound
8 min

Of silver the slender knives, the delicate forks; of silver the salvers with silver trees chased in the silver of the hollows for collecting the gravy of roasts; of silver the triple-tiered fruit trays of three round dishes crowned by silver pomegranates; of silver the wine flagons hammered by craftsmen in silver; of silver the fish platters, a porgy of silver lying plumply on a seaweed lattice; of silver the saltcellars, of silver the nutcrackers, of silver the goblets, of silver the teaspoons engraved with initials…

Concert Baroque, Alejo Carpentier

Alejo Carpentier, one of the most influential writers in Latin American literature, frames the opening passage of his well-known 1974 novel Concert Baroque in silver. This baroque description of excessive silverware not only conducted a cacophony of silver ringing, but also alluded to the wealth of the “New World” – in particular, Mexico – due to silver mining. Mexico remains to be one of the world’s largest silver producers. Borrowing the title of the novel, Concert Baroque (2016-18) is a two-channel video that documents mining activities at the Thornton Quarry, an aggregate quarry in South Illinois that used to supply limestone in the early 20th century for some of Chicago’s iconic architectures and roads. This work measures the ecological impact of mining and its kinship to capitalism through visual and auditory analogies. The incredible resemblance between the shape of the abandoned trading pit at the Chicago Board of Trade Building and that of open-pit silver and copper mines leads to a reflection on the connection between extraction and transaction. Much of what we build upon the earth comes from underneath the earth – the modern city is an upside-down city. As the earth sinks, profits rise. The ghostly cavities caused by mining become the future burial ground for capitalist residuals.

Curated by: Nicky Ni (LITHIUM)
Sound design: Diego Espinosa
Editing: Adela Goldbard

Concert Baroque SLIDE
Gallery shots, LITHIUM, Chicago, 2018
Concert Baroque SLIDE
Gallery shots, LITHIUM, Chicago, 2018
Concert Baroque SLIDE
Gallery shots, LITHIUM, Chicago, 2018
Concert Baroque SLIDE
Gallery shots, LITHIUM, Chicago, 2018
Concert Baroque SLIDE
Gallery shots, LITHIUM, Chicago, 2018

Screencapture, Realtime futures, 2018
conversation PDF
Brochure PDF
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google