The Extraction Before Us

2021

hand lotion, smell, latex, clay, plastics

variable dimensions, ceiling height 270”




This installation is a study in thinking about an ejaculation (male?) as an extraction of material.

The extracted matter (fluid or dust) is thought of as potentiality (like minerals or oil) they have no value on their own / they must undergo a process to become commodity (cement or gasoline). Raw substances that belong to the stars as much as they belong to us. We rely on kinship, nations, morality, religion, and politics to claim these substances ours (whether we are talking about sand or about a fetus).

More practically the installation consist of: automatic dispensers, hanging clay lumps inside of latex containers, and a video.

1. An automatic dispenser spreads its content to disinfect and regulate bodies when entering a space. Rather than sanitising gel, this one dispenses watery hand lotion, a substance associated with male masturbation. The smell of the lotion is a combination of toiletry scents that contain endocrine disruptors which confuse the body into thinking it has produced enough hormones, thereby curtailing sperm count. The object is an expression of how compulsions to both procreate and create have become controlled and commodified capitalist functions; extractions of life and creativity from our bodies and earth.

The smell was made in collaboration with Elia Chiche [elia.chiche@yahoo.com], a perfumist and smell designer based in Paris.

2. The clay lumps are meant to allude towards a sort of feral ecology between man made toxicities and organic matter; they are seeds, fruits, hatching creatures and testicles, all at the same time. 

3. A video that contextualizes the hand lotion and the extraction I am trying to address. The filming follows the changing landscape of the coastal region of Oaxaca; mostly due to gentrification and the selling of land. I focused the camera on the wilderness of the area and the contradictions or frictions that erode from building in such climate.
    For some of the sequences I introduce the hand lotion to the viewer with the intention of making them question where this substance comes from and to make them wonder what it's use.
    The video is overlapped with the voice of Goyo, a construction chief who was responsible for the construction of my grandfather's hospital. In other words, he orchestrated the extraction of the materials to built a clinic, and allow my grandfather to practice as a doctor. And that is also the extraction that allows me to be here today.

https://vimeo.com/629258200