Extraction | The Penzance Convention Cornwall

The Falmouth Convention - programme

The Extraction | The Penzance Convention

The Extraction: Projection exhibition opens on 27 and 28 April with films by Harun Farocki and Stefanos Tsivopoulos.

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April
The Silver and the Cross by Harun Farocki and Amnesialand by Stefanos Tsivopoulos
The Exchange, Penzance, 10am – 5pm

The Extraction: Projection exhibition opens with screenings of two films that relate directly to the theme of extraction.

The Silver and The Cross (2010) by Harun Farocki was commissioned for the exhibition The Potosí Principle at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in 2010/11.

‘At the beginning of the 17th Century, Potosí was one of the largest cities in the world – comparable to London or Paris. During the Spanish colonial rule, enormous quantities of silver were shipped from Potosí to Europe, giving the early capitalist system a tremendous push, and initiating the start of the modern era.

 ‘During the Counter-Reformation, this dynamic triggered a mass production of images, not only in Spain, but also in the Viceroyalty of Peru. The exhibition The Potosí Principle traces the circulation of money and art, which developed during that period.’

Harun Farocki’s film reflects on the history of Potosí through a detailed examination of a Baroque painting that depicts the Cerro Rico (the ‘rich mountain’) on which the town’s fortunes were founded.

Stefanos Tsivopoulos’s film Amnesialand (2010), commissioned for Manifesta 8, is composed of archival material from different sources and Tsivopoulos’s own video footage shot in the vicinity of Cartagena in southern Spain. It is accompanied by a script combining fictional and factual information in the form of a dialogue between a female and a male character, who speculate about a mysterious event that is said to have caused a state of collective amnesia:
‘Rich in minerals and close to the shores of North Africa, Cartagena was once the region’s main resource and trading port. For 2500 years, Phoenicians, Romans, Carthagineans and Spaniards have been mining in this district for silver, lead, zinc, copper, tin, iron, and manganese. This activity reached its height during the industrial era, when in 1840 mineral fever hit the region and produced a booming bourgeoisie, still visible in some of the city’s decadent buildings. In the 1980s productivity came to an end, but the ongoing exploitation of natural resources and human labour had taken its toll. As a consequence of the long-lasting mining activities, the mountainous landscapes in the region known as La Unión are transformed: numerous spoil piles and pits extend for many kilometres, leaving a deserted and almost forgotten cratered landscape full of toxic mining waste – an archaeology of mines, and a living memorial to the natural catastrophe that took place here.’

Eva Scharrer, ‘Recalling the archive – on Amnesialand by Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ 2010