Melanie Smith

Melanie Smit: Fordlandia, 2014
Video full HD

Melanie Smith: Collages 3,4 and 21, 2014
Collage on paper

Courtesy the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Collage, 2014

The half-hour film and the delicate collages of Smith take us into the Brazilian jungle. In the first half of the 20thcentury, this site defied a spectacular attempt at industrialization. In the 1920s, Henry Ford pursued the idea of growing rubber in the Amazon jungle and having it directly processed in a huge factory complex, employing several thousand indigenous workers. From rubber tires to machine technology, rubber was an indispensable part of modern industry. Ford’s plans failed for a series of reasons. The workers sabotaged the importation of American small-town life (including bad food), while the seedlings were planted too densely and unintentionally created biotopes for plant pests and poisonous snakes. In contemplative pictures, Smith studies the huge industrial ruins and creates a visual epic about the resistance capacities of nature.