Artist Mark Boulos translated Karl Marxs idea of commodity fetishism into All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, a film exhibit newly acquired by the Miami Art Museum. Titled after a line in Marxs Communist Manifesto, the work consists of two films played simultaneously on opposing walls. One shows traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest commodities exchange in the world, speculating on oil futures. The other shows images of militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who have declared war on foreign oil companies that extract and export oil from their territory.
For the rebels in Nigeria, oil is a commodity from which they gain little or no benefit. The proceeds go either to the oil companies or to their government. In either case, they see little of it. But [they] have to live with the side effects of its production pollution of the water, death of fish, says Peter Boswell, MAMs assistant director for programs. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is on view in MAMs Focus Gallery through July 31.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.; Sat., May 28, noon, 2011