Solo show at V240 Amsterdam, February 2017. The show was composed of two video installations and one HD monitor. Arara (2017, Berlin, video, color, audio, 9min36s, Full HD format), The open Forest (2017, Manaus / Berlin, video, color, audio, 21min17s, Full HD format), Tropic Matters (Archive video from the British Pathé, 1911, video, PB, mute, 2min28s).

TROPIC MATTERS forms part of an ongoing research project, along with "Victoria Amazonica" (2015-16), Marcel's early film essay, and "The open forest" (2017), a compost of found and produced images of the Amazon Forest as a landscape of imperialist and developmentalist imagination. By conceiving landscape as a cultural medium, which not only symbolises power relations but is also an instrument and agent of power itself, the video installations reflect on stories of accessing, framing and consuming the forest as well as its complex entanglements of human technologies and ‘natural’ resources.

After an artist’s residency in the Adolpho Ducke Reserve of INPA, one of the most important spaces for scientific research in the Brazilian Amazon, Marcel's encounters in the forest echo the attempt to demystify a colonised imaginary and its haunting consequences. By mobilizing local and global knowledge, the work decodes expectations, shifting scales in search of erased legacies.

Tropic Matters traces a trajectory from the phosphorous in the Saharan desert to the barren soils of the Amazon, from greenhouse effects and their architectures to the origins of European biological expansion in the tropics of the ‘New World’, from the rubber trade navigation lines to the shaky brega pop music in the streets of Manaus, a tax haven close to the forest that houses large poles of technology production built during the Brazilian dictatorship.

In a processual assemblage installation made of hands and machines, data and dust, the exhibition space unfolds environmental connections of multiple perspectives, investigating how and with whom can we enter, see and know the Amazon forest, its interconnected beings and its histories of resistance.

© 2021 Barbara Marcel