Cerro Point Blanco

Cerro Point Blanco Lehman Brothers Organized and Curated by SixtyEight Art Institute 21 August – 10 October, 2020 SixtyEight Art Institute is delighted to welcome you to the opening of our upcoming exhibition Cerro Point Blanco by the artist group Lehman Brothers. This contextual installation and project investigates the velocity of changes brought about by the interplay between extraction, technology, geopolitics and the Chilean resource landscape our world tacitly depends on. It is part of a long-term artistic project based on residencies in Chile and support from various regional and international partners. The project has been conceived by Lehman Brothers in collaboration with the curatorial team of SixtyEight Art Institute. Opening: 18:00 – 21:00 Friday 21 August Covid-19 distancing and hand hygiene guidelines will be observed, with 10 visitors allowed in the space at a time. Gothersgade 167, Kbh K Special opening hours: Wednesday – Friday 10.00 – 18.00 Saturdays 13.00 – 17.00 The Danish artist group Lehman Brothers’ exhibition Cerro Point Blanco is about mining and the history of extraction in Chile, and of the progress of capitalism in Chile seen through Herman Melville’s Moby-**** as a framing metaphor. Moby-**** is a novel inspired by the mysterious white whale ‘Mocha ****’, which was said to have lived off the coast of Chile in the first half of the 19th century. The artist group sees Melville’s polymathic novel as a tale pointing to the madness and downfall of capitalism, with the Great White Whale as the starting point for an exploration of the self-fulfilling drive towards self-destruction. In the hunt for the white whale, however, Lehman Brothers have caught the scent of something even bigger in the Atacama region of northern Chile, namely the extraction of titanium, whose whiteness and properties are highly sought after. The group focuses on the American mining company White Mountain Titanium Corporation, which ran a large titanium mining project in the Atacama desert under the name Cerro Blanco, a mysterious project that went bankrupt and disappeared in 2017 despite major investors. In their video work, the artists look at this multinational corporation and its extraction project by filming directly at Cerro Blanco (which the company at the time claimed contains the world’s largest titanium reserves). So why a bankruptcy when titanium as a mineral is in such demand, not only by our technological sectors, but also by our desires through the various devices and materials provided en masse by the global economy? Lehman Brothers observes in their work that the bankruptcy mirrors a typical pattern for mining operations in the north of Chile, which have been characterized by ‘boom and bust’ cycles throughout the country’s history, emerging from silver to saltpetre extraction approximately a hundred years ago, to for example copper and lithium extraction today. Their work makes us consider directly our own relation to the extractivist economy, and causes us to reflect on how we can begin the hard work of reconsidering the promises of extraction vs the waste and drain it imposes on individual countries and the world as a planetary ecosystem. In addition to the video work, the exhibition Cerro Point Blanco features a number of objects, including a desert ‘landscape’ composed of large cacti which have been smeared in sunscreen, and a metal sculpture that brings to mind harpoons. Because titanium is a recurring material in these works and the exhibition as a whole, the whiteness of the mineral or its capacity to create this property, also hints at the racialized relations between capital and people. It is found in the sunscreen in which the cacti are covered, and the metals used to build handheld devices or huge telescopes, just like the one at La Silla Observatory, which appears in the video work. The observatory has a Very Large Telescope and studies stellar bodies, such as galaxy NGC 247, which is found in the constellation Cetus (literally meaning the Whale). This seemingly purely scientific gazing into outer space also reveals the speculative **** of capital, currently packaged as ‘space research’, but quietly dreaming of future metal and mineral extraction from the shores of distant planets and/or asteroids. The exhibition is a constellation that brings together the whale as focal point and white titanium as a primary medium, where different views of man’s pursuit of expansion and exploitation (given in the pursuit of raw materials whether in the ground or in space) result in the sublime extraction of resources that we may never be able to duplicate again. Once more leaving us in a state of contradiction between our infinitesimal fantasies and our finite realities. The exhibit’s artistic research was conducted in Chile at Residencias ARC (formerly Fundación Los Choros), during a residency period in July/August 2019 and through participation in the cultural and site research forum Managing New Displacements from Geography, organised by the Chilean curator Rodolfo Andaur and held in the Atacama Desert in July 2018. The exhibition will be followed by a book collecting the group’s artistic research and specially commissioned essays by observers of our Anthropocene and its technologies, to be published by Really Simple Syndication Press in October 2020. Both in the exhibition and book, Lehman Brothers wish to emphasize some of the problems and unwanted consequences of the drive to expand and extract, produce and create growth, through specific examples from and in relation to Chile. A country that has become a de facto experimentarium fueling the global and political economy, first in the unrestrained exploitation of raw materials by colonial powers on distant continents, and in recent times by neoliberal forms of capitalism. Please join us in this decidedly anticipated exhibition and project of SixtyEight Art Institute. BIOS Lehman Brothers (est. 2012) is based in Copenhagen, and since 2018, the artist group has been composed by the following artists: Peter Birkholm (1982), studied at Det Fynske Kunstakademi and The Royal Academy, Copenhagen, Theory and Dissemination (2012). Christian Danielewitz (1978), studied at The Royal Academy, Copenhagen (2003-2009) and is currently a PhD candidate there (2018-2021). Jonas Kasper Jensen (1982), studied at Städelschule (2006-2011) and The Royal Academy, Copenhagen, Theory and Dissemination (2010-2012). Kim Young Kilde (1974), studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2005), The Royal Academy, Copenhagen (2011) and holds an MPhil/PhD from the Royal College of Art, London (2015-).