“The extraction and processing of non-renewable resources represent such an important aspect of the history of human civilization that historians have even named individual eras after some of them. Without this extraction and processing, civilization and progress could hardly have existed in human history — indeed, there is even a certain connection between the speed of the changes in human ways of life and the extend of the extraction on non-renewable resources.
From the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth, the volume of non-renewable-resource extraction throughout the world every year increased at least 130 fold. In the second half of this period, a watershed took place, which future historians may well consider more significant than the fall of the Roman Empire or the discovery of America: nature ceased to keep up with the tempo of its being exploited, and homo sapiens thus eventually became a serious threat to the future existence of life on Earth, that is, to existence itself”.
[Matej Spurny. Making the Most of Tomorrow. A Laboratory of Socialist Modernity in Czechoslovakia. Ed. Karolinum Press. Prague, 2019]
This project expands the artist’s previous work and research, from México, the United States and Brazil to Central Europe, developing a geopolitical conversation between the different regions. The goal is to establish a dialogue between case studies on local scales and intermediate scales which can illustrate a larger picture of the environmental and social impact due to extractionism processes of coal, gold, and oil.
1. The Withdrawal I. Expanded Stratigraphy series, 2020 // Wood, carved glass and paper // 41,5 x 48 x 24,5 cm // Text through the courtesy of Matěj Spurný, writer and historian. Prague, Czech Republic
2. The Withdrawal II. Expanded Stratigraphy series, 2020 // Wood, carved glass and paper // 41,5 x 48 x 24,5 cm // Text through the courtesy of Estrella Fuentes Durán, former worker in PEMEX oil platforms. Ciudad del Carmen, México
3. The Withdrawal III. Expanded Stratigraphy series, 2020 // Wood, carved glass and paper // 41,5 x 48 x 24,5 cm // Text through the courtesy of Frank Lean, former coal miner. Gillette, WY, United States
4. The Withdrawal IV. Expanded Stratigraphy series, 2020 // Wood, carved glass and paper // 41,5 x 48 x 24,5 cm // Text through the courtesy of Toninho Mina, owner of the Encardideira Mine. Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Untitled. The Withdrawal series, 2020 // HD-video loop installation, 15 mins // Sound: Gaston Horischnik