Trafficking the Earth

Xavier Ribas, Ignacio Acosta, Louise Purbrick

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


Trafficking the Earth is a collaboration between photographers Xavier Ribas, Ignacio Acosta and an art historian, Louise Purbrick. Their collective research has documented the movement of mineral wealth of Chile into global markets and European landscapes. Nitrate and copper is their focus. The transformation of these natural resources into industrial materials draw desert and city, slag heap and country house, ruin and regeneration, landscape and archive, Chile and Britain, into the same circuit of capital. Trafficking the Earth was included in the 2018 edition of Photo50, titled Resolution is not the point., curated by Hemera Collective, the first collective to curate London Art Fair’s annual exhibition of photography. The exhibition reflected the concerns with collaborative and shared inquiry of photography and lens-based media. The exhibition title also alludes to an approach to exhibition making as one that is not defined by a singular frame or iteration, but networked – shifting focus and endeavouring to change ways of seeing and thinking. Resolution is not the point.considers photographic practices and images as a catalyst for interdisciplinary exchange and collective action. Photography, since the 19th century, has existed in and between traditionally defined boundaries of practice, from its use as a scientific apparatus to art – and back again, and it is this shifting landscape of contexts and definitions that the exhibition brings to the fore. The works are linked by this desire to draw upon the metamorphic nature of the photographic image. As practitioners continue to push the conceptual and technical boundaries of the many forms of photography and image-making; they are drawn to other specialisms and ways of working in order to communicate personal, social, and political ideas. From collaboratively produced research projects to artists that draw on the circulation of images, knowledge, and capital; Photo50 2018 examines vital directions in contemporary photographic practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2018
Eventexhibition - London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London, 16 Jan - 20 April 2018
Duration: 16 Jan 2018 → …


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