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“All that is solid melts into Air is shown in a room with two screens on both sides; when entering the room it’s that dark, that you take extra care not to step on people that might be laying or sitting there. One screen is a documentary on the Niger delta in Nigeria, where resistance fighters and slum inhabitants talk about their poverty, despair and why they think they should get a share of the oil revenues of Shell.

On the other side there are scenes from the New York Stock Exchange, where the traders are shouting with the stock prices at the background. Their movements become almost ritualised: traders in yellow jackets, young, well shaven guys shouting and gesticulating at each other, trying ‘to make a deal’.”


“Everything That Is Solid Melts into Air (2008) by Mark Boulos borrows its title from a sentence from the Communist Manifesto, and delves into the idea of commodity fetishism applied to the production of oil in Nigeria and its subsequent speculative use in North America. Consisting of a two-channel synchronised video installation, each screen depicts one of the two factions struggling for control of the precious good. On one screen we find the Nigerian guerrillas that seek to alleviate the misery of the region by redistributing the oil resources by all means necessary. The opposing screen shows the theatricality of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest exchange of futures and derivatives, where corporations trade goods that don’t even exist yet. That removal of the material stuff –absent from both the land where it comes from and trade where is exchanged– is what Boulos means by ‘melting into air’, the path to metaphysical qualities. The two facing screens, which portray such polarised but inextricable realities, build a dialectic and hypnotic space for thought.” (





una entrevista con el autor:



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