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Mark Boulos, All That Is Solid Installation, 2008.

All that Is Solid Melts into Air (2008)

This work, comprised of two large-scale videos, presents communities at opposite ends of the world - the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the Niger River Delta in Africa - each locked in a struggle to control oil.

On one screen we see traders on the first day of the 2008 credit crisis. On the other is footage of Boulos’ experience living with members of the militant group ‘Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta,’ which opposes, through violent means, the exploitation of people and devastation of one of the largest oil fields in the world

Boulos’ installation provokes timely questions about globalisation and the fight over natural resources, whilst revealing the often forgotten process of oil being transformed into commodities.

The film’s title references a passage in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto which considers how major political and social structures, such as capitalism, alter from their original state and may one day disappear. In this film, the title also serves to show how much distance exists between the violence and conflict which so often lies behind the acquisition of natural resources and the products which they are ultimately turned into.