Mark Boulos, All That Is Solid Melts into Air  Meckseper, Mall of America

Left: Mark Boulos, All that is solid Melts into Air, 2008. Two-Channel Video INstallation, 14:20 © Mark Boulos, Courtesy of the Artist and Stigter Van Doesburg Gallery, Amsterdam. Right: Josephine Meckseper, Mall of America, 2009. video, 12:52 © Josephine Meckseper, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

This exhibition comprises two videos that will be shown in successive, four-week screenings: All That Is Solid Melts into Air (2008) by Mark Boulos and Mall of America (2009) by Josephine Meckseper. Each video asks us to consider the links between the commercialization and militarization of contemporary society. Both were produced in the context of the largest financial crisis in recent history, the effects of which continue to reverberate.

MARK BOULOS All That Is Solid Melts into Air, 2008, 14:20

Boulos positions the viewer between two large-scale synchronized videos that tell very different stories about the commodity of oil. On one screen we see oil futures traders on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the first day of the 2008 credit crisis. On the other screen, we see the Nigerian militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who seek to reclaim ownership of their land’s oil, which has been seized by multinational corporations in collusion with the government. Boulos connects these opposing scenes, emphasizing the ritualized, aggressive actions of both the guerrillas and traders and underscoring their shared ideological, emotional, and financial investment in oil.

FEBRUARY 14 – MARCH 16, 2014
JOSEPHINE MECKSEPER Mall of America (2009), 12:52

Meckseper’s object of fascination and repulsion is one of the world’s largest shopping malls, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. As the artist explains in an interview, “I shot the Mall of America film just before the recession began in 2007. The focus…was to show the iconography of US American consumer ritual in relation to military expansion.” Lingering on advertisements, shop windows, and sale signs, Meckseper defamiliarizes the experience of the mall, transforming its banal motifs into a sinister landscape. Viewed through red and blue filters and accompanied by a pulsing soundtrack, Meckseper's video links nationalism with consumption and suggests that both are ultimately unsustainable.