Programmed by Charlène Dinhut
In the 1920s, Henry Ford commissioned Fordlândia to be built in the heart of Amazonia to set up rubber tree plantations to provide rubber to make tyres. In 2018, the collective Suspended Spaces organised an artists’ residence there in partnership with the Brazilian collective Fotoativa. During their residence, André Parente and Camille Varenne met Kaynã Podsiad, an 11 year-old boy who’d grown up in Fordlândia. He’s also a YouTuber and founded the KasumoPro channel where he posts his video clips made using mashups of mangas and videos from the internet. He offered to give the two artists a guided tour of the city where historical facts blend with anecdotes and childhood imagination. “Pedra e Poeira” retraces this encounter, punctuated with an account of a shifting and shared history.
Several tenses merge in Fordlândia. First and foremost, the past with the ruins of excessive industrialisation, the vestiges of capitalism’s dead ends and the intensive exploitation of natural resources. And the present, with the irrepressible joy of the encounter with the young Kaynã Podsiad whose YouTube demos are watched all over the world and who attracts the camera more than the city does. And there’s also the future… this boy’s moving forward and doesn’t know that much about his city’s crazy past (Herzog is currently writing a series about Fordlândia), and, looking to the future, his account unfolds, trumping history with its thousand digressions that activate and reveal the streets. At the heart of this simple stroll is the delight of the narration and bodies exercising their memory and imagination. What does speaking do to a place? What does childhood do to speech? And what do viewers’ doubts do to random statements?
Programmer and curator