PO4 (Blackout) is an exhibition that forms a part of artist Christian Danielewitz’s ongoing research on the socio-ecological wreckage caused by global industries of resource extraction. During a prior residency with RAW Material Company in Dakar, Danielewitz focused his research on the mining of phosphate, a mineral that, in different forms, is essential to all life on Earth.
Mined extensively in Senegal, current rates of extraction suggest that worldwide phosphate resources will be depleted in maximum one century. But beyond concerns for the resource’s future, we must also cast our attention to the toxic spoils of its production cycle. The sulphuric acid used to dissolve phosphate rock is increasingly present in the atmosphere of villages in mining zones, leading to chronic health problems amongst local populations, spoilt harvests and rapid material degradation of the built environment.
The same mineral that is mined for fertilizer, a life giver, is responsible for the weakening of chains of nutrition on a local level. Danielewitz exposes this irony and its impact in an installation that bears witness to the devastation experienced in the village of Gad Gomene, situated near the open pit phosphate mines of Taiba, Senegal.
PO4 (Blackout) by Christian Danielewitz
Raw Material Company – Center for Art, Knowledge and Society, Dakar, Senegal
June 7 - June 28, 2019