PO4 (Blackout) is an exhibition which is 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 in Senegal, a mineral that, in different forms, is essential to all life on Earth. Current rates of extraction suggest that worldwide phosphate resources will be depleted in one century at the latest. Beyond concerns for the future of this resource, 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.
About Christian Danielewitz
Christian Danielewitz is a visual artist, researcher and writer whose work revolves around the socio-ecological wreckage caused by the industries of extraction. His work is informed by geological timescales, power generation, and the processing of minerals into elements of information architecture, that is, our contemporary image- and communication technologies. As an artist Danielewitz has ventured into contested territories of environmental devastation to expose the flipside of human engineering, and the global division of toxic labour. He is particularly interested in hidden and restricted sites of contamination, and invisible forms of exposure such as nuclear activity and radiation. Since 2017 he has also been a member of the Danish art collective Lehman Brothers, which was established in Copenhagen in 2012 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
12/06 - 6pm
Parlons Sénégalaiseries with Iba Fall and Seni Dieng, moderated by Fary Ndao
19/06 - 8pm
Film screening of La Breche (Abdoul Aziz Cissé, 2007) and Lendeng (Mor Talla Kandji, 2017)
26/06 - 6pm
Panel on ecological activism in Senegal with Oumar Diallo and Fatima Diallo moderated by Abdoul Aziz Diop
The exhibition PO4 (Blackout) is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Region around Cassiopeia A ©ESA/Hubble and Digitized Sky Survey 2
Dead acacia flower in a parched plantation @Gad Gomene ©Christian Danielewitz