San Francisco Verde, 2018
10 min. 56 sec.
All work and photographs © Sabrina Brückner
About the artist
Sabrina Brückner graduated from UdK Berlin in July 2018.
About the work
"If we follow the stones, we can travel along the path of will." Sara Ahmed writes in her text Willful Subjects. "Stones are assumed to be stationary, such that if they move, it is assumed they are moved by something other than themselves."
For some time, I have been dealing with the concept of failure and the absurdity of human will. I create strict settings that are measured down to the last detail, and then within these parameters I lose control and autonomy. I am currently working on an action/video work in which I swim downstream through the water with a stone on my back. How does the stone affect my body? Which hybrid being emerges from the fusion of the different body ecologies and temporalities of water, stone and my body?
Or maybe the equation doesn’t work out in the end, and the stone resists my plan? Now I’m engaged in a long sequence of tests on shape, weight, buoyancy, location, and camera
My main protagonist, the stone, has also changed once in the course of this project and is now facing new negotiations.
I started by working on a shell limestone that was shaped like a knot, a stone-fossil combination that resembled a snail shell.
After working on this stone for some time, I decided to look for a granite stone due to its higher density and strength. A stone to knock your teeth out. To ridicule this constant desire, humans wanting even more. If possible, the new stone would shine green-greyish and be reminiscent of the water surface of the river. I also wanted to change the shape of the stone. Set everything back to zero. I drove to a stone production site on the Czech border, which somehow seemed forgotten in the middle of the forest and whose block-shaped stones, lined up on countless pallets, reminded me of an archaeological archive.
San Francisco Verde is the trade name of my stone, which shimmers greyish-green and is mined in a quarry near São Francisco de Paula in Minas Gerais, in southeast Brazil. The department is often just called Minas, its inhabitants Mineiros.
In 1693 gold deposits were discovered in the south of Brazil, followed by a "Gold Rush", which had consequences for the living conditions of many people. In the 18th century, Brazilian gold mining exceeded all gold mining in the Spanish colonial territories in the previous two centuries.
At the beginning of the colonial era, the indigenous population was forcibly recruited as a labour force, and later was replaced by slaves from Africa. Between the conquest of Brazil by the Portuguese crown and the supposed abolition of slavery in 1888, an estimated 10 million people were transported from the African continent to Brazil, and some of them worked in the mines of Minas Gerais. In the 18th century gold mining was partly replaced by diamond mining, and now the economy in Minas Gerais is dominated by iron mining, as the ongoing exploitation of raw materials continues. Most of the
Iron mines in the so-called “Iron Quadrangle” are in the hands of US companies, such as the Hanna Mining Company and the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Original Text in German from the Zine-publication of the research project SISTER STONES AND BLOCKS OF ANGER//published in February 2018