Rodrigo Azaola


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Loot hues
2024
Single-channel HD 9:16 format video with sound. 2’11’’.


Modern financial infrastructures, rooted in performative rituals of claimed fairness and unbridled gluttony, bear a chromatic relation to early global chains of extraction.

This videowork is a vertiginous stream of loss and defeat, embodied by questions harvested from small-time investors in financial Internet forums and channels that become a ritual of contrition and disbelief, as if the stock market operated in a vacuum imbued with otherworldly, unexplained forces.

As background, the geometry of colonial European flags and three man-made colors function as signifiers of exploitation, social decay, and ecological disruption: Carmine, extracted from the Dactylopius coccus insect in colonial Mexico and Central America; Egyptian brown, aka Mummy brown, prepared with the flesh of stolen Egyptian mummies in the 19th century; and silvery white, the color of processed lithium, mineral supposedly to spearhead the “green transition."

Each of these colors made and broke societies under the sheer weight of exploitation. As of then and still today, individuals get trapped in epistemological creeds from which, in principle, everyone can benefit, but in actuality, deploy asymmetric financial power to extract wealth and bodily energies throughout geography and time.