Ignacio Acosta’s “Tales from the Crust”
              Tom Jeffreys
              What do the gray-white, snow-laden forests of Scandinavia have in common with the dry red sands of the Atacama Desert in Chile? Both, in the words of Silvia Federici, are “sacrifice zones” of capitalism: places that contain riches extracted by multinational mining corporations with little care to the destruction they cause—to water, soil, air; to human and nonhuman communities. Ignacio Acosta’s “Tales from the Crust” connects these places in a solo exhibition divided quite neatly into three parts. Covering the gallery’s street-level windows and visible to passers-by are three large-scale photographs of landscapes that have been radically altered by mining: a looming slag heap, a drone shot of a distance marker, and a eucalyptus forest planted to absorb contaminated water. To the right as you enter the gallery is a room of archival materials, filmed interviews, documents, photographs, and rock samples, presented on and around a freestanding metal structure. Here, Acosta not only makes visible his own research process but also acknowledges that struggles against multinational companies are diverse, collective, and ongoing: there are many tales from the crust. One focus in this room is the corporate group Antofagasta PLC in Chile: a video interview with researcher Patricio Bustamante reveals the …

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