Nature is not Green

Video Installation , 2021

Video installation composed of two projections 4 x 7 meters. 11 hours
NAM Manifattura Tabacchi- SUPERBLAST- Firenze, 2021.

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    “In Nature Is Not Green, the visitor is immersed in an environment that appears cohesive but which, over time, reveals its discordant contrasts. We view two landscapes remotely: the installation juxtaposes these two environments situated at opposite ends of our Planet as they are recorded in real time, during the longest day of the year. The Amazon forest in Brazil is a paradigm of a nature that is still primordial, violent and wild, whereas one of the several cultivated forests in Holland, is the prototype of nature designed to represent a tamed, classic ideal, suffused in an aura of safety and serenity. Ironically, these two landscapes are united by a common destiny as they fall prey to the capitalist practices of resource extraction and tree recycling, which are dictated by similar economic aims. This work reveals a speculative financial strategy and it spurs awareness about the remnants of a colonial treatment of nature and its resources. Biopower and its dominion over nature are expressed by the control over its image. This work by Bermudez Obregon shows a dichotomy between phenomenon and thing, image and its origin, and investigates the living possibilities of the boundary that separates them.”

Caterina Taurelli Salimbeni , Curator

    Many European nations find ecological comfort in projects of reforestation, re-wilding, bio-politics, and eco-friendly legislation within their own borders, but there is a common negligence and voluntary abandonment towards nature in the ex-colonies and in general, towards the global south.

In 2015 The Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil and gas company extracted daily near to 20.000 barrels (1.5M worth) of crude from The Amazon forest, almost 20% of the total 230.293
barrels extracted daily from that geographical place. The presence of this company on amazonian land goes back to the 1930’s, a town called Shell was founded in the Ecuatrian Amazon back then, and billions of barrels of crude have been extracted since.

Companies like Shell, responsible for a high percentage of global carbon emissions, tend to make significant investments in projects to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, The Royal Shell is today the main private financier of Staatsbosbeheer reforestation program in The Netherlands. The Shell affirms to have secured the plantation of 5 millions trees inside The Netherlands border.

In The Netherlands there is no untouched nature, there is no entropy left. Every landscape is voluntarily created and designed following an accepted image of what nature should look like. Policy determines the appearance of nature, and the image to reproduce is one of a primeval closed forest, and that is what is planted as ornament of human dwellings.

The Amazon forest in this case, seems to be a sequestered landscape, and besides that, re-wilding projects in Europe, like the ones being developed in The Netherlands by the Staatsbosbeheer,if isolated, are no different from gardening projects enclosed by high fences. They are no different to Assyrian hunting parks, which were just enclosed park-sized gardens built to recreate wilderness, and make a spectacle out of the king hunting his “wild” preys. 

In any event, both of these natural landscapes, are now connected by political or economical reasons. 5 Million trees in Dutch forests owe their existence to almost one hundred years of continuous devastation in The Amazon.

These two landscapes will have a conversation. In this time of virtuality and remote presentness, it is possible to bring this two places together into the same space. Let’s have the ancient rainforest of the Amazon and the young European woods have a zoom call and work this out together.