Michelle-Marie Letelier &

Outline for The Bonding

The 16mm film and installation Outline for The Bonding is part of a larger research Letelier has conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Matre, Norway. The project explores in depth the economic practice of salmon farming, the genetic manipulation of fish, and the impact of aquaculture on the local wildlife and the ecosystem's balance. Letelier’s work stresses the importance of ancestral knowledge and especially of Sámi epistemologies in the process of questioning the anthropocentric worldviews and human exceptionalism that led to genetic manipulation. The voice accompanying the images belongs to Sámi artist Ánde Somby. The text is an extract of a conversation with Letelier recorded in Tromsø in 2019.
Somby’s poetic monologue focuses on the inherent freedom of fish, in particular of the wild salmon. It confronts it with the degraded life of its farmed siblings, physically held captive and genetically violated. His reflections depart from acknowledging the perversion that is intrinsic in the food-chain. He does so by poetically shedding light on the ›merciless‹ condition of all heterotrophic life on the planet: animals (heterotrophs) are unable to create their own food, as opposed to autotrophs (plants, among others), who are able to subsist without killing. Animals, therefore, are ›doomed‹ to annihilate other forms of life in order to survive. However, this inescapable condition does not justify the extension of the current methods of industrial production rooted in Western capitalism, the limitless increase in production and optimization mostly relying on the pharmacologically-mediated replication of life and its overconsumption or waste. Ancestral knowledge and indigenous epistemologies emerge through Somby’s words as a worldview that is antithetical to the above mentioned: killing to eat is a necessary act for life, but it must be driven by respect and awareness of the interdependence of all organisms within the larger functioning of the ecologies.
At VIDEONALE.18, Outline for The Bonding is presented as a 16mm film installation that includes part of the documentation of a 2,5-year bonding between Letelier and a farmed salmon. The Bonding is the central part of the larger ongoing project Transpose. (Vanina Saracino)

Artist statement
My work encompass orchestrated transformations of natural resources, alongside extensive wide-ranging, interdisciplinary research into the landscapes where their exploitation and speculation take place. I spent my early life in Chuquicamata, a space of copper deposits in the Atacama Desert mined since pre-Hispanic times, annexed by Chile in the Saltpetre War, and home to the largest open-pit copper mine in the world. When the town was to be buried due to new mining policies, I returned to document this process — a pivotal moment that ushered in my practice. Since establishing in Berlin in 2007, I have focused my research on coal, copper, saltpetre, wind and salmon, in order to create a poetic work applying their properties — such as electrical conductivity, crystallisation, motion and agency. In my practice, I experiment with chemical and physical processes that produce the artworks, as well as their poiesis, beyond extractive industries and their forms of control. (Michelle-Marie Letelier)
Images: Michelle-Marie Letelier, Outline for The Bonding, 2019 © Michelle-Marie Letelier & VG Bild-Kunst / Courtesy Muscle Temple Lab

About the Artist

Michelle-Marie Letelier * 1977 in Rancagua, CHI, lives and works in Berlin, GER. Studied at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, CHI
Websites

About the Work

Length 00:05:20

More Artists

Paula Ábalos &
Diarios de trabajos (Work Diaries)
Tekla Aslanishvili &
Scenes from Trial and Error
Cooper Battersby &
Emily Vey Duke &
Civil Twilight at the Vernal Equinox
Eliane Esther Bots &
Cloud Forest
Viktor Brim &
Dark Matter
Adam Castle &
Lupi Lupi Lu
Eli Cortiñas &
Walls Have Feelings
Mouaad el Salem &
This day won't last
Mahdi Fleifel &
3 Logical Exits
Ellie Ga &
Gyres 1-3
Beatrice Gibson &
Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs (Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters)
Russel Hlongwane &
Ifu Elimnyama (The Dark Cloud)
Heidrun Holzfeind &
the time is now.
Che-Yu Hsu &
副本人 (Single Copy)
Sohrab Hura &
Bittersweet
Ida Kammerloch &
Resusci Anne
Michael Klein &
Sasha Pirker &
60 Elephants. Episodes of a Theory
Michelle-Marie Letelier &
Outline for The Bonding
Dana Levy &
Last Man
Anne Linke &
Pigeons and Architecture
Lukas Marxt &
Michael Petri &
Ralfs Farben_Hüllenwerk (Ralfs Color’s_Shell Works)
Bjørn Melhus &
SUGAR
Ana María Millán &
Elevación (Elevation)
Morgan Quaintance &
South
Úna Quigley &
Birds of my weakness
Aykan Safoğlu &
ziyaret, visit
P. Staff &
Prince of Homburg
Rhea Storr &
Here is the Imagination of the Black Radical
Ingel Vaikla &
Double Exposure
Ana Vaz &
Apiyemiyekî?
Gernot Wieland &
Ink in Milk
You are here: VIDEONALE.18 / Exhibition / Artists / Outline for The Bonding