The seeds of the “wood that weeps” were smuggled from the Amazon to Southeast Asia, where old forest communication networks were destroyed to make way for rubber plantations generating silences that would linger for generations. Meanwhile, filmmakers passed by and revealed themselves through the images they produced. A female character was fabricated and later removed from a film, leaving only the nitrate filmrol as a material witness to expose the disposal.
Under Erasure resulted from my ongoing research project Missing Scenes. This work was prompted by the unexplained removal of scenes from a 1930’s Dutch film set on a colonial rubber plantation in Sumatra. As I discovered the removal of a particular female character, my inquiry opened up to a layering of historical silences related to women and profit models within the system of rubber production in the early 20th century.
Rubber Falls Into A Form multiple projection video installation, sound
Trees and other witnesses are evoked in poetic forensics across time, connecting dots between the intimate histories of rubber, exploitation of women, early Dutch cinema, and other narrative machines which shaped and erased the experiences of those who produced the profits of the Dutch 20th-century plantationoscene.
Two Scenes Which Were Removed From the Movie Rubber single screen video installation, sound, HD 16:9, 15’48 loop
Six women silently read and then describe the content of the deleted scenes from the Dutch pre-war fiction film Rubber. The original content of these scenes, of which the omission went unnoticed in cinema history, were recovered by the artist when she discovered a forgotten original dialogue transcript. The scenes are reconstructed only through the women’s subjective descriptions. In doing so, the work proposes resistance to the gendered violence of the original content and representation of women and offers glimpses on how these travel across generations.
Installation view at 1646 Experimental Art Space, The Hague