Salomé Lamas “Mount Ananea” at Galeria Miguel Nabinho, Lisbon
“At 5100 meters (16,700 ft.), the sprawling Andean goldmining encampment at La Rinconada, in the southeastern corner of Peru, just shy of the Bolivian border, is quite simply the highest-elevation permanent human settlement in the world, encompassing a population of close to 30,000 souls, the vast majority of them desperately poor. The principal enterprise there is overseen by the Corporacion Ananea, but, as William Finnegan pointed out in a recent piece in the New Yorker (“Tears of the Sun: The Gold Rush at the Top of the World,” April 20, 2015), “Nearly all the mines and miners there are ‘informal,’ a term that critics consider a euphemism for illegal. [Others] prefer the term ‘artisanal.’ The mines, whatever you call them, are small, numerous, unregulated, and, as a rule, grossly unsafe. Most don’t pay salaries, let alone benefits, but run on an ancient labor system called cachorreo. This system is usually described as thirty days of unpaid work followed by a single frantic day in which workers get to keep whatever gold they can haul out for themselves.”
“Someplace we will in fact likely never go, though on second thought, as we emerge from the trance in which Lamas has had us untrammelled all this time, and gaze, say, down upon the rings on our fingers or the baubles hanging from our ears or necks, a place whose sordid travails actually implicate us all, and profoundly so. And what are we to make of that?”
Lawrence Weschler, 2016
A haunting and mysterious ethnographic reality cut-up, where a continuous flux of miners and peasants conflict in the darkness, vanishing in the out-of-frame.
Mount Ananea (5853) (2015) is an installation produced from materials collected during the research in September/October 2014 for the feature film Eldorado XXI (2016), directed by Salomé Lamas and produced by O Som e a Fúria (Portugal) in co-production with Shellac-Sud (France).
The fixed silent shot filmed in La Compuerta, a key access gorge to the mining pits, is a haunting and mysterious ethnographic reality cut-up, where a continuous flux of miners and peasants conflict in the darkness, vanishing in the out-of-frame.
An illusion that leads men to self-destruction, moved by the same interests, dealt with the same tools and means in contemporaneity as it has been dealt in the ancient times.
Side A 20’27’’- track Y arriba quemando el sol by Bruno Moreira & Salomé Lamas is an eclectic soundscape collection; a patchwork composition of ambient sound, interviews, direct sounds, radio news, folkloric tracks, etc.
Side B 22’47’’- track Untitled by Norberto Lobo & João Lobo is a carte blanche invitation resulting from Lobo’s enthusiasm with Andean guitar folk music and comprises a melodic drone approach to La Rinconada y Cerro Lunar’s landscape.
Both sides of the record are studies to, variations for, drafts, dreamed dialogues, free-approaches to La Rinconada’s reality.
Video installation HD video transferred to 16mm, color, silent, 20 min. loop; two turntables, two vinyl records, two headphone sets, Portugal – Peru
Concept: Salomé Lamas. Production: O Som e a Fúria
at Galeria Miguel Nabinho, Lisbon
until 9 February 2017