Matilda Aslizadeh’s new body of video and photographic work, Moly and Kassandra, explores the tensions between abstract and material forces in the economy through the juxtaposition of statistical charts, fortune-telling predictions coming from mysterious sources, and large holes permanently left in the Earth.
Standing amid an open-pit molybdenum mine, evocative of an ancient amphitheatre, the prophet Kassandra sings the history and fate of this commodity from the point of view of 1979—a pivotal date marking the shift from Keynesian to neo-liberal economic policy in Western democracies. Clad in the year’s haute couture clothing, her songs are musical scale translations of economic charts that trace the production and value of molybdenum, an element used primarily in strengthening steel alloys and inextricably linked to the weapons industry. From the standpoint of the not-too-distant past, Kassandra, whose name means “to raise,” warns of the volatility and environmental devastation wrought by neo-liberal capitalism; unfortunately, similar to her ancient Greek namesake, she is cursed to inspire only disbelief.
Aslizadeh’s work will be featured concurrently in Believe, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada’s inaugural show at their new location, opening May 26.