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Film by Sasha Litvintseva & Graeme Arnfield
19:30 / HD video / 2016

Mined, extracted, and woven, asbestos was the magic mineral. Towns became cities under its patronage, Persian kings entertained guests with its fireproof nature, and centuries of industry raked in the profits of its global application. We now live in the remains of this toxic dream, a dream that with the invention of electron microscopes revealed our material history as a disaster in waiting. Yet the asbestos industry has far from left us with extraction from the soil transforming to extraction from our walls. We are now faced with two options: to remove this material from our homes and start anew, or to build upon its residue. Removal is a dangerous and costly operation. So often we choose to live amongst it instead, choking out our walls with plastic tarping: the failed promises of modernism literally entombed all around us. Shot in the mining township of Asbestos,Quebec, home to the world’s largest asbestos mine that only stopped extraction in 2012, the film is a meditation on the entanglement of the fragility of bodies, the nonlinearity of progress, and the persistence of matter.




Elemental Relations: Thinking Ecologically through Artist Films and Videos, NYU Shanghai, CN, 2021


Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities and Environmental Memory, e-flux, online, 2020

From Soil, Sand and Salt Crystals, Smart Museum of Art University of Chicago, US, 2020


Werkleitz Festival Modell und Ruine, Halle (Saale), DE, 2019

Naturecolony, Blackwood Gallery, Toronto, CA, 2019



Asbestos: The questions of responsibility and (im)materialism, UDK Rundgang, Vilem Flusser archive, Berlin, Germany
12×12, IBB Video Space, Berlinische Gallerie, Berlin, DE, 2018




Berlinale Forum Expanded, Berlin, DE, 2017
Plastik Festival, Dublin, IRL, 2017
Courtisane Festival, Ghent, BE, 2017
Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago, USA, 2017
Kasseler Dokfest, Kassel, DE, 2017
Moscow Experimental Film Festival, Moscow, RUS, 2017
Hands Moving World to the Door, UCL Art Museum, London, UK, 2017
Extracted & Circulated, Close-Up, London, UK, 2017
Strangloscope Convida Ulrich Ziemons, Cinema do CIC - Centro Integrado de Cultura, Florianopolis, BR, 2017
Sluice Screens, Sluice Biennial, London, UK, 2017

Solo show, Roaming Projects, London, UK, 2017


Install Photo Credit: Harry Mitchell

Private View Photo Credit: Alex F Webb

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