comment 0

Not a Pearl (2023)

The installation Not a Pearl scrutinises the role of the Kanton of Zug as a global trading hub and offshore paradise for shell companies within the Swiss extractivist landscape. By structuring it as a grid of 36 silkscreen prints and texts, Acosta juxtaposes the architecture of office complexes in the Zug industrial belt with the typology of letterbox companies, the smooth lines of luxury sports cars with the representation of the globe as a material sculptural object in both public and corporate architecture, the visual language of photographic documentation with the material language of archival research.

The title refers to an article titled Glencore isn’t a ‘Pearl’ after all published on NeueZuger Zeitung (30.3.2014), found in the archives of the Commodity Trading Dossier at the Bibliotek of Zug, pictured on the second row along with four other articles whose subject matters range from local resistance groups protesting Glencore’s involvement in serious human rights violations, environmental destruction, tax avoidance, and bribery, to statements from local authorities referring to Glencore as an “Economic Pearl” of the Kanton.


The research behind the project was compiled using open-source data of companies trading raw materials in Switzerland gathered by Public Eye, open data from Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and archival research at the Bibliotek of Zug.

Not a Pearl was commissioned for the exhibition Mining Photography: The Ecological Footprint of Image Production by Gewerbemuseum Winterthur (22.09.23-21.01.24). The exhibition was curated by artist, author and curator Boaz Levin and Dr. Esther Ruelfs, Head of the Photography and New Media Collection at MK&G. Acknowledgements: Susanna Kumschick, Cathrin Hauswald, Karmele Wigger-Goikolea, Yannick Ringger, Corinne Silva, Ellen Lapper, Rita Kesselring and This Keller.


Mining Photograhy, Geberwemuseum Winterthur, 2023


Copper Geographies and the role of Switzerland, Geberwemuseum Winterthur


Filed under: Uncategorized

About the Author

Posted by

Im a Chilean born, London based visual artist and researcher.

Leave a Reply