ARTIST: Lara Almarcegui
ARTWORK/YEAR: Mineral Rights (2015)
RESEARCHER: Claire Shea
Mineral Rights is a body of research and series of ongoing projects by artist, Lara Almarcegui. Tracing seams of iron ore, pools of oil, and deposits of alloys, Lara Almarcegui pursues mineral rights across several countries, recording her attempts and failures.
Mineral Rights are regulated differently from country to country and it is customarily impossible for a private individual to acquire them.Lara Almarcegui seeks to highlight how the territory is shaped at a geological level, and how it is broken down for exploitation by economic and political interests. Looking back on the history of mining and land ownership, the project investigates how rulers of different countries oppose the idea that individual citizens acquire rights to mineral resources.
Almarcegui often works with local geologists when she secures the rights to a piece of land to investigate the minerals that are found within her plot. She documents the site and the related minerals through photographs, videos and installations for display in contemporary art museums and galleries, often revealing the local context's policies towards their own mineral resources.
Mineral Rights was instigated by the artist. It is a project that developed out of her research into land ownership. The funding systems vary according to each location and in most cases the selection process has been dependent on local laws relating to 'mineral rights'. Lara Almarcegui has attempted to do this project in many places around the world and been refused the option of purchasing mineral rights.
All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.