Watch An Art Collective Turn A Toxic Mining Site Into Resistance Art

Managing Editor, Life
02.05.18

Art speaks truth to power. From the first cave paintings, it has been instrumental to how societies are constructed; a crucial means through which the marginalized battle the mighty. Renegade street art, in particular, has been tied to social movements across the world. It a vital weapon in the war against corporate greed, environmental destruction, and systemic oppression.

The mysterious, radical art collective Indecline knows all of this. Their projects — from a mural painted in human blood to a naked statue of Donald Trump — are blunt force trauma to the powers that be. Their latest installation follows in this same vein. It’s made up of a massive series of steel cutouts sliced straight into the buildings on an EPA Superfund site (property which the government was obligated to clean and restore but, due to massive backlogs and funding cuts, has been achingly slow in completing).

Indecline’s work makes a very clear point, underscored by EPA inaction: We are poisoning the planet and no one is paying attention. The project took place at an abandoned gold ore processing mill in the Mojave National Reserve. The mill became, in essence, a toxic dump in what was meant to be protected space. It remained that way until the artists of Indecline cut the locks and breached the gates to create a piece they call “Death Metal.”

When pressed on the point of the project, an anonymous Indecline artist told Uproxx that the goal was to, “Display man’s quest for wealth. They’re digging into the earth… not following any regulations and carrying out their duties without a care in the world to gain wealth.”

The location will surely become a point of interest now. It will appear on social media and websites. Indecline grabs headlines and this work will do the same. As such, it will be a vital piece of the environmental movement. A reminder to the powerful polluters: “Your sins won’t be forgotten; you’re not off the hook.”

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