Cressida Kocienski, Lapis 2017 video still

Lapis (2017, 11:09)
Thursday August 24, 7:30 pm
291 Lake Shore Boulevard East (just west of Parliament St.)
Presented in partnership with Art Spin and Waterfront Toronto in conjunction with Desire Lines

Saturday June 10, 7:30 pm
Guild Park and Gardens
Presented in partnership with (Un)settled

My research is interested in mapping the “subsidiary” mineral trades of low-cost gemstones. These tiny rainbow fragments are for sale for a few pounds in a vast network of New Age shops and market stalls. They are sold, and used, as a form of medicine.  For instance, it is claimed that Lapis Lazuli opens the Throat Chakra and the Third Eye Chakra. It offers protection that may be worn to guard against psychic attacks,” and it also “benefits the respiratory and nervous systems and the throat, vocal chords….” Since the Silk Road, the primary European source of Lapis Lazuli has been the Sar-i-sang mines in Afghanistan. The stones are the country’s second biggest export after opium, shipping globally in bulk tonnage from China or Pakistan. There have been recent calls to classify Lapis as a conflict mineral, especially because the trade creates millions of dollars of revenue for the Taliban.

Cressida Kocienski is currently working towards her PhD upgrade in the Dept. of Architecture in the University of Sheffield. Her background is in New Media, and Art Writing (Goldsmiths), and her practice is grounded in experimental filmmaking.


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