(b. 1965 in Poole, United Kingdom; lives in Mexico City, Mexico)
Melanie Smith’s experimental, documentary-style film Fordlandia, 2014, is a poetic meditation on the artist’s voyage to a factory town established in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in the 1920s by the Ford Motor Company. The automaker’s ambition was to provide the largest supply of rubber in the world. Henry Ford never visited the region, and the project was a spectacular failure, for reasons that range from the lack of understanding of the local conditions to a changing market for natural rubber. In Smith’s film, the colonial gaze of modernity is quietly disrupted by the vitality of nature.