Benera and Estefan
The Desert Rock that Feeds the World, 2019
Installation (phosphate rock, sand, metal wire), variable dimensions

The installation refers to the sand wall built by Morocco in Western Sahara, an area designated by the United Nations as a «Non-Self-Governing Territory» that contains a phosphate deposit of 1.7 billion tonnes on the Bou Craa site. Built to keep the Sahrawi people, the population living in the eastern Sahara, away from the natural resources of the region, the Moroccan Western Sahara Wall is the largest active military barrier in the world. It allows Morocco to control the northwestern part of Western Sahara.
For artists, this wall of sand is a perfect example of debrisphere. (term created by the artsits to refer to a yet unnamed layer of the Earth’s crust, that brings together man-made landscapes and territories shaped by conflicts and wars around the world )

Phosphate rock is formed over millions of years in the earth's crust and today is a finite resource. Essential for plant and animal life, in particular for the production of DNA in the human body, phosphorus is also used as a fertilizer. As it cannot be produced artificially, deposits create greeds that generate tensions, leading to changes in the landscape.
The artists create a Foucault’s pendulum from a phosphate rock, shifting its swing-plane according to the rotation of the Earth.

Photo credit: Patrick Hertzog/AFP