Milk is a multi channel video installation with interactive features, situated in a spatial construction. Twenty video films interchanging on screens and projections reveal the story of dairy milk consumption. As an art project Milk focuses on the transformation and shifting of notions: the transition from the bodily to the sterile, from maternal care to the calculated, and from symbolism and virtues to activism and nationalism. Milk takes its inspiration from the invention of the ‘spray dry’ technique: the industrial conversion of fluid milk into milk- powder. It partially follows the story of the Nestlé company, a pioneer in implementing this technique, specifically the breakthrough of the pharmacist-entrepreneur Henri Nestlé with his Kindermehl product.
The viewer delves into possible trajectories, guided by historical facts, with interviews and archive material. In the meantime also landing in side allies of unexpected sub-topics, visualized by the glowing of a newborn’s cheek, the ecstatic bouncing of a milk-ritual, the promise of an advertisement, and the sterility of a factory hall. An artistic-informative tour between macro and micro, where one learns about Mongol ancient milk drying but might also come face to face with the active lactase enzyme in the small intestine of Brazil’s ex-president. The motto, taken from the realm of finance-economy of reducing in order to expand, is used as a guiding thread in order to touch upon social-shifts entangled with dairy milk consumption. Milk examines our relation to nature, to commerce, and to ideologies.
Production update May 23: Lately filmed at the Dairy-Campus, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Filming planned for Vevey, Switzerland and Uvdal, Norway for interviews, historic material, landscapes and local cattle. A try-out presentation is planned for September 23 at the Kunstkapel, Amsterdam / The Warp
Participating and contributing: Camera- Jeanne van der Horst Sound- Dirk Bruinsma Digital technique- Machiel Kunst Acting- Nathalie Smoor Scholars- Iselin Gambert and Clemens Driessen Archives- the Rotterdam archive, the Nestlé archive and more to follow Documentary advice- Stella van Voorst van Beest Supportive- Franziska Walt, Mimi von Moos & Willem Mes, Theo Goemaat Many thanks to the Prins Bernhard Culture Foundation for the preparation period (being able to start this engine)! The production is these days supported by the Mondriaan Fund