Henry Ford’s Jungle City, Fordlandia
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Scott Chandler’s photographic exhibition, Fordlandia at Galerie Les Territoires documents Henry Ford’s now-abandoned prefabricated industrial American town located in the depths of the Brazilian Amazon. In the late 1920′s Ford wanting his own supply of cheap rubber built a miniature Midwest factory town in the Amazon jungle, it was called Fordlandia. Ford thought he could perfect society by building model factories and pristine cities to go with them, just look at Detroit. But as Chandler’s photographs illustrate, inside the hostile jungles of Brazil, he would be defeated. This once bustling American town with its suburban bungalows, its pools, its schools and hospitals are overgrown with weeds and decay. I imagine the only residents living in Fordlandia are the jungle creatures. Fordlandia offers a glimpse how far America has fallen from the height of its industrial grandeur.
A side note, I was very surprised at the lack of art openings happening in the Belgo building on a Thursday evening, I think Fordlandia was the only art opening that night. I know it is the end of summer and the art seasons always starts after labor day, but it was way too quiet, too many galleries are empty or for rent. I really hope that Montreal’s art scene livens up this fall…
Photograph taken by Juan Madrigal at the art opening.