Gail Rothschild

Burning the Jungle

1990


Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex. 9 x 4 x 30 feet.
Commissioned by The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Bronx, NY

This installation was conceived for the tunnel-like space of the handicapped-access ramp corridor at the museum. The images of Amazon rainforest animals and plants are based on the paintings of the Tikuna and other indigenous rainforest peoples. They are cut from plywood panels that run the length of both sides of the corridor. The panels are back-lit with red and amber light - the rainforest on fire. A suspended ceiling of woven branches arches overhead. At the bottom of the corridor hangs a panel of cheesecloth thick with drips and globs of natural latex, a product of rainforest trees. The text on the panel reveals two voices: that of the indigenous people and that of the conquerors representing two very different ways of seeing the same place.

AMAZONIA IS THE JUNGLE, SAVAGE AND UNKNOWN.
Amazonia is the Rainforest, our dwelling and our Mother.
WE MUST CONQUER THE JUNGLE, AS WE MUST CONQUER THE SIN IN OUR HEARTS.
We must learn from the Rainforest and She will provide.
WHEN THE JUNGLE HAS BEEN BURNED THEN THERE WILL BE CULTIVATED LAND.
When the Rainforest has been burned, then where shall we go?

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet

Burning the Jungle, 1990
Wood branches, cheesecloth, and natural latex
9 x 4 x 30 feet