Shadow on the Land
Exhibited as part of B A D S T A R at the LaVerne Krause Gallery, University of Oregon, October 2020.
The video was produced in collaboration with Karin Bolender at the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) as part of her work with Explorations of Now, using multiple sources and common research interests as catalysts for improvisation.
Hot and bright sun, and the resulting sharp shadows, the stem of a dead tree in the middle of the pasture acting as time keeper, the pit that is a pond in a different season, now dry and deeply cracked earth with a pulping Western at the bottom, the big red horse Buddy and his physical presence and sound, the wind driving fire and smoke our way though we didn’t know it then, the Secretome maps Karin cultivated from my swabs on a previous visit to the R.A.W.
The video is 45 mins long, the performance/exploration barely visible in the blown-out footage. It is projected over a large wooden stretcher frame, suspended in mid-air, that casts its shadow on the image. I am considering the mythology of the American West and its relationship to the land, but also physical engagement with the matter of dust, cracked and hollow earth, horizon line and compass needle, sun and shadow. The shadow of the frame bears down on the view of the landscape in the same way that the image-making traditions and landscape representations, closely tied to western expansionism and manifest destiny, constrain and instrumentalize the landscape itself.