Land: Mine Artist exhibition Catalog

15 September 2016

Land: Mine Artist exhibition Catalog

Catalog Link

On the land, we get our bearings by looking for the horizon. On the water, we search for that line where sky meets surface. Hurtling through the sky in an airplane, we look for that point of contact, the familiar and reassuring ground beneath us. The horizon grounds us, yet it also seems to shift.

Horizon depends on perspective, and perspectives on land and landscape are thoroughly explored in this collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and other artworks. Land: Mine investigates the shifting horizon line across tracts of land and landscape vistas, travelling familiar territory from new perspectives as well journeying across strange new places that somehow, nevertheless, seem navigable.

Through three broad themes—land mining and mindfulness, inhabited land and cultural landscapes, and the storytelling capacity of land—these works establish “horizon” as a shared, though shifting, point of contact.

Works dealing with frac sand mining in Western Wisconsin raise compelling questions about the impact of this activity on the land: what is destroyed? What remains? More philosophically, we might wonder, in viewing these images, are there more and less mindful ways to use the land’s resources?

Artworks depicting such cultural landscapes as cityscapes invite us to consider how, though we share a horizon, our perspectives differ. Since “landscape” is what happens when an area of land becomes visible through a particular vantage point (like that of an artist), all landscapes are essentially cultural. “Horizon,” too, is a created thing.

If land is a shared space, inhabited by living things, events are surely happening there. What is the connection between landscape and narrative? Perhaps land becomes a story at the very instant a landscape is created, extending the horizon beyond place, into time. Forward by Stephanie Turner