Tread Lightly


Informed by research for my case study on Cecilia Vicuna and our session with Maria Arceo, I think more deeply about why I am working predominantly with reused and natural materials in my work. I consider how these material choices intersect with the way that I am increasingly making temporary installations rather than 'object' based pieces. This brings to mind Vicuna's 'precarios' - small assemblages designed to be impermanent and go unrecorded, in this way remaining unclaimed by the narratives of others. Vicuna sees these works as ways of drawing attention to that which is 'disappeared'. I want to explore this way of making as a way to foreground thinking about impermanence, disappearance and impending loss.

These thought processes are crystallised through learning more about the 1960's Land Art movements, in particular those works which physically (often brutally and destructively) imposed the will of the artists on the land (particularly as evidence by the film of the making of Smithson's Spiral Jetty), and rely on the narrative that 'owning' land gives you the right to alter it unrecognisably and the privileging of one 'vision' (typically that of the white, western, predominantly male, artist) at the expense of all others.

I am aware of the almost performative nature of making site-specific work in the form of installing, documenting, and uninstalling in a short space of time, and I become conscious that I am uncomfortable being recorded (or even seen) making the work. I have no desire to foreground myself in the work, rather I want to work collaboratively with place, in a way that acknowledges the ephemeral, the mutable and the unfixed nature of the site.

I consider the relationship of documentation to the work, and recognise that it is becoming an integral part of my working process. I want to spend more time thinking about alternative methods of documentation to photography.