Slice of Time, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18"
private collection, Littleton, Colorado
"Experimental Geography explores the distinctions between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth, as well as the juncture where the two realms collide and possibly make a new field altogether." The spaces where realms collide--that's where hope resides.
"Experimental Geography" is a traveling exhibition, currently at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Nineteen artists or teams of artists from seven countries have presented their personal "geographical study and artistic experience of the earth" through various mediums.
There is a film documenting "A Project for Geographical Displacement," a project by Francis Alys, wherein 500 volunteers formed a line to move a sand dune near Lima. Described as a "human comb," these 500 human beings "pushed a certain quantity of sand a certain distance, thereby moving a sixteen-hundred-foot-long sand dune about four inches from its original position."
Such a tangible metaphor for hope. What hope, combined with sweat and teamwork, can accomplish, on a monumental scale. That's what I call faith.
Equally moving was the "NOTES FOR A PEOPLE'S ATLAS." These were small printed digital outlines of the city of Albuquerque, on which residents had been invited to "plot their personal knowledge of places, histories, and ideas on the map of their community." The most poignant one for me included only two large penciled-in dots, loosely marking two locations, a couple of miles apart. Each was accompanied by a message. One said, "where I was raped, age 15." And, in the second location, "where I got my life back together, 14 years later." For that young woman, getting her life back together must have been as monumental as moving a sixteen-hundred-foot-sand-dune four inches. Even so, after 14 years, it budged. That's what I call faith.