Friday, June 12, 2009

Burial: Six Objects for Six Earthworks

Keith Arnatt's Self Burial, 1969

My last photographic series, Left with My Own Device, explores images of other people holding objects as self-portraiture (among many other things). With this project I am burying symbolic objects at each location, purging elements of the past yet leaving a trace of my presence. It could also be my version of leaving marks on the land with a shovel not a back hoe or a camera. Claes Oldenburg's early use of burial in conjunction with earth art, Sol LeWitt's Buried Cube Containing an Object of Importance but Little Value, and Keith Arnatt's Self Burial are partial inspirations.

I have also been interested in burying art since my father and I dug a giant hole in the "back 40" just before I moved to Arizona to attend graduate school. We submerged a couple dozen canvases from his graduate school days at the University of Iowa and some inferior functional objects of mine that were collaged and painted. I remember the act and not the artwork though I did manage to find this slide that was included in the cache. After studying it, I am happy to say that it was buried.

The tool:

The objects (earthworks yet to be determined):

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