Nancy spent a brief 48 hours in Indiana this week. We gave our first joint talk to Natalie's Contemporary Art History class about our general experience visiting the earthworks and our projects in response to them. We learned that next time we need to focus more on the general discussion of our artwork and influences more so than the anecdotes (of which there are many). The talk featured the below seen pink wig, a guest appearance by Val Kilmer, and a 12:30 alarm announcing Mark Sawrie's massage appointment. Overall, we feel it went well but could benefit from doing things differently in the future.
Afterward, Nancy and I then sifted through photographs and narrowed it down to 58 (!). It is more and more overwhelming as time goes on. There were decisions made about the burial photographs, the top 20 overall, and the in between. Below are the final cut and presentation for the burials. Today I can tell you that they are about saying goodbye to three people, two places, and one time period. They are not solely about loss but finality. The studio photograph and the end product underground will be displayed as diptychs (17x22 each) and the performative actions will be seen as a grid or chronological line (yet to be determined but not together with the others). I am hoping that the video that Nancy filmed of me burying the object unearthed at one of the sites will replace the solo Chinati burial photograph at the end as it would be nice to complete the series with video rather than a solitary photograph.
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Spiral Jetty (Person 1), 2009
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Sun Tunnels (Person 2), 2009
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Double Negative (Place 1), 2009
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Roden Crater (Person 3), 2009
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Lightning Field (Place 2), 2009
The Burial of Three People, Two Places, and One Time Period: Amarillo Ramp (Time Period 1), 2009
An Object Unearthed and Reburied at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, July 2009
I came to a conclusion about the object that I don't want anyone to know which one it was that I removed and buried in a better place. I compare it to "lost at sea" grave markers on Stewart Island, New Zealand. There are no bodies underneath those graves - just a headstone marking the emptiness below. One of the earthwork burials is "lost at sea" but it is up the viewer to guess. With most of the locations, I wanted to make my intentions obvious and built cairns over the ground but with Chinati I wanted it to blend in so undisturbed that it was nearly unrecognizable.
Here's to getting the video back soon to complete this small chapter in what must be published as a book as it's extensiveness is mind boggling.