I was invited by Progress Gallery to live and work in Paris for four weeks this summer. During this time I created the works for a solo show that opens October 17th. French authorities held up my supplies for the first week requesting extra “taxes.” Needless to say, things were off to a rough start. I had the boards from PolyVision, but no supplies to work on them. I started to break down the packing materials from the boards into categories, cardboard, wood, foam and so on. I was getting anxious about the timeframe and I figured it would be good to recycle as much of the packing materials as possible. I used the boards to create the wall/window; I used the banding to create the wallpaper and the cardboard to create the maps of Rainforest Park in French Guiana. Many of the plants in the installation were built or found in the passage outside the gallery. By the end of the first week most of the installation had been built through the use of found materials.
Once my materials arrived I was able to continue developing the room interior, the waterfalls and the window space. The installation is to be viewed both at night and during the day.
It is hard to find anyone who does not own a mobile phone. I have had well over 5 in my lifetime. I use it to stay on top of business and personal activities. They are without a doubt, convenient. For this convenience we pay a price. Often that price is not paid in our back yard, but in the backyards of people who do not have the same political say as we do, that is… if one even has such a say.
“On October 26, 2012, French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg in faraway Paris awarded the mining permit. As an overseas region, French Guiana is a part of France and the EU. The “Limonade permit” grants the company the right to dig for gold in the rainforest soil and river sediment within an area of ten square kilometers, and use highly toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury that would inflict lasting damage to the region’s ecosystems.” Link
In this installation we find a map of the Rainforest Park on the ground with a painting of Corsica through the window. The viewer looks through the window at a traditional nature vista of Corsican mountains and valleys. The cartographic view of the Rainforest Park on the ground has been converted to something of a Mid-Western farmscape. The painting of Corsica has had all traces of human existence removed- the road becomes a river and the telephone poles and houses are erased. The water from the river (driveway) cuts through the frame and cascades down the wall to wash over the park. The scene is charged with the ambiguity of land, how we use it and the way we look at it, which allows us to use it in ways we do.