One Place After Another

christina long art 2012
afternoon tea, 2012, Christina A Long

I’ve been thinking alot lately about the theories within Miwon Kwon’s book One Place After Another, which explores locational identity within art, community and place. Living in southeast Michigan where nature and urban life blend together now more than ever, its interesting how fluid these worlds have become.

These photographs are exploratory images through the back woods near my home- where my sister and I play in the forest telling stories and writing adventures about what it would be like to live out here finding new creatures. (im not a tree hugger i swear) lol

From the damp cramped nooks of Chicago, to the open floor plans of ann arbor homes And the even further diluted homes of Detroit slowly being taken over by trees and animals, I question how we each identify with the places we reside. Be it temporary dwellings or generational plots of land, what connects you to a place? How do we see ourselves in our environment?

Creating artwork out in nature or even bringing nature into the gallery space was a big thing in the 1980s. Nowadays it would seem its the domestic space (our homes and personal memories) that keep springing up in art galleries in the major markets. There has to be more going on here when it comes to identity than simply placing your domestic dwelling under a microscope for the world to see. Some other element that artists are really trying to get at.

I’m standing deep in the November woods where trees have fallen from recent storms, in the distance a small house has been crushed from above, the roof is torn off and a large tree is growing in what once was called its kitchen. If the place I live is disintegrating/disappearing around me, does that mean I am too? This is a critical question in urban spaces, where living conditions affect community confidence.

Perhaps there’s a way to build myself up again through building upon the small wonders found into the woods. I explore scale and texture, charging the nature here with little things from home, such as little tea sets and placesettings, doll clothes and crossstiched quilts. Perhaps we could call it a peace offering to the nature here, entertaining the idea that nature and architecture could humbly share the place we live, instead of violently fighting over it, disrespecting it. I look forward to negotiating these ideas further through photography.

-C.long

christina long art 2012
sewn branches, 2012 , Christina long

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