THE PLACE BETWEEN
Artworks Loveland, Loveland, CO
June 12-July 3, 2015
“If you would find yourself, look to the land you came from and to which you go.”
-- Henry David Thoreau
Scott & Alicia Laumann with performers:
Plywood, mason line, electrical spools, pipes, conduit, wood fence posts
Strangers In Their Own Land
Various tree rounds, string
Push pins, needlework thread and plywood
48” x 48”
Scott & Alicia Laumann
To find wildness, I must first offer myself up,
accept all that comes before me.
Left: 2 hours continuous footage
Right: 10 hours continuous footage
Filmed in Grand Junction, CO
Chinese geographer Yi-Fu Tuan says Americans have a sense of space rather than a sense of place. We are famous for wanting to know what lies over the next hill. At the same time, as Wendell Berry observes, it is a national tendency to “stay put, to say ‘No farther. This is the place.’” Place typically represents security and space freedom; we are attached to the one and long for the other. But the ideas “space” and “place” require each other for definition. From the security and stability of place, we are aware of the the openness, freedom, and threat of space and vice-versa. Furthermore, if we think of space that allows movement, then place is pause; each pause in movement makes it possible for location to be transformed into place.
Artists Scott & Alicia Laumann have lived in 30 unique locations in their combined lifetimes. They have logged 92,000 miles between locations. Their ten-year old daughter has lived in twelve different places during her short life. In conjunction with this show, they will move back to the Front Range with the intention of putting down roots, hoping to use their many travels to create meaning in a single place.
The Place Between, their first collaborative show in a gallery space, examines American attitudes of mobility, community and sense of place through the lens of their own personal experience. Each new work, created in the last six months, represents an attempt to to reveal the beauty of their journey and struggle to find resolve through their transient past and local future.
While these themes connect the pieces, each negotiates a different perspective. “Pin Map,” containing almost 2000 push pins and quilting thread, represents the city perimeters of 23 unique cities lived in, juxtaposed to imagine a “new” composite place. “Strangers in Their Own Land” is a meditation on the meandering path and intuitive nature of living in each place, asking “do we fit in?”
All of the work was created as an exploratory process and the finished result involved an element of risk and trust. In particular, the sculpture-making performance “Landschaft” relies on other participants to execute it’s completion by giving their varied experiences (colored lines) meaning for themselves (fence posts) - the finished result is unknown and requires the artists to trust in others to bring it to pass, reflecting the way in which they must count on others to make their lives whole. The video installation “To find wildness, I must first offer myself up, accept all that comes before me” is a durational work involving 12 hours of continuous video footage. The artists were physically challenged in enduring the elements, depicting the tension they feel between the promise of space and the stability of place.