Re-Dressing Landscape

Artist Talk: Thursday, August 23rd,2012, 7;00 PM at ASAP
Exhibit:September 7th to 13th, 2012
Performance: Friday, September 7th, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
at St. FX gallery, Antigonish, NS

Re-Dressing Landscape is at heart the question of re-imagining what it means to be together with a landscape. How can we re-dress the damage brought about by technological society’s practices of plunder and over-consumption? We see that this is not a sustainable economic and social model right around us in the fishery, forests, oil extraction, and now, fracking. We need to change our life practices, but the conviction to do this, the motivation, comes from changing our feelings and perceptions of how we find ourselves in the world.

Johannes asks: how can we approach the landscape in a state as vulnerable as the landscape in the face of our exploitation, especially without being romantic, sentimental, utilitarian, or even in a passive state of awe? His answer is to imagine it as a body, alive and vulnerable just like his body, which also takes into account that landscape is a political body subject to regulation, domination and exploitation, but also care and respect, just like ours.

So, he asks, can we imagine being together with the landscape at the level of skin to skin? While our skin is familiar, we can imagine that woody plants have bark as skin, and that the landscape has skins of grass, forest, stones, and water. Skins are fragile, permeable barriers, through which we can experience cuts, poison ivy, sunburn, but also welcome the sensuousness of water, air or beds of moss.

As human beings, we also have secondary skins: clothes. And our clothes are stellar examples of over-consumption that has an environmental impact; we abuse the landscape to grow and process industrial scale cotton, and we use vast amounts of hydrocarbons in synthetic fabrics, plus fuel for the manufacture and export of textiles and clothes. So how can we use our clothes to bring us closer to landscape, to symbolically re-dress landscape?

From the introduction to the performance given by Tila Kellman on September 8, 2012

Thanks to Bruce Campbell and the ST. FX Gallery Board, performers TJ EDIGER and GREGOR MARTIN, assistants with video recording and editing Deborah Jenkins and Tila Kellman for the photography.

Re-Dressing Landscape: Johannes Zits in performance
| Facebook | by Tila Kellman

Performance artist coming to Antigonish by Richard MacKenzie, posted August 15, 2012

is a link to the ASAP Artist Run Centre archive. The other participants in the performance as well as Tila Kellman and Bruce Campbell are all members.