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What the Desert Already Has, Exhibit by Jen Urso
September 30 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
What the Desert Already Has, 2023
Performance, soil from Mormon Mesa (Michael Heizer’s “Double Negative”), recycled Plexiglas, lights, digitally printed poster
“What the Desert Already Has” focuses on the small, time-consuming effort of life in the desert, from seed to plant. This piece uses soil harvested from Mormon Mesa, where Michael Heizer created “Double Negative.” The soil was placed in two 1/120 scale trenches, which is irrigated and lit with grow lights to encourage dormant seeds to grow. Intended as a long-term, slow performance, this piece focuses on the small, persistent efforts of abundant desert life, contrasted with the large, destructive bulldozing and mark-making of 1960s/70s land artists like Heizer. The accompanying Mormon Mesa botanical poster situated between the two Plexiglas trenches features plants found by the artist and citizen scientists on iNaturalist with information on known ethnobotanical uses.
This temporary exhibit will run from July 12 through Oct 20, 2023, in the 1981 gallery.