Land Escape

Multimedia Installation
Multichannel Video, Single Channel Audio, Chiffon Fabric
35’ x 60’ x 14

Land Escape is a study of movement, migration. The travelers are caught in a mirage, discombobulated by uprooting, by boundaries, by the passage without fixed ends. The absurdity of the conditions recreates the earth as an absurd landscape made out of projected video, chiffon fabric, and barbed wire that breaks through the confines of flat image to invade the shared space, to define a border between the viewer and the work.

The travelers wear animal and human masks, highlighting humanity’s inborn instinct to move, resettle, search, and — it is hoped — find. But in a world of violently enforced borders, this most natural of drives breaks across strange new lines, never quite locking back into place. What the migrants in Land Escape experience is a breakdown of the natural order. While the space is transformed, time is also. Their journey always leads to the beginning, and their transit leaves no trace. There is no footprint to mark progress, only the looping of their video universe, the eternal return of the human in migration.

It is only when these characters stop for a moment that one can glimpse, in the brief panting of their pause, the human under the mask. These are not just tricks of light but people living in human bodies. Old bodies bent by age, young bodies in pigtails — all bodies that must move, cannot stop for long. And in their pausing, they must contemplate. And in that contemplation, understand the unending nature of their path.

Land Escape is a multimedia installation produced during an artist residency at 100W Corsicana in Corsicana, TX, supported by the Navarro Council of the Arts and 100W Corsicana. It debuted as part of the Reenactments of a Perpetual Cycle, a collaborative exhibition between artists Rachel Wolfson Smith and Edison Peñafiel. Land Escape was later included as part of the South Florida Cultural Consortium 2019 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, FL. 

Exibition Essay: Finite Bodies in Infinite Times by Allison Klion