The harvest is a ritual; the movements are choreographed by necessity. For Garlic Harvest, the crew is asked to wear white clothes which, over the course of the day, become soiled, evidence of the time and labor of the harvest.
A pole barn contained the acre's yield of garlic. Each bay of the barn is filled floor to ceiling with garlic chains, each chain tied by hand with one piece of rope. The hand work, become a series of repetitive movements and the basis for a field-based performance.
time-based photograph collection
Chimayo, NM and San Pedro, NM
Field Nails was an exchange project with a farming friend in another region of New Mexico. During the farm season the women painted their fingernails a different color each week. The hard work of farming took its toll on their nails, wearing off the color, marking the passage of time and the accumulation of labor. Images were shared back and forth as their respective fields were cultivated.
Bringing the inside outside, a painter's canvas was installed at the end of the cabbage patch. Acting as a backdrop, the wall of canvas isolated and/or honored the cabbage. Cabbage intra/extra was an architectural construction that turned in situ growing cabbage into a veritable artwork.
Reclaiming Golden Ground
cardboard cake boxes and spray paint installed in a field
To clear trees in overgrown pastures one might use a team of mules, a machine or clear it by hand. Opening the earth with a plough, the dirt turns over systematically in uniformed shapes. At times, steam rises from the ground. The soil has not seen daylight in years; some of these fields have not been irrigated or seed plated for decades.
For Reclaiming Golden Ground, cake boxes -- traditionally used to package and transport sweets -- were manipulated into golden forms that resembled the cakes of dirt that the plough makes. Healthy soil is a precious resource and could be as valuable as gold.
cast cabbage leaves
When harvesting cabbage, it is cut from the stalk, its outer leaves removed before the cabbage is packed in a box for transport. The outer leaves are considered compost or garbage. For Conceptual Compost, they were turned into castings and placed in the field to re-nourish the soil.
The Golden Moment
Las Trampas, NM
Gemini Farms relied on mules to assist with much of the farming labor and production. In 2012, enough grain was grown onsite to feed the livestock, closing the gap between production and consumption. On a fall day in a golden field, a team of four mules pulled a baler to harvest their food, wearing a platinum wig and golden suit while driving the team.
The performance merged my creative practice with the everyday tasks of farming in a specific place. The harvest was the ritual; the movements were already choreographed.
installation of drawings
While staying on a mesa top in Northern New Mexico a drawing was made every day for two weeks. Mixed from local clay -- the same mud of which the house was built -- the cumulative drawings became a calendar and a record of the place. After two weeks, the drawings were strung together and hung between the well house and the windmill connecting wind, earth, and water.
Left to the elements, the intention was for them to eventually degrade back into the earth. After leaving the mesa, I received a package in the mail; a friend had found the drawings scattered around the desert and sent them with a note reading, "I couldn't let them go."