Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tecolote, a site specific, place based art installation

     The following is documentation of an installation I did for a class on site specific, place based art installation. The subject of the course was cultural and ecological genocide in Arizona. I chose to address the issues surrounding the border between Arizona and Mexico. For a review of the installation check out Dave Laplander's blog. Special thanks to my classmates, my professor Shawn Skabelund, NAU Cline Library, and Dr. Tad Theimer and the NAU Biology Department's specimen library.


by Eugene Brosseau, BFA

     Current political and social actions and activism surrounding the Arizona and Mexico border impact a broad spectrum of human and animal relations and ecosystems. In an effort to address real and far reaching issues surrounding our borderlands, sweeping changes have been made to Arizona and U.S. policy and practice without sufficient regard for, or protection of, the rights of the inhabitants of our borderlands. This site specific art installation is intended to provoke questions within the viewer about our place in history, the commonality of human experience, and our role in the ecology of the borderlands.

On evenings dark
a lonesome sound
betrays the heart

from amidst trees
on the banks of arroyos
calls to would be companions

eyes alive
in the murk and midnight
watch the stillness

hearing and hailing 
all homesick hunters

     In summary, the owls, being nocturnal, represent the human migrants who move across the border at night. They also represent the universality of human experience on either side of the border.The topography of Arizona shows the southern border with Mexico. The absence of topography of Mexico illustrates the out-of-sight-out-of-mind state of affairs concerning the inhabitants south of the border and their status as the "other" or the "them" in the discourse. I deliberately chose topography and scientific specimens to associate the piece with the library environment. It was my intent to create a quiet artwork that united itself to its surroundings and invited the viewer's curiosity.

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