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Alice Aycock | Wide walls



22. April 2020

Balasz Takac is a pseudonym of Vladimir Bjelicic, who is actively involved in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

In recent years, scientists and various scientists from various disciplines have been committed to discussing the devastating effects of the climate crisis through the critical formulation of economic and political mechanisms that seem to ignore various and constant changes on a global level. Especially after the terrible fires that broke out last year in the Amazon and Australia, more than realized that people should change their way of life and pay more attention to the dying species around them without them the balance of life on earth will be completely broken.

The first warnings appeared more than forty years later with the rise of the environmental movement about the ecological crisis, the increase in melting glaciers, oil pollution, the excitement of various animal and plant species, etc. Among other factors such as feminism In the second wave, civil rights, LGBTQ, and anti-war movements, as well as political debates about the Cold War and the atomic age, this movement played an important role in the formation of a new public discourse that eventually affected American society and then the world should reform. Apparently her voice was wide enough so that on April 22, 1

970 an annual Earth Day was set as an event to support environmental protection.

Around the same time, country art (or earth art, environmental art) and earthworks was already founded as autonomous art branch in North America, which is associated with a broader phenomenon known as concept art. Unlike the artists who were interested in dismantling and commercializing the art system, exploring the concept of language, or criticizing society inside or outside of public space in urban environments, the supporters of Land Art willingly gave traditional forms on representation, went into the wild and began to work with natural materials especially the earth itself, to create expansive interventions in the landscape. Her works of art are more commonly referred to as projects almost architecturally and in terms of urban planning, since they used heavy machinery, teams of employees and, from time to time, special permits to develop the planned projects.

  Robert Smithson - Broken Circle and Spiral Hill
Robert Smithson – Broken Circle and Spiral Hill. Image via Retis on Flickr

The male (white) artist who conquered nature

Land Art could also be seen as extension of the strict and reductive nature of minimalism because his practitioners used materials, which were found in Nature to create site-specific installations that violate the rules of logic, temporality and public participation.

Regardless of its emancipatory potential, the movement was most often presented by the practices of male artists starting with Robert Smithson, who is often considered the founding father of Land Art, particularly because of his influential essay Sedimentation des Geistes: Erdprojekte which was published in 1968 in the Artforum and acted as a manifesto of a movement . . In addition to his colleagues such as Walter De Maria, Alan Sonfist, Hans Haacke and James Turrell, to name but a few, Smithson presented a kind of practice that was considered unmanageable by women.

The art critic Suzaan Boettger intervened with a description of the movement under the leadership of "Western, Cowboy Bravado". The male pioneers of Land Art produced extensive works that required earthmoving and enormous funding through donations or sponsorship from wealthy benefactors.

The Women's Intervention

Although it was believed at the time that women were unable to perform such enormous installations, they focused on an articulated and often socially charged approach to claim the opposite . Her treatment of the natural environment exceeded that suggested by her male colleagues and, from today's perspective, led to far more fascinating results .

Whether the country artists cultivated, marked, modeled and documented the landscape, they established communication with it instead of conquering it . In this way, they dealt with a number of important issues, mainly dealing with gender and class issues, which were sometimes articulated from a feminist point of view.

By referring to natural sciences such as botany and chemistry, folklore folklore with the matriarchal cults. With the strategies of urban renewal and architectural renewal, they created powerful works of art that can still astonish us with their ingenuity .

The era in which many earthworks were made by women is currently most commonly celebrated for feminist practices. Pioneers like Judy Chicago or Martha Wilson, who worked with other media, meant that the country artists hovered within the movement and became anonymous although their work was an integral part of the history of environmental art.

To honor their domains regarding the upcoming celebration of Earth Day. We decided to briefly present the practices of the seven most important t country artists with the following top list.

Selected image: Nancy Holt – Dark Star Park, 1984. Courtesy of Ron Cogswell on Flickr.


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