WOODEN POSSIBILITY, ECONOMIES, ROMANCE AND IMAGINATION
I came to Lendava and D’CLINIC with the idea of working on two major sculptural projects. With a permeability to the possibilities ( and impossibilities) in these deep green surroundings, all unfolded differently than I had imagined.
I had been asked to complete an installation for the American Embassy in Serbia and came with this project and its particular problematics in hand. In trying to sort out what representation and ideasI might develop, I was highly resistant to codified narratives of romantic nationalism: church, state, military, aggressive business, freedoms in limited spheres, and self interest. These forces play out very differently both in the US, the country where I was born and reside and in Serbia, the land of my familial roots. I had the desire to speak instead of basic questions of work and economy; grounding in relationship to physical place; love, strength and hospitality and communal generosity; as well as the imagination and courage of reinvention, transformation and utopian possibility once associated with San Francisco and Beograd. While these elements might be my own version of a romantic narrative, I found myself very much in conversation with all these very same topics in Lendava: hard work,lack of pretension, history and place, warmth, generosity, reinvention, distribution and resources.
I was deeply influenced by the physicality of Lendava, of forest, wood piles, bee hives, meadows, vineyards, foxes, rabbits, and deer. I was struck by peoples kindness, grace in living and clarity of world view and the very purposeful work at Sofija House, at the Kassas Families Organic Farm, the Pal model making shop and the thoughtful positioning of D’CLINIC in multiple levels of artmaking: so much possibility, while at the same time, the realities of limitations and pressures of being in fragile economic and ecologic systems.
In response, I worked in wood, pulling on the raw beauty of slabs of wood and piles of sticks,hand working with chisel and saws to make small iconic symbols: flag, apple, hand, fist,ladder, globe. I used slabs of wood to make basic wheel like inventions, thinking about wood, technology, and production and needs for reinvention of the old, reconsideration of it all
I had words that start with RE pulsating through my head: REIMAGINE< RECLAIM< REGAIN< REPRODUCE> REBEL> REFUSE> REINVENT . I made a RE piece, burned the letters into a slab of wood and paired it with a Slovenian English dictionary. I enacted the piece at a dinner opening, where people chose words that started with RE and became that word for the evening. I cooked risotto with good local products and wine, created conversations at many levels and arranged a skyped in a performance piece by Ben Vilmain from San Francisco, with an exploding red balloon. I also moved lots of wood elements around in temporary installations, as changeable memorials under constant process of reinvention. and re-imagination.