Land at Work

To designate an area as “land” is to situate it in relation to human activities past, present, and future. In the context of a still colonialism, land is often regarded as a property to be owned and a resource to be exploited. This extractive attitude has left its mark on the earth—transforming the landscape, exhausting ecologies, and unleashing toxins into the ground, water, and air. Yet this viewpoint remains partial, neglecting both the natural forces that have shaped topography over millennia and alternative models for less harmful relations with the environment.

Experimenting with perspective, framing, and scale, the works in this section invite us to consider the conflict between shaping space for human purposes and respecting natural processes. Navigating land use and its evolving forms, these objects raise questions about how we value the earth and the way it has been irrevocably altered as a result.

Artists on Display:

Timothy H. O’Sullivan, Terry Evans, Toshio Shibata, Leonard Havens, and Walker Evans.