“Some/Any/No Place” Renee Couture

fence_2

“Some/Any/No Place”

Renee Couture

October 1, 2016 – October 31, 2016

Opening Reception:

First Saturday Gallery Crawl: October 1, 2016; 6-9pm

Exhibition Statement:

There are numerous adages containing the word fence. “Good fences make good

neighbors,” “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up,” “Fear is the highest fence,” and “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out,” to name a few. The fence is a manmade barrier that shows ownership. Fences enclose, surround, confine, separate, protect, and keep out;communities are created surrounding a place. By fencing in a piece of land, any place or some place, becomes my place, as opposed to having no place.

As an artist, place is fundamental to my studio practice. My work articulates the complexity and range of the public’s relationship with their nearby landscape. I point to the tension between the literal and conceptual values imbued upon a place, and I consider how relationships with place shift and reshape over time.

In 1785, the systematic surveying lands through the Thomas Jefferson Land Ordinance Act, laying a grid across the landscape. This established mechanisms for land settlement and land commodification. There have been numerous land acts that have essentially given land to settlers, usually with the stipulation that the (new) land owner was required to “improve the land”. This often meant fencing it in and turning it over to agriculture. Fastforward to the present: our surrounding landscape is divided and subdivided into numerous types of land from private lands and public lands, commercial lands, farm lands, and residential lands. The boundaries that define these lands or places can be visible or invisible in a variety of ways, from fences, gates, crops, signage, etc..

I explore this phenomena through the use of the fence – specifically construction fence -,implied movement, the use of apple tree blossoms, and subtle surface variation of matte and shiny facades, and warm and cool blacks/grays.

My project-based practice moves fluidly between media, allowing my ideas to dictate materials, form, and process. I apply formal and conceptual strategies to re-contextualize and re-appropriate quotidian objects and imagery to point to social values. My work employs subtle embellishments, amalgamations, and alterations that hold meaning to encourage connections between form and content. My work is rooted in living West. My work is my attempt at making sense of a history from which I was absent as a means of understanding my own present.

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