Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015) wood (laser cut and readymade), astro turf, paint, hardware
It All Turns on Affection
2015
wood (laser cut and readymade), astro turf, paint, hardware
30' x 25' x 7'

In 1785, the Thomas Jefferson Land Ordinance Act created a means of laying a systematic grid across the western landscape. This established mechanisms for land settlement and land commodification. Fast forward to the present. Our surrounding landscape is now divided into numerous types of land: private and public, commercial and residential, state and federal, park and forest, and wilderness lands. Different literal or conceptual values are placed on lands within each of these differing boundaries,.

In 1972, the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities was established by the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is considered the highest honor of intellectual achievement conferred by the federal government. In 2012, Wendell Berry received this award and gave a lecture titled, “It All Turns on Affection,” where he compares and contrasts the land management practices (or affection toward land) of his grandfather with that of the commercial tobacco industry.  
 
In 2015, I read Berry’s lecture. I thought about it as I walked through the various land ownerships - the systematic grid - surrounding my mountain property. As I walked through this altered and sometimes heavily managed landscape, I couldn’t help but to imagine how my surrounding landscape has shifted and shaped over time based on the fluidity of political and cultural values.

One spring day, I noticed the first hot pink wildflowers on the landscape. The wildflowers don’t care about the crude and imaginary grid lines that run through the mountains separating land ownerships. Their fondness toward a place is about something much more real, such as soil health, temperature, and water.

Exhibited at The Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, OR. Special thanks to Rolf Blomquist, Werner Krueger, and Kristopher Schaefer of InHaus Fabrication.

Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015)


Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015)


Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015)


Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015)


Renee Couture It All Turns on Affection (2015)


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