In the late 1700s, a systematic grid was placed across the landscape of the American West. This created a means of turning land to commodification and settlement, dividing the landscape into private lands and public lands with visible and invisible boundaries. Within each of these differing boundaries the land is imbued with different literal or social values.
Also in the late 1700s, barbed wire was patented, thus dooming the open range in the West. The invention of barbed wire changed the West permanently by limiting the open range and starting many fights over the vast landscape. How could a thin piece of wire do all that?
Good Neighbor considers the role of the fence in the West. By distilling visual symbols down to the most essential, I explore the symbolism of the fence, what it does physically and emotionally, and how it impacts the relationships people have with each other and thier surrounding landscape.
This work was created during a one-month residency at Jentel in Banner, WY.