Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zander Olsen's Tree Lines

I've seen Olsen's "Tree, Line"photographs  popping up all over the internet recently, and I'm not quite sure what to make of them. Having recently written on Robert Smithson and read Robert Irwin's impossibly dense Notes Toward a Conditional Art, the Earth Art movement and spatial interventions more generally are on my mind.

Obviously, he applies white wrappings to the places where the bodies of trees interrupt the horizon line, as seen from the viewpoint of a camera. The project appeals to me for a few reasons, but I mostly appreciate the fact that his interventions, existing in their true form as photographs, survive only as myth. The camera becomes an interlocutor, without which work can neither exist as documentation, nor as anything else.

I'm also interested in the work's remedial function. It assumes the steady, unbroken line of the horizon, and, through additive operation, seeks to maintain and then document that ideal of consistency. I'd be quite curious to see him at work, and observe the ways in which is process either suits or contradicts the sensibilities of the final pictures.

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