I did this little interview with Nance Klehm as a companion piece to an exhibit she participated in earlier this year called AgriART: Companion Planting for Social and Biological Systems.
Although the premise seems at first quite straightforward — “An array of art works that critically engage with cultures of food production and consumption” — I confess I never quite understood what the curators here were getting at. I made a good faith effort, I swear, but the art-world language in which their exhibit is wrapped seems at once overdetermined and frustratingly opaque.The interview is perhaps rather free-associative as a result, but this bit here gets close to some more complicated truth:
M: It makes me thing that maybe the reason talking about this is so hard is that people (or, me….) are hardwired to interpret the natural world in terms of human experience. We are (I am) always unconsciously looking for metaphors and analogies. … but nature is just nature. The soil isn’t there to articulate life lessons! It’s just THERE….
N: Metabolising like the rest of us …
And, speaking of which, Nance has a new piece in Arthur in which she talks a bit about her “skeptical” relationship with interpreting what she does as art.
But, mostly she talks about chicken care. It’s inspiring.
[artwork by Alana Bailey]