Fieldworks: Beyond Measure
Dec. 17, 2020 - April 19, 2021 | Mary LeFlore Clements Oklahoma Gallery
Beyond Measure featured works produced by Fieldworks project collaborators Todd Stewart and Robert Bailey. Professors Stewart and Bailey initiated this program at the University of Oklahoma in 2015. The interdisciplinary residency invites artists, scholars and students to artistically respond to the presence of humans in the American Southwest. Each summer, they visit sites where people have left traces on the land. Participants study each place as deposits of knowledge and creativity.
Beyond Measure presented a selection from the Fieldworks project’s diverse archive of objects, photographs, texts, videos and more. Clusters of photographs by Stewart immersed the viewer within the landscapes they depict. Text by Bailey excavated layers of meaning throughout the display, suggesting more complex relationships between artworks. Together, they deepened our understanding on the various ways people locate themselves within their environments.
Themes explored include the human role in ecology, the origins of different measurement/recording practices and the limits of movement across the land. The mixed-scale objects and texts invited each visitor to construct their own experience and make their own unique set of connections between the works presented.
Beyond Measure’s visual array of artefacts and art showcased how people relate to the expanse between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. Coinciding with Ed Ruscha: OKLA in the main gallery, Beyond Measure encouraged audiences to consider ways that overlooked surroundings can be reframed through the lens of contemporary art practice.
Images: Todd Stewart, Beyond Measure installation, 2020. Todd Stewart, LADWP Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project California, 2016. Todd Stewart, Discarded Sweatshirt Quitobaquito Springs Arizona, 2017. Todd Stewart, Bristlecone Pine Cone, 2018.