March 7 – May 1, 2015
There are 6,624 state-owned and run parks in the United States that exist, ostensibly, to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic relevance, and recreational potential. They have also functioned as templates to examine how the US thinks of, envisions, and exploits the outside. In many ways, State Parks are neatly groomed physical manifestations of Landscape Paintings—rendered perfectly in greens and browns and providing an accessible, domesticated, and colonized wilderness. For the past 100+ years State Parks have unlocked a kind of egalitarian sublime, and enabled understanding in the out-of-doors. But, it is necessary to unpack State Parks as sites rich with conflict and complexities—where landscape, myth, identity, class, exclusivity, exploitation, wildness, tragedy, erasure, memory, leisure, spirit, holism, play, and adventure exert their individual and collective forces. The artists included in the exhibition turn over the show’s namesake so that we might see what they’ve seen, done, and remember, or discover who has been excluded and what’s been inadvertently missed.
Show website here