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Through video installation, sculpture and photographs, this show will raise questions about the connections between sexuality and nature, as well as the implications of human interventions within the natural world. Largely inspired by Renwick’s recent residency at Caldera Arts Center in Sisters, Oregon, the work draws on the imagery and sensations of the artist’s experiences in the forests of the Northwest.
Collaborating with Renwick on this project are Sam Coomes (of Portland indie band Quasi) and design collective Von Tundra. Coomes, who created the score for Renwick’s 2006 video Portrait #2: Trojan, provides the scores for two video installations, WOODSWOMAN and FULL ON LOG JAM. This year, Renwick created the music video for Quasi’s new song, “Little White Horse.” Von Tundra collaborates with Renwick to construct the video installation FULL ON LOG JAM.
When I was working at Powell’s, a new employee came up to me and asked me my name and what I was into.
I told her, “Fucking and nature.”
I must not have enunciated clearly, as she responded, “Fucking AND nature?” or “Fucking IN nature?”
I said, “It’s all good, either way.”
This is a show about the forest and fucking. I tell people this and everyone gets a big smile and says things like, “I can get behind that.” Two things that a lot of people seem to be into, not just here in the Pacific Northwest, but everywhere I think.
I’ve even heard former loggers talk about the feeling of seeing, then cutting giant trees, and they are talking in terms of passion and lust. Maybe its lustmord, but lust all the same.
I’ve been wearing the same necklace since I was 16. It’s a little silver circle with a tree silhouette cut out of it. I’m into the trees, always have been. I climb a tree every night to get to my bedroom.
Once, in the early 80’s in Chicago, I was walking along the lakefront at night during a crazy fall thunderstorm. The wind was going wild, whipping the trees about, and the sound of the leaves in the wind induced an orgasm in me that began in my right ear and then continued through my entire body. During that time, I could hear the trees speaking, but I could not understand them. I had had a skull fracture and all my senses were super-heightened.
My neurosurgeon eventually shipped me out of Chicago to a Gentleman’s farm in upstate New York that my aunt and uncle owned, because my senses were so heightened. He sent me to nature as cure.
A lot of this show came from my time spent at a residency at Caldera this past March. That was the longest time that I spent off of cement in my recent life. 30 days. Not long enough. The trees were talking to me again. They probably have never stopped talking to me. It’s me who stops listening at times. They were talking not through sound, but through image. Alive, sparkling, vibrating image. Silver, black and dead, yet still talking to me.
Fecund this earth is. We are.
- Vanessa Renwick, 2010
As easy as falling off a log…..
This show would not exist without the amazing generosity of these here folks!
The artist wishes to thank:
Sarah Miller Meigs
T C Smith
Mill End Fabric Store
PDX Contemporary Art
and Jane Beebe