"If you want to destroy someone, begin by making him out to be a savage.”Bertold BrechtNevada - Utah - Arizona... Read More
"If you want to destroy someone, begin by making him out to be a savage.”
Nevada - Utah - Arizona - New Mexico -
Four states – four artists – four utopias
We think in terms of the world that surrounds us, its territories at our measure. We invent objects we can hold in our hands or that fall within the scope of our eyesight. And if we are infinitely small in the greatness of the cosmos, we invent shapes that do not try to be on the scale of the universe. Probably because, here in Europe, we do not often have greatness of space in front of our eyes. Therefore, our artistic utopias are on the scale of our countries and our seas. Something which crosses us and that we can cross. Living in town leads us to make art for boxes: the multicolored television box, the white box of the gallery, the black box of the theater, the music box, the movie box, the book box.
I discovered the existence of a New World invented by certain artists as a space for creation, a horizon, within the greatness of the world and their utopias. Extreme artists, “wild”, refusing to let their art, or themselves, be tamed by the world of cities and culture, refusing to be put in a box. They all have in common the necessity to invent in the heart of the immensity of the desert.
In the 60s, in many areas of the Western American desert, recognized artists, loners, tired of show biz or galleries came to set up their space. The more or less intimate, the freest, the most utopic. Water lilies atop the rocks, sand stars; they chose a free zone, deserted, they moved off center in order to invent their own center of the world. How and where to draw the fourth dimension?
Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, four states, four human utopias as grand as the human spirit and the geographical spaces chosen.
Physical, spatial, temporal experiences of art or of nature. Marginal attitudes, exceptional figures, rare birds. They all have the sky in mind:
Marta Becket, dancer of the New York City Ballet, nearly eighty years old, created a theater in an old gas station in the heart of Nevada, in Death Valley.
Discovering her in 1996 was the starting point of this film.
Nancy Holt, avant-garde artist, known in the 60s, part of the Land Art group, came to Utah, near Salt Lake City, to install her Sun Tunnels and her Buried Poems.
Ira Steiner, not an artist, but a landscaper musician, a man, a specialist in the fauna and flora of the Sonoran desert, its guide, in the heart of Arizona.
Charles Ross, artist-astrophysicist, has been working for over thirty years on the installation of an astronomic observatory, Star Axis, in the heart of New Mexico.
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