Laura Aguilar, Genesis Báez, Teresa Baker, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Christie Blizard, The Frank Duncan Archive, Nancy Holt, Katherine Hubbard, Isuma, Benny Merris, Alan Michelson, Laura Ortman, Elle Pérez, Sondra Perry, David Benjamin Sherry
Ecstatic Land is an exhibition and screening series that brings together a multigenerational group of artists whose works explore the intersecting vitalities of the land and self. The word ecstatic comes from the Greek ἔκστασις [ekstasis], meaning “to stand outside oneself.” In nature, and particularly in the vast expanses of the desert, one can experience physical contact with the earth while being emotionally and psychologically transported elsewhere. This affect, present in the artworks in Ecstatic Land, connects material and exterior sites with interior, emotional, psychic states. Land is celebrated as a living force, and the exhibiting artists’ photographs, paintings, films, videos, sculptures, and sounds harmonize the pleasures of seeing what’s around us with those of inward reflection.
Western art-historical traditions of the landscape genre largely focus on the framing of particular views of nature, often as demonstrations of power and control. And while the artists in Ecstatic Land each reference the natural world, they are not creating landscapes per se. Rather than reproducing or framing views, their works reveal new subjectivities and methods for perceiving shared environments. These artworks transport us beyond sight, reconnecting us to the world through embodied experiences. Challenging and expanding single-point perspectives, these artists offer personal views that would otherwise be invisible, intangible or overlooked. Their approaches run counter to the privatization, misuse, and over-consumption of common spaces and resources. Ecstatic Land proposes ways to live dynamically, critically, queerly, and consciously on and with the land.
Ecstatic Land is co-organized by Guest Curator Dean Daderko and Ballroom Marfa Director and Curator Daisy Nam, with assistance from Alexann Susholtz, Ballroom Marfa Curatorial and Exhibitions Assistant.
Screening Series Schedule
Outdoors Screenings in Ballroom’s Courtyard
October 26– 29, 2022
Alan Michelson, Wolf Nation, 2018. HD video, 9:59 minutes. Sound by Laura Ortman. Courtesy of the artist.
November 2– 5, 2022
Genesis Báez, Clouds, 2019. 4K digital video. Spanish audio with English subtitles, 6:45 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
November 9–12, 2022
Christie Blizard, Plant songs, 2021-2022. Single channel video, 16 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Sondra Perry, I Make Land Art Now, 2015. Color, sound, HD video, 2:41 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
Christie Blizard, Cactus, 2020, single-channel video 4:47 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Spring 2023 at Marfa Public Library:
Isuma, A Day in the Life of Noah Pittuagatuk, 2019. Directed by Zacharias Kunuk. Video, 113 minutes. Courtesy of the artists and Vtape.
Generous support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Henry Moore Foundation; Texas Commission on the Arts; The City of Marfa; #StartSmall; Fairfax Dorn & Marc Glimcher; Virginia Lebermann & Family; Lebermann Foundation; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees and International Surf Club; Kathleen Irvin Loughlin; and SILLA.
Thank you to all the artists and lenders: 47 Canal; Young Chung; Commonwealth and Council; Company Gallery; de boer gallery; Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York; Holt/Smithson Foundation; The Marfa and Presidio County Museum; Morán Morán, Sfeir-Semler Gallery; Julie & Jim Taylor; Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM; Vielmetter Los Angeles; and Vtape.
Special thanks to Joey Benton; David De Boer; Ken Castañeda, Sophie Mörner, & Sonny Noladiv; Young Chung, Kibum Kim, & Brenda Reyes-Chavez; David Daniels; Cecilia Greyson; Nicki Ittner & the Marfa Public Library; Jamie Kenyon, Oliver Newton, & Grace Sanabria; Katie Kizziar & Jon Kevin Mace at the McDonald Observatory; Lisa Le Feuvre, William T. Carson & Natalie Rae Good; Terry Norman; Ana Siler; Christopher Velasco; and Susanne Vielmetter.