Free Exposure Soil Tasting
Free Exposure Soil Tasting – that’s right, soil tasting – with artist, activist, and ecologist Nance Klehm. The program took place at the Capri in Marfa.
Also known as geophagia, the practice of eating earth or soil-like substrates such as clay or chalk has a deep anthropological history and is practiced by various cultures around the world. For this program Klehm collected soil from various locations around Marfa, Presidio, El Paso and the Midwestern tall grass prairie, and guided participants through a multisensory exploration of these samples, including a tasting, where the presence of certain minerals and biological processes cause the different ‘notes’ and flavors.
Klehm was one of the artists in Ballroom’s exhibition, Hyperobjects. For her commissioned, site specific work, she dug holes in Ballroom’s courtyard: burrowing, creating heaps, analyzing soil, cataloging detritus, and giving visitors an opportunity to be physically immersed in earth. After the soil tasting, Klehm shared her experience working in Marfa and her broader engagements with land politics and soil health.
Nance Klehm is internationally respected for her work on land politics and soil health. Her work has received extensive national and international media coverage amongst those: Time Magazine, BBC Canada, MSN, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and is mentioned in many books, including Leila Darwish’s Earth Repair, and Sandor Katz’s The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved (2006) and Bonnie Fortune’s An Edge Effect: Art & Ecology in the Nordic Landscape (2014). She won the 2010 Utne Visionary Prize and is a member of the Curry-Stone Design Prize Social Design Circle. In addition, she has lectured broadly in museum and university settings as well as for countless community groups worldwide. She is currently working on a book, The Soil Keepers and on a manual on microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Most recently, she was the subject of the independent documentary Weedeater. She splits her time between La Villita, a densely packed, urban neighborhood in Chicago and her 50 acres of land in The Driftless Region.
The Free Exposure Soil Tasting is made possible by the generous support of The Brown Foundation, Inc.; City of Marfa; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa members.
In-kind support provided by The Capri.