Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Daniel Boord

Second Advisor

Jeanne Liotta

Third Advisor

Kim Dickey

Abstract

Through the use of hybrid forms of documentary-based art practice, Sangre de Cristo draws on diverse stylistic resources in order to develop an investigation into oppositional histories of a particular landscape, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in a way that mirrors the complexity and character of the place as well as its inabitants, past and present.

Utilizing a vignette structure grounded by repeated returns to the mountain landscape, the film Sangre de Cristo includes multiple tellings of the story of Cuerno Verde, a Comanche chief in the 1700s, and the continued presence his story has in the landscape; a fictional recreation of the meeting of the murderous Espinosa Brothers and the Virgin Mary in the 1800s; and interview with anarchist activist Ben Morea recounting the time he and his wife spent living on horseback in the Sangre de Cristos in the 1970s; an observation of the legacy of counterculture architecture in the landscape; and fictional text excerpted from Rudolph Wurlitzer's novel The Drop Edge of Yonder. Throughout the film, shifting modes of documentary style and small acts of reflexivity reference the process of creating historical representations on film in an effort to establish a critical relationship between viewer and film that relates to the critical relationship between the histories presented and dominant culture discourse.

The photo portion of Sangre de Cristo re-presents the film in two-dimensional form and points toward the reality of photography as a time-based medium, complicating critical notions of the relationship between photography and film.

Included in

Art Practice Commons

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