Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Art & Art History
C. Maxx Stevens
I have worked as a farmhand on Long's Farm in Boulder, Colorado, for 10 months. I have sought to harness the tactility of knowing this place in the form of rubbings and casts as impressions of the pump house at this farm. Touch is the tangent of both my labor as a farmhand and the very act of making this work. This lexicon of touch reveals fragments of the pump house bearing witness to the palimpsest of its surfaces. The general act of mark making to create this work becomes specific in my contact. It is my conversations with Catherine Long, who is the third generation of Longs operating that farm; the dirt that gets on me; the rough hay that scratches my forearms as I duck under the tarp that covers the hay mound; the texture of the ground beneath my feet and the soft and worn wood on my hands as I work in the barn. These works allow the notion of place to oscillate between materiality and site, harboring a fullness and specificity to the surfaces they touch, and the materiality simultaneously preserving agency in the process. The casts and rubbings are aware of their materiality and removal from their mold. These traces now droop and tear, tethered to the walls of the gallery. In this work, absence is presence.
This place affects me; it is somehow a part of my being. The energy these structures hold has a powerful presence in this work. This energy has drawn me to these places in play as a child, as a farmer, and as an artist. These temporal ways of being in a place inform this work.
Foster, Michael, "Materializing Absence: Traces of Long's Farm" (2017). Art Practices MFA Theses. 65.