Jarrod Beck Migration Center

January 22, 2010 – February 27, 2010 Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden

Artist Statement

“My recent landscape work developed from an interior installation practice that harvested the banality of gallery spaces, making back rooms in full view, scrimmed or naked structures that defined a line of scrimmage between public and private.

I have spent the last three years traveling to the western United States and Mexico investigating the visible effects of overdevelopment on the land. Onsite, I create ephemeral memorials that mark recent weather-related events, guiding the chance visitor through a micro-constructed landscape. I use this practice to develop large-scale constructions in urban centers to bring guests through a new understanding of the fragile environment on which we depend. Recently I began visiting the desert of North Africa and will begin a project in the Middle East next year.

Visitor Center, presented this winter at the South Street Seaport Museum in NY, was the first in the Center Series. The structure of the piece was influenced by visitor centers typical to national parks and historic sites. A large-scale relief map was created in the middle of the space, with artifacts, artist illustrations, and images displayed to give context for the visitor attempting to understand the journey on which they are about to embark. Here, architectural elements and framing devices have collided with material chaos: namely plaster, paper, plastic, ink, and dye.

Migration Center will be built in situ in the Lawndale Center Sculpture Garden and then moved to a study area in Room 317. Outside, a wooden structure will be built to support flexible casting forms, imbibed with ink, and filled with plaster. The resultant network of objects will be moved upstairs to Room 317, commonly used as a classroom, for display. In concert with drawings and photographs of the site, visitors will offer stories structured around the remains they see before them and given space to make their own mark.”