Counter Cartographies: Living the Land

On view Oct. 8, 2021 — Sept. 5, 2022

 

Counter Cartographies: Living the Land presents contemporary artworks that examine our relationship to land, proposing alternative ways of thinking about and experiencing the landscape around us. Artists draw attention to the way culture, identity, emotion, ancestry, displacement, power and colonization shape and inform our understanding of land. 

Counter Cartographies expands conventional understandings of cartography (mapping), moving beyond two-dimensional Western-style maps. The artists in this exhibition present forms of mapping that are impermanent or experiential through artworks featuring elements of storytelling, dance and sound. Many of the works challenge existing power structures and invite us to consider how language, memory, and culture shape the way we relate to the land around us. They articulate global challenges, from climate change to geopolitical conflict, and encourage us to imagine more resilient futures. 

This yearlong exhibition is presented through diverse voices and formats, and includes in-museum and outdoor installations, film, artist residencies, and public programming. 

We're gathering cultural, historical, and emotionally affecting stories and images not typically included on maps or in guidebooks. Submit a personally meaningful Anchorage landmark to our community archive project by clicking on the link at the top left of this page.

Image: Maria Huhmarniemi, (b. 1977). Alien Hiker, 2010. Digital photograph. On loan from the artist.

Social activism inspires the artists included in the exhibition, many of whom work in sculpture, large-scale installation and performance. Among them are multidisciplinary artist Christina Seely, who addresses complexities of both built and natural global systems, and Grammy-nominated artist and musician Stuart Hyatt, whose projects transform field audio recordings into musical works.

ARTISTS

The artists in this exhibition present forms of mapping that are impermanent or experiential through artworks featuring elements of storytelling, dance and sound. Many of the works challenge existing power structures and invite us to consider how language, memory, and culture shape the way we relate to the land around us. They articulate global challenges, from climate change to geopolitical conflict, and encourage us to imagine more resilient futures.

View the work of artists participating in this exhibition in the gallery below. Click the thumbnail images to learn more.

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Christina Seely: DISSONANCE and DISTURBANCE

Christina Seely's DISSONANCE and DISTURBANCE draw on Seely’s fieldwork in Greenland, Alaska, and Panama, and investigate how the proliferation of global trade networks and the worsening climate crisis are impacting the environment

Stuart Hyatt: Stations

Stuart Hyatt’s Stations installation examines knowing about the land through sound. The project invites questioning of western modalities of mapping, which so often privilege the visual, by encouraging listening as a way of knowing and making sense of our world. 

It Will Not Be The Same, But It Might Be Beautiful

It Will Not Be The Same, But It Might Be Beautiful is a multimedia project by artist and researcher Nina Elder investigating change by focusing on objects that have been exhausted by use and transformed by time. The video component of this project, produced by Michael Conti, is a 3-channel installation centering around puzzle stones, rocks that have been shattered by rapid temperature shifts and retreating glaciers.

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