Mary Lucier: The Plains of Sweet Regret

November 15, 2008February 15, 2009

Enter a hauntingly beautiful world of landscape and loss in a video installation that brings into view, through music and imagery, the rapid depopulation of the northern plains. Laced with both melancholy and loveliness, this work by video artist Mary Lucier examines the seismic changes that have swept away family farms and ranches, small towns and rural schools.


I saw this show when it was at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. Today, almost two years later, I still do searches on the show and rewatch the video installation when I can find it on the internet. It's powerful.

This work shows the degradation of America's farmlands and rural culture mainly due in large part from the homogeniztion of crops by the government and giant ag. companies. What once was a land of plenty with sustainable food and community, has mushroomed into a political value where the only thing that matters is yeild. Creating giant monocultre farms that produce less profit for the farmer, degrade the land with chemicals, and break apart communities with poverty and proximity. This is a sad fact that is not being recognized. A country such as ours who already has little culture of its own is slowly losing the little we have because of industry, we are losing our identity, and this exhibit is only one exaple of that. I understand that my writing may ramble with quite a few mispellings, and I'm not sure if the exhibit takes my perspective into account, but I felt it beneficial to put in my two cents to maybe give you another dynamic when viewing this exhibit. You can find more information on the degradation of American farmland in these two great books.

"The Omnivore's Dilemma" By Michael Pollan
"The 64 Dollar Tomato" By William Alexander

itll be a great experience

I saw this work recently, and while it is a good way to kill a few moments, I found it heavy handed and preachy. Is the viewer supposed to feel guilty that these towns are dying? Are we supposed to "regret" the fact that time marches on? Over the many thousands of years of recorded history, countless cities and towns have withered and died due to obsolescence, the small towns of the Great Plains are no different. Its best we move on.

I enjoyed looking at the stills, but the video was a little ? after a few over and over rollovers.
I still want to view the exhibit.

you do not need to see very much of these images to understand why people do not want hundreds of huge wind tubines littering the landscape

Sounds quite different then what the Carter is normally known for showing, but it's nice to see a mueseum take chances. I am very interested in this exhibit.

I would like to see this show on the 15 of November.


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