Mirja Busch: 27 desert days

22. FEBRUARY - 22. MARCH 2014

L'Atelier-ksr, Berlin

The solo exhibition by German artist Mirja Busch, 27 desert days is the result of a research project hosted at the archive of the former Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and a travel project through land art sites in the American Southwest in spring 2013.

In the exhibition, photographic works accompany sound and material installations to create pieces that engage with the contemporary experience of landscape.
Through her work, Mirja Busch questions the conceptual principles of land and environmental art, revea¬ling the tension between the massive material interventions placed in isolated and hardly accessible sites and their documentation through photos, drawings, texts, and plans. These media create a disentanglement of the artworks from their direct material experience, conceptualising each element to contribute to the monumentality and mysticality of the installations.

Approaching the subject critically, skeptically, and humorously, Busch’s works highlight the deep entan¬glement of landscape experiences with transport infrastructures as with geo-referencing systems, breaking away from the romantic understandings of landscape. The artist starts with simple questions, such as whether land art can exist under cover of darkness, considering the ideal atmospheric conditions for its documentation.

Mirja Busch makes visible and/or audible dimensions of the considered works other than their brute materiality, revealing shadows and absences. Through her work, she evokes the relational mystical system between iconic land art works and the landscape, revealing a structure where one cannot exist without the other. Further, Busch challenges the strict physical and legal policing of these works, trespassing borders of private sites while playing with and subverting copyright prohibitions.

A conversation series reflects on how conceptions of landscapes challenge contemporary land art, and will discuss travel as artistic practice and the archive as an artistic medium. Guests include Berlin based artist Reiner Maria Matysik, who will discuss the making of his environmental project Fluss wird Wolke for the Emscherkunst 2013, along with art theorist Sidsel Nelund from the University of Copenhagen and art sociologist Ignacio Farias from the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin.