Wisconsin Project (2009-present)
We grappled with complex perceptions of Wisconsin ranging from nostalgic, romantic, and idealized–as depicted on myriad real photo postcard and standard commercially generated cards for tourists–to mysterious, dark, and gothic as conveyed in works of art and literature while making our own views using vintage postcard photographic equipment. The project culminated in a residency with workshops and community collaborations and the installation “We Go From Where We Know” at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center 10.13.2013-3.7.2014.
View The Wisconsin Project blog on Blogspot
View images on Flickr
Read about the 2013 We Go From Where We Know exhibition
Listen to WPR Wisconsin Life 7.30.14 segment by Patty Murray
THE WISCONSIN PROJECT
Essay by J. Shimon & J. Lindemann (2013)
Our research-driven Wisconsin Project contemplates the rootedness and state-of-mind resulting from inhabiting a single place, our native Wisconsin, for a long time. Through critiquing postcard views both made and found we learned a great deal about past and present Wisconsin. We began making postcard views of the places immediately around our studio and on our drives around Wisconsin in about 2008. We use the vintage postcard film format and print the cards in palladium and cyanotype. By communicating details of a specific place, seeming to register only marginally on the national radar, the project seeks to bring audiences into a Wisconsin mental space. Some in the art world would argue that the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, makes for banal “fly over” subject matter. Our project challenges that by finding meaning in the ordinary and inviting audiences to examine, dialog, and reflect on the particular emotional quality of the idiosyncrasies of place and the perceptions of those both inside and outside of it. Sometimes distant memories are involved and a longing for a time now gone.
Wisconsin’s glacier inflected landscape and proximity to the Great Lakes creates an exotic arena for living that informs our project. The life cycle plays out and rural and urban ruins serve as monuments to existences as people, places, and ideas surface then vanish. Ultimately, we aim to grapple with complex perceptions of Wisconsin ranging from nostalgic, romantic, and idealized–as depicted on myriad real photo postcard and standard tourist postcards–to mysterious, dark, and Gothic as conveyed in works of art and literature.