P L A C E
by Gilda Davidian
I recently began re-reading Lucy Lippard’s The Lure of the Local, which she defines as “… the pull of place that operates on all of us, exposing our politics and our spiritual legacies. It is the geographical component of the psychological need to belong somewhere, one antidote to a prevailing alienation.”
The book is a treasure trove of ideas about home, culture, multicenteredness, place, space, landscape, nature and memory. She weaves in and out of stories, prodding at the ways through which we associate (or disassociate) with the spaces we find ourselves in – as individuals and communities – in localized and broader contexts.
Here is a snippet about space and change that was inspiring to me:
“Artists can make the connections visible. They can guide us through sensuous kinesthetic responses to topography, lead us from archeology and land-based social history into alternative relationships to place. They can expose the social agendas that have formed the land, bring out multiple readings of places that mean different things to different people at different times rather than merely reflecting some of their beauty back into the marketplace or the living room. As envisionaries, artists should be able to provide a way to work against the dominant cultures rapacious view of nature, reinstate the mythical and cultural dimensions of public experience, and at the same time become conscious of the ideological relationships and historical constructions of place. The dialectic between space and change can provide the kind of no-man’s-land where artists thrive.”