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Land Art: history and reflection on Belarusian and Brazilian contemporary art

By Tatsiana Virkouskaya, European Humanities University

Tatsiana Virkovskaya is from Belarus and lives in Minsk. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering but one day decided to take an online course in Art History. Afterwards, she has gradually moved away from the field of technology. Tatsiana started to follow local urban art festivals, like Vulica Brasil, and to write short articles about the murals that appeared in Minsk on her social network page. She is currently studying at the European Humanities University (EHU) in the Media and Communication BA program. Tatsiana stays interested in contemporary art. In 2021, she wrote a term paper in which she explored the artistic practices of modernism and the reasons that led to the emergence of the figure of the curator in the art market in the mid-20th century.
What images come to mind first when we hear the word "art"? First of all, it is objects which are located in museums or galleries. They are situated within the border of art institutions. They were chosen by experts for display. There are some examples of art outside: sculptures and statues. They are outside institutions, but are bolted to a specific location and are usually closely guarded, which also indicates that these objects have artistic value. Artistic value is measured in money. And this is one of the aspects that pushed artists to rethink the term of art in the 20th century.

Various conflicts began to take place in the world from the middle of the XX century: war in Vietnam, the movement for the rights of African Americans in the USA, the second wave of feminism.

Artists were looking for other tools, other forms, other practices. With their help, they tried to resist the commercialization of art, as well as to get out of the museum and gallery space. One of the art directions that appeared during such searches was land art.

Land art emerged as a separate art movement in the late 1960s. Land art artists work with the landscape and natural materials. Unlike architects or sculptors who also "embed" their works in the natural environment, for land art artists nature is not a background, but
a colleague with whom artists collaborate to get the desired result.

Land art Legends

Robert Smithson (1938 - 1973)

Robert Smithson, an artist from the United States, was the first to express his thoughts on the connection between art and landscape in the essay “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects”. In the essay, Smithson called his works "earthworks", because the term land art was not yet in use. The essay was published in Artforum magazine in 1968. Robert voiced the following thoughts in it:

1. The concept of Sites and Non-sites.

Sites are the works that are placed in the landscape and are organically connected with it. Non-sites is a composition consisting of stones, sand or parts of other natural materials. They are collected in a certain Site and exhibited in the museum together with a map and photographs of the territory from where the artist took them.

"I have developed the Non-Site, which in a physical way contains the disruption of the site. <…> It is a three-dimensional perspective that has broken away from the whole, while containing the lack of its own containment. There are no mysteries in these vestiges, no traces of an end or a beginning".

2. Art should demonstrate contemporary issues.

Art should not only beautify, but also draw attention to economic, environmental and other problems of our time. Therefore, the best places for creating earthworks are "sites that have been disrupted by industry, reckless urbanization, or nature's own devastation".

3. The objects of landscape art begin to decline from the moment of their creation.

"When a thing is seen through the consciousness of temporality, it is changed into something that is nothing. This all-engulfing sense provides the mental ground for the object, so that it ceases being a mere object and becomes art".

The most famous Smithson's object is Spiral Jetty. It illustrates the concept of Site. Spiral Jetty was made in 1970 and is located on the Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA.
Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, USA. The Jetty length is 450 m., the width is 4.5 m., the maximum distance from the shore is 170 m. Almost 7,000 tons of basalt stones were needed for its construction. Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Water Alternatives Photos, 2020

The water in the lake has a red tint due to bacteria and algae that thrive in saltwater. The Jetty was built from large blocks of black basalt and has the appearance of a path that enters the water space and twists in a spiral on it. When the object was built, the path was black and the water near it looked blood red. Over time, a white salt coating appeared on the black stones, so now the water around the Jetty looks pink.

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, USA. Photo: CC BY 2.0 by David O. Stevens, 2007

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, USA. Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0 by Michelle Roach, 2008

In the year the Jetty was built, the water level in the lake was low, but after 2 years it rose and the Jetty disappeared under water. For the next 30 years, it rarely appeared from under the water. Since 2002, the Spiral Jetty has been above the water level for a long time and is accessible for visitation.

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, USA. Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0 by DennyMont, 2007

Non-site works are installations that Robert Smithson was arranging in the museum. For example, the object Non-Site #1 (an indoor earthwork). These were metal containers filled with earth, sand or stones. There was a map of the site near the containers where the earth was taken from and photographs of the site. The site was a hexagon-shaped airfield in the state of New Jersey. Six runways diverged from its center in different directions. The artist divided the entire area of the airfield into 31 sectors. He collected land in every sector
and placed it in metal containers.

Robert Smithson, Non-Site #1 (an indoor earthwork). Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0 by Rob Corder, 2017

"The actual Non-Site is made up of 31 metal containers of painted blue aluminum, each containing sand from the actual site".

The connection between Site and Non-site was established with the help of photographs and maps, which were exhibited with the containers.

Alan Sonfist (born 1946, USA)

In 1965, the artist started the project "Time Landscape", which lasted for 10 years. During this term, Alan planted a 7m x 12m area in the center of Manhattan from trees that grew in this area many centuries ago in the pre-colonial period.

Alan Sonfist, Time Landscape, New York, USA. Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Asonfist, via Wikimedia Commons, 1965
Alan Sonfist, Time Landscape, New York, USA. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by Wally Gobetz, 2007

Walter de Maria (1935 – 2013, USA)

In 1968, the artist created the project "The New York Earth Room". It can be visited nowadays too. The work is located in New York at 141 Wooster Street. This is one of the locations of the Dia Art Foundation organization, which preserves the works of artists of the middle of the 20th century. The installation occupies a room with an area of 335 m2. A layer of moist earth lies on the floor. The layer height is 56 cm. You can look at the installation from the open door. The smell of earth evokes personal memories.
By the way, entry is free for all visitors.

Walter de Maria, The New York Earth Room, New York. Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by trevor.patt, 2013

Walter de Maria, The New York Earth Room, New York. Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by trevor.patt, 2013

The artist's next work is "The Lightning Field". It was made in 1977. The land art work is located in New Mexico, USA. The object is 400 metal poles. Their height is 6 m. The poles are set in an area of 1 km x 1 mile (1.61 km). During a thunderstorm, this field should catch lightning, but this rarely happens. The project works nowadays, but it is possible to see it only if you reserve a room for the night in a building installed next to the field. In addition, visitors are not allowed to take photos.

Walter de Maria, The Lightning Field, New Mexico, USA.

Richard Long (born 1945, England)

The artist created “A Line Made by Walking” in 1967, when he was a student. He walked the same path several times through the grassy meadow. The result was a smooth path of trampled grass. Richard took a photo of the path and then displayed it as an object. At that time, it was a groundbreaking work, as it reflected the idea that an art form could also be made with the help of feet by simple steps.

Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking, England.

Nancy Holt (1938 - 2014, USA)

Object “Sun Tunnels” is located in the Utah desert. It is four concrete tunnels 5.5 m long and 2.7 m in diameter. The tunnels are arranged in the shape of an "X" and are directed to the points of sunrise and sunset during the summer and winter solstice.
Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, USA. Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Retis, 2015

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, USA. Photo:CC BY 2.0 by Alison Jean Cole, 2019

Some holes were drilled in the upper part of the tunnels in such a way that when sunlight hits them, the rays create patterns of four constellations on the inner surface of the tunnels: Dragon, Perseus, Dove, and Capricorn. Nancy created the object in 1976, but nowadays it is accessible for inspection too.

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, USA. Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Retis, 2015

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, USA.

Agnes Denes (born 1931, Hungary)

In 1982, the artist cleared a piece of land of stones and garbage. The land area was 100 m x 80 m. There was a city damp area in Manhattan, near the World Trade Center. After cleanup, 200 truckloads of soil were brought to the prepared field and wheat was planted. The project "Wheatfield – A Confrontation" appeared. Agnes took care of the wheat field for four months and at the end of the season she harvested 455 kg of good wheat. The project drew attention to the choices we make when we allocate our resources.
Agnes Denes, Wheatfield – A Confrontation, USA. Photo:CC BY-NC 2.0 by michael peng, 1982

Modern land art artists

Jim Denevan (born 1961, USA)

The artist has been creating temporary drawings on sand, earth, and snow since 2010. Scale images consist of circles, spirals, and other geometric lines. You can see the whole image only from a height. It is interesting that Jim does not make sketches and does not use any measuring devices while working, but geometric figures have the right forms. Jim explains that it’s due to numerous practices. The artist works on one image for about 7 hours, but images do not live long, especially on the beach, where they are washed away by the tide after a few hours.

Jim Denevan

Andrew Rogers (born 1947, Australia)

Andrew Rogers is a distinguished sculptor and land art artist. His most famous project Rhythms of Life started in 1998. It consists of huge stone sculptures and geoglyphs. A geoglyph is a geometric or shaped pattern that is plotted on the ground and is usually more than 4 m long. Rhythms of life consists of 51 objects located in 16 countries: Bolivia, Chile, China, Iceland, India, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, USA, Antarctica, Spain and Australia. The objects are so big that they can be seen from space.

Andrew Rogers, geoglyph "The Gift", Turkey. The object was completed in 2007 and has dimensions of 60 x 60 m. The image is taken from a 6000-year-old rock image. Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by Sercan Küçükşahin/Anadolu Agency, via Middle East Monitor, 2018

One geoglyph is repeated in 14 places. It can be found in fourteen of the countries listed above. The name of this geoglyph corresponds to the name of the project - "Rhythms of Life". The shape of the geoglyph is the same everywhere, but in each country it has its own embodiment. The geoglyph depicts the unpredictable journey of life.

Andrew Rogers, geoglyphs “Rhythms of Life” and “Atlatl”, USA. An atlatl is a spear throwing device. The objects were completed in 2008. The total size of the images is 50 x 50 m.

In the early days of the project, the artist manually transferred the image from the map to the terrain and determined the desired points with the help of a tape measure. Nowadays image points are determined using GPS. This reduced the process of "drawing" a sketch on the ground from seven days to two.

Andrew Rogers, geoglyph "Grind", Turkey. The object was completed in 2009 and measures 100 x 100 m. This is an image of an ancient millstone used in this area. Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by Sercan Küçükşahin/Anadolu Agency, via Middle East Monitor, 2018

Andrew Rogers emphasizes that despite the fact that each object is large-scale, all of them are just points in space. No matter how great a person's efforts are, they are only small grains in world history. Some geoglyphs cover an area of up to 40,000 square meters
(about four football fields).

Andrew Rogers, stone structure "A Day on Earth", Turkey. The object was completed in 2009 and measures 31.5 m x 51 m x 19.5 m. Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by Sercan Küçükşahin/Anadolu Agency, via Middle East Monitor, 2018

Michael Heizer (born 1944, USA)

Michael Heizer worked on his land art object "City" for 50 years, starting in 1972. The object is a complex of sculptures located in a desert area in the state of Nevada, USA. The sculptures cover an area of 2 km x 0.4 km and are made of stones, sand and concrete. The highest of them reaches 24 m. In 2022, the object was opened for visitors. It is the largest modern art object on the planet.

Land art in Brazil

Nuno Ramos (born 1960, São Paulo, Brazil)

Nuno is a very diverse person. Achievements in the field of art are only one side of his personality. As a writer, he has several published books and received the Portugal Telecom Literary Award in 2009. As a film director, he made several short films. The sea, rocks, soil and time are an integral part of his land art works.

In 2000, Brazil celebrated its 500th anniversary. This event can be viewed in different ways. In 1500, this country was discovered by Portuguese navigators but this event led to oppression and destruction, it led to colonization. Before that date, Itaú Cultural Institute invited some artists to make works that would fit the location on the borders of the country. Itaú Cultural is an institution dedicated to the preservation, research and dissemination of artistic initiatives.

One of these works was the composition "Minuano". The word "minuano" means a cold wind that blows in the south of Brazil from March to September. The composition consists of five marble blocks. Each block is about 3 meters high. Their shape resembles irregular parallelepipeds. A mirror is built into the skin of every marble block. The earth, sky, and sun are reflected in the mirrors depending on the angle of view. The artist draws an analogy with the North American Indians, who used mirrors to transmit signals over long distances. The exact coordinates of the composition are unknown. In 2010, an expedition visited this place. According to its participants, the composition still existed, but one of the slabs fell to the ground. The members of the expedition found the place by comparing photographs with a satellite map of the area. The composition is located on the border with Uruguay and Argentina, on a farm at a distance of 22 km from the city of Barra do Quaraí (Rio Grande do Sul state).

Nuno Ramos, Minuano, border with Uruguay and Argentina, Brazil. Photo: MINUANO. In: ENCICLOPÉDIA Itaú Cultural de Arte e Cultura Brasileira. São Paulo: Itaú Cultural, 2023.
Acesso em: 12 de maio de 2023. Verbete da Enciclopédia.

ISBN: 978-85-7979-060-7

The next work is located in the park of the Museu do Açude and is called Calado. This word has several meanings. As a noun, the word means the depth of the ship's immersion in the water. As an adjective, it means silent or secretive. The work was made in 2003 from asphalt, burnt oil and tempered glass. It rises across the path. This work is made on the contrast between nature and an artificial object. This is a work about disorder in which the object is allegedly out of place, because it prevents walking on a smooth path. This is a work about the sense of strangeness experienced by today’s people.

Nuno Ramos, Calado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: CC BY-NC 2.0 by thefuturistics, 2008

Nuno also created the object called "Matacão" or meteorite rain. It was made in 1996, but it wasn't even open to the public. The object was located at the entrance to the municipality of Orlândia, São Paulo state, when driving from Ribeirão Preto, near the ring road.

The composition consists of 12 large granite boulders. Each weighs up to 25 tons. А pit was dug in the ground under each boulder, in a shape similar to the shape of the boulder. The depth of pits is up to 2.5 m. Some boulders were hidden in the pit almost completely, some were half hidden. The inner surface of the pit is cemented. It seems that the boulders were lying in huge boxes.

On the territory where the object was built was planned to organize a park, but something went wrong. The park did not appear, but the meteor rain was already built, so it remained to interact with nature: the ground was overgrown with weeds, garbage accumulated around, and water stood in the cemented pits, so they turned into a place very attractive for mosquitoes. There was a real, albeit unplanned, interaction with nature that happens with every land art object.

Nuno Ramos, Matacão, Orlândia (São Paulo state), Brazil.
Acesso em: 12 de maio de 2023. Verbete da Enciclopédia.
ISBN: 978-85-7979-060-7

Nelson Felix (born 1954, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

The second object, which was created before the 500th anniversary of Brazil, is Nelson Felix’s work "Mesa", which means “table” in Portuguese. The object was created in 1999 and really resembles a table, as it is a steel tabletop 51 meters long. The tabletop is held above the ground on supports made of eucalyptus. 11 fig seedlings are planted on both sides of the tabletop. After a certain time, the trunks of figs will increase in diameter and rest against the tabletop. They will begin to press on it, deform it. The tabletop with trunks will be one whole. By this time, the eucalyptus supports will rot, but the tabletop will not fall to the ground. It will already be held by the trunks and will begin to rise upwards as the trees grow.

The object is located near the municipality of Uruguaiana on the territory of the Federal University of Pampa. It is visible on Google maps. Coordinates: -29.83418215629996, -57.104247866596225

The next work was also designed to be revealed only over time. Empty heart (Vazio Coração) was made in 1999. It was a large marble ball. Iron pins were driven inside along the circumference of the ball. The artist installed the ball on Redonda beach in the state of Ceará. The ball drifted in the water, was washed by the waves, and over time the iron pins were supposed to oxidize and increase in size. As a result, the marble ball split in two parts.

Nelson Felix, Empty heart, Praia Redonda (Ceará state), Brazil.

Angelo Venosa (1973 - 2022, São Paulo, Brazil)

The third object that was made in 1999 and dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Brazil, was the sculptural composition “O aleph” by the artist Ângelo Venosa. It was a round labyrinth that occupied an area of 1200 m2. The walls of the labyrinth were built from ceramic granite stones 45-65 cm high. Object’s contours resembled a fingerprint If you looked from above. “O aleph” was located in Batuva Park in Santana do Livramento on the border of Brazil and Uruguay. But in the early 2000s, the object was destroyed. According to park officials, the work was carried out by local residents, as there was no fence around this place and it was also not guarded at night.

On the one hand, it's sad that “O Aleph” can no longer be seen. On the other hand, interaction of a public object with nature or humans is a normal life process of modern art objects. Art is no longer the objects themselves, but the processes of interaction with them.

14 de maio de 2023. Verbete da Enciclopédia.
ISBN: 978-85-7979-060-7


The next artwork of Angelo Venosa is located in the park of the Museu do Açude, like the work of Nuno Ramos. The object was called Ghabaah and appeared here in 2016. The work is made of wooden plates, which are attached to each other. They give the impression that the object is covered with small steps or scales. The plates are attached to each other using a technique used in boat building. The Ghabaah is painted black and looks very futuristic.

Angelo Venosa, Ghabaah, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Artur Barrio (born 1945, Portugal)

The artist was born in Portugal, but from 1955 to 1974 he lived and studied in Brazil. Then he lived in Paris and Amsterdam. Therefore, his life is now divided between Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam and Aix-en-Provence (city in the south of France).

Arthur Barrio also made a land art object for the 500th anniversary of Brasil. He usually works with less durable materials, but there are exceptions. In 2000, the artist made a series of objects, collectively called "Three and a half books" (Três livros e meio) on the border with Uruguay. This composition consisted of five large stone slabs that the artist found in this area. Long grooves were carved along the slabs. They gave the slabs a resemblance to a stack of books. The artist laid out the slabs in the following places:

In the empty space near the City Hall in Chuí (Prefeitura do Chuí). By the way, in this city, the border between Brazil and Uruguay passes right in the middle of one of the city’s streets.

On the banks of the Chui River, in the town of Barra do Chui.
In the municipality of Santa Vitoria do Palmar.

In the forest, somewhere between the above-mentioned cities.

The last fifth "book" was thrown into the sea, so it exists only in the artist's notes about the project. "Three and a half books" invite you to explore and get to know the local landscape.

Siron Franco (born 1947, Goiás, Brazil)

The artist was familiar with the art of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, but he saw the largest exhibition of the Carajá people in the 1970s at the Paris Anthropological Museum of Mankind. From that time, he began to study more carefully various objects of indigenous peoples and to think of artistic ideas in which they could be used. The result was the Monument to the Indigenous People, which the artist made in 1992.

In that year, the monument consisted of 492 concrete columns, to which eight more were added in 2000. The height of the columns was slightly more than 2 meters. The area on which they were distributed had the outline of a map of Brazil. Columns not only outlined the contour of the country along the perimeter, but also filled the area inside. The columns were not monolithic, they consisted of separate concrete faces. Half of the columns had four faces, and the other half had three. On the edges, Siron placed the artifacts. Three thousand copies of items of indigenous peoples: household items, items for ceremonies, masks, images of gods, animals, etc. There were also 3,500 inscriptions on the edges, and another 500 inscriptions were applied on top of the ends of the columns.

Siron Franco, one of the images from the Monument to the Indigenous People. Goiás state, Brazil.

The result was a special labyrinth in which one could wander and learn about the culture of the indigenous peoples of Brazil. The columns were surrounded on the outside by a circle of asphalt path. The wheel was 60 m in diameter and rose above the ground on small pillars. A lift was made on one side. In this way, it was possible to walk along the asphalt path and look at the columns slightly elevated above the ground.

The number of columns is symbolic - it is the number of years that have passed in the history of Brazil since the country was discovered by Portuguese navigators, but this event led to the oppression and destruction of the local people, as colonization began shortly after the discovery.

In 2000, the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil was festively celebrated. The Monument to the Indigenous People draws attention to the disappearance of ethnic tribes that have inhabited the country since ancient times.

Nowadays, the monument has been destroyed. Almost all the pillars have been knocked down with a sledgehammer, and copies of the artifacts have been stolen. At the beginning of this process, Siron purchased 20,000 meters of barbed wire and wrapped the columns around the outside several times. But that didn't really help.

Now only the circular asphalt path remains. The field inside it is overgrown with weeds, and there is only one column left from the map of Brazil.

Location of the remains of the Indigenous Monument: Aparecida de Goiânia (Goiás state), between the Barão do Flamengo and Campo Belo streets.

Siron Franco, remains of the Monument to the Indigenous People on Google Street View. Aparecida de Goiânia (Goiás state), Brazil

It rises as an unbroken symbol. Now she alone carries all the codes that the artist embedded in his work. It depicts a map of the ethnic peoples of Brazil. Similar to the hero in a poem by the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert:

"...and if the City falls but a single man escapes
he will carry the City within himself on the roads of exile
he will be the City…"
Siron Franco, The Monument to Indigenous People: From Appearance to Demolition

Another work of Siron Franco, which was completely destroyed, was located in the city of Salvador (Bahia state) near Dique do Tororó reservoir. It was a huge panel with flat figures in the form of rock images of the indigenous peoples of Brazil. The panel with an area of 1350 square meters consisted of 454 figures and was located by the road on a cemented hill. These were copies of drawings that were found in Brazilian caves. The artist selected 54 unique images and made stylized copies based on them. Among them were figures of humans, birds, animals, and reptiles. The figures were molded from recycled aluminum and attached to square bases that were evenly spaced across the entire panel area. Thanks to the bases, the figures rose slightly above the panel. Sunlight reflected on their shiny surface. The work introduced viewers to the forms of rock paintings that were made more than 10,000 years ago. The object was made in 2002, when the city of Salvador turned 454 years old.

The artist performed the work as part of a waste recycling project for the local urban cleaning company. It required 10 tons of recycled aluminum for its production. Perhaps, this metal attracted local residents, who gradually cut down all the figures. Now all that remains of the work is a concrete panel with square bases to which figures were once attached.

Siron Franco, panel remains on Google Street View. Dique do Tororó water reservoir neigborhood, Salvador (Bahia state), Brazil


Land art in Belarus

Bazinato (born 1982, Belarus)

Basil Stakhiyevich aka Bazinato works in different art movements and one of them is land art. Some works Basil makes only for photos. Some objects he leaves in the natural environment and observes how nature changes them. Sometimes objects are transformed not under the influence of natural processes, but by human hands. - Basil tells about the works he made in the forest on stumps: "I made five objects, but they were also found! Some of them were cut with an ax, some of them were tried to burn - it is not clear why”. "So land art is definitely not about eternity, it's about vitality, about transformations," - the artist concludes. His words resonate with the thoughts of Robert Smithson about land art objects which began to gradually come to decline after creation.

In 2018, at the SPRAVA festival, Basil created the project "Tree". At the SPRAVA festival, artists interact with the historical and natural landscape of Belarus. During such cooperation, objects of contemporary art, including land art, appear. The project "Tree" reflects the cooperation between the artist and the big elm, the artist and nature.

Basil talks about his work:
In the depths of the forest I found an old elm tree, covered with mold and moss underneath. Mushrooms and moss were taking energy and health from the elm. I decided to do a therapeutic massage with the local clay and use its antibacterial and antifungal properties. For two days I carefully rubbed and coated all the sore spots of the tree with the clay, drinking in a whole new experience.

Bazinato, Tree, Belarus, 2018. Photo: © Bazinato. Used with permission from the author.

Basil gives serial numbers to some objects and unites them under one name. For example, "Mimicry". The term mimicry refers to an adaptation or protective response of living organisms that results in them becoming similar to other organisms or objects in the environment.

Basil describes Mimicry 04:
All of us are now going through a very rapid and dramatic moment of social mimicry. This is a complex set of protective measures and methods of a sociopolitical nature, allowing the survival and self-preservation of those social groups, forces and social strata for which unbearable living conditions have arisen in society.

Bazinato, Mimicry 04, Belarus, 2022. Photo: © Bazinato. Used with permission from the author.

Bazinato, Mimicry 06, Republic of Georgia, 2022.
Photo: © Bazinato. Used with permission from the author.

At the SPRAVA festival held in 2022, Basil again worked together with nature and the result was the object "Decorated biomass 3". The work has a serial number because it is also part of a special series.
The artist tells about this object:
By creating billions of new processes and things, we learn the nature of the world around us. In this cognition, very often we create completely unnecessary processes and things, destroying the world around us. But despite their unnecessary and destructive nature, they always find their place and integrate into the biochemical interface of our planet.

Bazinato, Decorated biomass 3, Belarus, 2022. Photo: © Bazinato. Used with permission from the author.

Bazinato, Ice flower, Belarus, 2022. Photo: © Bazinato. Used with permission from the author.

ECHO creative workshop

The ECHO team consists of Vasyl Timashov and Polina Piragova. Artists make objects from vine and place them in urban or natural spaces.

In 2016, "Pushchavik" - the spirit of the forest - appeared on the path of mythology in the Belarusian Berezinsky Nature Reserve.

ECHO, Pushchavik, Belarus, 2016. Photo: © ECHO. Used with permission from the author.

In 2017, the artists created the object “Locator”. It visited both the urban space and the natural environment. You can use the Locator as the man in the photo does: climb to the top, observe the universe and absorb the energy of the sun.

ECHO, Locator, Belarus, 2016. Photo: © ECHO. Used with permission from the author.

Also in 2017, the artists created the object "Nature Energy" for the street art festival Vulica Brasil. The object is made of vines and is located on Kastrychnitskaya Street. It has the shape of pipes that come out of the ground and supposedly penetrate the red brick building. By the way, this must be the best advertisement for the power of the vine as a material for street objects, because the "Nature Energy" has survived to nowadays.

ECHO, Nature Energy, Belarus, 2017. Photo: © Jaŭhien Cinkievič. Used with permission from the author.

In 2021, the "Bird Cafe" appeared in Hrodna. It is located in the forest park "Pyshki". The object consists of three feeders, each shaped like modern wireless headphones.

ECHO, Bird Cafe, Belarus, 2022. Photo: © ECHO. Used with permission from the author.

Land art and the new understanding of art

Land art, as well as other art trends that went beyond the boundaries of art galleries in the middle of the 20th century, brought and consolidated the idea that art objects can be displayed not only within an art institution. They can be anywhere. Therefore, understanding this movement leads to the following:

Both the institutional spaces and the authors are absent in land art, because the objects merge with the natural environment and there is no any signboard describing the objects.

Land art does not take into account the point from which people look at the object. To see many objects in their entirety, you need to look at them from a bird's eye view.

Therefore, land art is difficult or even impossible to monetize, in contrast to art placed within galleries and museums.

Nota Bene

Our ancestors also made something similar to land art thousands of years ago. For example, the geoglyphs in Peru. Researchers believe that they were created by the Nazca civilizations, who lived in this area until the 2nd century AD. They were first noticed in 1939. The images are "drawn" by trenches with a depth of up to 50 cm and a width of up to 135 cm.

Also Stonehenge is a stone structure whose remains have survived to this day. The date of its foundation is the 30th century BC.

Are the objects similar to land art? Definitely. Andrew Rogers creates similar works. Are the objects the examples of land art? They are not, because they were created with a different purpose: not artistic, but practical. They were created not in order to raise some discourse in society, but in order to perform some ritual.

Therefore, we can call “land art”only those objects that artists consciously made as art.






























  29. The path on the page: CRUZ NA AMÉRICA [CROSS IN AMERICA], 1985 - 2004→MESA - PAMPA [TABLE - PAMPA], 1997 - 1999

  30. The path on the page: CRUZ NA AMÉRIKA [CROSS IN AMERICA], 1985 - 2004 → VAZIO CORACAO - LITORAL [HEART EMPTINESS - SEACOAST], 1999 - 2003
















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