Living From Land
This thirty day performance consisted of living within a five square mile area of wilderness and bringing no food with me. I ate only the plants and animals from the site. The project was an inversion of landscape painting that reoriented the artist’s relationship with land. Instead of standing outside of the landscape and taking it in with my eyes, I stood inside it and took it in with my mouth. The performance was documented in a video installation that was exhibited at the Richmond Art Center and the Armory Center for the Arts in California and Exit Art in New York.
In connection with an exhibit called Spaces of Nature at the Richmond Art Center, he lived in a wilderness area in Colusa County for thirty days, brought no food, and subsisted directly on what he found within a five square mile area. Like the Earth artists before, Brest van Kempen inverted the genre of landscape painting, dwelling inside rather than standing outside nature. He went further than artists such as Robert Smithson or Walter De Maria, however, by actually surviving on the land. This experience, he said, “helped me to realize that our species (humans) [is] not the center of the world.
-Peter Selz Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond