Artist's Statement

Wendel Wirth

Minimalist art must have been conceived while traveling through farmland. Mile marker after mile marker of elemental forms in rippled metal, wind ravaged and sun soaked wood; patterns throughout a linear landscape. In THIS IS THE PLACE, photographs work to transmute fading farmland structures into celebrated geometric forms of nuanced color & texture as they interact with nature’s gallery of light & space. Each image in THIS IS THE PLACE has been photographed with a deadpan aesthetic and set inside a Polaroid inspired border, allowing the essence of the Polaroid to imbue the photographs with emotion. Polaroids speak to nostalgia and travelogue; their essence is both fleeting and disposable, much like iconic farms on open land today. By using the state of the art quality of a medium format digital camera for this body of work, I can blend opposing photographic processes: digital and Polaroid in a way that mirrors the disparate experience of form and structure against meaning and emotion. Metaphors for life, farms are a symbol of sustainability. They are the relics of generational commitment as we increasingly choose shelter over food, replacing sprawling farms with condensed housing. THIS IS THE PLACE documents the vanishing of a landscape that once defined the fabric of our rural collective. My hope is that through these forms and shapes, shadows and light, the abstract images defamiliarize this once common national backdrop, compelling a reconsideration of what is lost when we no longer have such visual corridors, these wide-open spaces, and historic connectivity. THIS IS THE PLACE consists of sixteen archival pigment prints. The photographs, taken with a medium format digital camera, are available in approximately 15x20, 30x40 and 45x60 inches.