The White Sands Missile Range is a world-famous site of military bomb testing, but its recent history is tied to an isolated village 600 miles to the north. For ten years during the Cold War, Green River, Utah was the launch site for test missiles that detonated in White Sands. That’s the reason Arizona artist Erika Lynne Hanson landed there for a month-long research project in 2017.
Hanson’s time in Green River marked the start of a major body of work regarding the scraps from the missile tests. In a new series of weavings and video artworks, Hanson uses a little-known language to inspire nuanced perspectives on these sites. Her artworks pose open questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship to nature. Movement Choir: Landscape Scores opens at form & concept on Friday, May 25 from 5 to 7 pm, and runs through June 23, 2018. Hanson will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, May 26 from 2 to 3 pm.
To incorporate the story of the missile fragments into the work, Hanson turned her banners into semaphores of sorts. She used the Labanotation system, invented by 20th century choreographer Rudolf Laban for dance performance scores, to indicate how the viewer might move their body through each site. Video artworks of Hanson planting the flags will also appear in the show. “By suggesting how the body might move through these spaces, I’m proposing potential connections amongst material, history, and place,” the artist says.
Erika Lynne Hanson creates weavings, videos, and installations that connect diverse materials, histories, and places. Running through her work is a concern with the idea of landscape; specifically how landscape exists, by definition, as a view or representation—a space or scene that can never be reached physically. Hanson received her MFA from California College of the Arts, and holds a BFA in Fiber from The Kansas City Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited in various locations including Los Angeles, Kansas City, San Francisco, New York, and Houston. Hanson is a Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Art fellow and has been artist in residence at Real Time and Space in Oakland CA, The Icelandic Textile Center in Blonduos, IS, and The Wrangell Mountain Center in McCarthy, AK. In 2012 she CO-Founded 1522 Saint Louis, an experimental project space in Kansas City. Hanson is currently Assistant Professor of Fibers/Socially Engaged Practices at Arizona State University.