In the pieces that make up Psychic Geographies, forces of desire, both personal and political, and forces of nature traverse the land with a heavy tread, describing the borders of contested territories and propagating strange ecologies.
The “psychic” of the title plays on multiple senses of the word, both as in “relating to the psyche” – the source of both conscious thought and contemplation as well as unconscious affects and desires- and also the popular meaning, evoking the extra-sensory, the revelatory, and the uncanny. “Geographies” is used here in the broadest sense as an image or description of the earth.
However, the pieces in Psychic Geographies go beyond the mere representation of the land that we find in the Romantic landscape, in which “Nature” appears as a passive body laid out for us to gaze upon for edification or as proof of possession. Instead, each piece, in its own idiosyncratic way, stages a performative engagement with material realities. They perform the landscape as a site that exceeds all of our machinations to measure it, to divvy it up into parcels of property and political territories –or more fundamentally, to see it as something distinct from ourselves.
At a time when every image of the land is already fraught with political tension and ecological anxiety, these pieces directly critique the ways in which various forms of representation, from the cherished photographic tokens of a lost homeland (We Began by Measuring Distance), to architectural renderings for real estate development (Gouwane), from glossy magazine ads for travel agencies (Circle in the Sand), to ostensibly objective cartographic representations (There There Square), all fail to adequately describe the Earth, not least because they efface the presence of the human from it. These pieces lay bare the extent to which we are also part of that landscape, one of the many flows, both human and non-human, traversing it as a vector of its constant becoming.
About the Curator
Anneka Herre is an artist and curator whose work combines her formal background in philosophy, literature, sculpture and video to explore the burgeoning anti-fields of post- and trans-humanism. Since receiving her MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006, she has exhibited and screened work actively in various venues including Chicago Filmmakers (Chicago, IL), The Nightingale (Chicago, IL); The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA); Community Folk Art Center (Syracuse, NY), and the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY). She has taught in the Transmedia Department at Syracuse University since 2008 and began working for UVP as technical producer in 2010. This is the first group show she has curated for UVP.
View Anneka Herre’s page on vimeo.