Please note that the artworks are located along the road, fence posts and available routes to Vesper Meadow. Full map here:
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Learn more at vespermeadow.org
Hannah Bakken Morris
Words to that Effect
Medium: Letterpress prints, metal mesh, found wood panels and posts, staples, nails, metal mounting hardware, digital photographs
Date: 2020 – 2023
Oregon state law requires that no trespassing signs must be “no smaller than eight inches in height and 11 inches in width, contain[ing] the words ‘Closed to Entry’ or words to that effect”. Adhering to sign standards, this collection of letterpress prints mimic signs of land ownership and control, but extend invitations rather than messages of exclusion. They send calls for self-regard and accumulatively draw attention to the fence as an enabler of settler colonization, attention to the illusion of land ownership, and attention to the history of the American West as a constructed entity.
Words to that Effect is an ongoing project of site-specific installations that catalyzes a new engagement to the fence in the American West and its accompanying signs as a sprawling symbol of state settler powers. It provokes an imagining of release and possibilities to dismantle exploitative systems of people and land. All bodies are implicated in the aggressive political, environmental, and economical unrest. It encourages and invites all to nurture a radical ethico-political engagement with our individual accountability – this is to say that this engagement is about accommodating and recognizing and allowing for sensitivities to other ways of being and experiencing. This is to recognize that this type of engagement is open-ended, dynamic, and has no solid assurances or outcomes and is unsettling in its nature – but, it is a process all must begin to engage in with forthrightness and without seeking reward. By seeing the structure that holds all captive and practicing a nurturing accountability to varied experiences and the un-commonalities between them all, a constructive potency can be cultivated that can guide a liberation of possibilities outward from the power and limitations of a settler state.
About the Artist
Hannah Bakken Morris hails from Malheur County, OR and works in print media, performance, sculpture, photography and installation to explore identity, the body, landscape, and place. Her works comment on land use in the United States and how the historical and contemporary narratives of the American West intersect with constructions of identity, economies, nationhood, and the environment. She received her BFA in Studio Art from Southern Oregon University in 2017 and her MFA in Print Media and MA in Critical Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2020. Hannah is currently the Assistant Director for the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA and when not working she seeks to commit her time to riding her bike, gardening, fly fishing, cooking, practicing karaoke in her truck, screen printing shirts and sewing cycling soft goods for her small business with her husband and spending time with her pets Ed, Al, and Wallace.