Suzanne Husky

It is the combination of poetics and political environments that led Suzanne Husky to PLAND. She arrived just as we put the finishing touches on our revamped 1970s-era trailer, wondering how an artist would interact with the greater autonomy that we had recently facilitated. Suzanne had just finished an installation for Bay Area Now at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in San Francisco, where she resides. She was on her way to Bordeaux, her native home, to execute work for an upcoming biennial. We wondered what someone with such great professional momentum, as well as a breadth of experience in green building, landscape architecture, farming, and community activism would actually do with the time and space offered by PLAND. We were blown away by the confidence, comfort, and tenacity that Suzanne brought to her time on the land. Her artist statement declares that her multimedia practice is humorous, generous, and light; we would say the same of her personality.

Suzanne Husky

Suzanne’s work centers on humanity’s social engagement with its environment. Her projects are meticulous, but also endearingly intimate. While underpinned by political resistance, Suzanne’s work has the texture and feeling of crafty, creative, sweetly lived life. She has written songs for trees, has built shelters for ideals, and created portraits of philosophical embodiments. She arrived at PLAND with a crate of books and an HD video camera. While there, she sweated with us, hammered with us, envisioned with us. She can swing a huge sledgehammer, stomp adobe, and cut through railroad ties by hand.

She independently pursued relationships with our neighbors and made forays to regional alternative communities. She shot hours of footage without a distinct result in mind. Because of her international background and continuing research, Suzanne was able to see that a life of intention and self-determination has incredible similarities, whether that life is lived in rural New Mexico, San Francisco, or the Pyrenees Mountains.

We have been saying from its inception that PLAND is a laboratory, a platform, a way of being, and a valuation of process over product. In her weeks at PLAND, and through the capturing mechanisms of not only her video camera, but also her artistic mind, Suzanne Husky personified these goals. We watched her revel in space, germinate ideas, flesh out existing inspiration, and find new inspiration. She looked out on the land, and at her own challenging and invigorating stay there, and saw poetics, politics, and all the ingredients of creative revolution. In her own words,

“In a vast plateau of sage shrub, the land had been cut and sold. The land was dry and seemed unfit for life. A trailer, the skeleton of a house. Distant neighbors in school trucks, adobe houses and abandoned hopes of desert lives. An old Lithuanian comes by. He built his house for 20 bucks he says. Hot springs along the Rio Grande River, full moons and fireflies. 4 horned rams and palaces built out of beer cans. Grassless cemeteries filled with bright plastic flowers, evangelist babble and low riders. A 20 year-long drought says the pueblo chief. Serendipity at every turn. PLAND stands for me as an incredibly unique experience. I flowed with the encounters and was continuously surprised. I filmed to help my senses remember.”

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