Joya: AiR / Richard Jochum / Austria - USA
For Joya: AIR I created two new pieces: 1) One for Each Hand consists of two stones cased in crochet. Initially, I intended to place them in trees. As I became familiar with them as objects that comfortably fit into one’s hands, though, it became obvious that they invite some kind of a task (e.g., weighing, throwing, juggling). The gauging of the right action makes them “land art pieces for one body at a time,” playfully interacting with our surroundings. As opposed to traditional land art, which often aims at grand interventions, One for Each Hand puts forth a more direct relationship between body and land.
2) Speaks for Itself, a temporary installation, consists of five shopping bags attached to a tree branch. The plastic bags, icons of an unsustainable life form, conjure up the motto of the Joya residency: art + ecology. As a gesture, they are simple: arranged in one neat line and floating in the wind, they project calm and peace rather than what they have come to represent: decades of waste. Both sides co-exist.
The two pieces are based on materials readily available at this desert-residency site and the bodily constraints that I brought with me during this time (shoulder injury), which limited the radius of my actions. With great thanks to the residency hosts Simon and Donna Beckmann and my fellow residents for their support, particularly Tatjana Hirschmugl for teaching me to crochet and Michael Aspli for performing”.
Richard Jochum PhD MFA
Associate Professor of Art and Art Education
Teachers College, Columbia University