Orisons (2023)

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Client: Marguerite Humeau
Artist: Marguerite Humeau
Location: Colorado, United States

Date: 2023-10-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: Art, Steel, Membrane, K2E Digital Design, Parametric Design, Geometry


Marguerite Humeau’s Orisons is a subtle, 160-acre earthwork that transforms an unfarmable plot of land in Colorado’s San Luis Valley into a place of reverence, honoring its expansive history, existing ecosystem, and imaginable futures. Located in Hooper, Colorado, the work consists of the land in its entirety, as well as a series of eighty-four kinetic and interactive sculptures that invoke the land’s histories and vast network of interrelations. Dozens of whistling and rhythmic, plant-like sculptures inspired by the native and nomadic vegetation become activated by the wind, a legendary force in the valley, to summon the site’s energies. Also a part of the work are large-scale sculptures that hover over the ground and visually reference the outstretched wings of Sandhill Cranes, iconic birds that migrate through the region, which visitors can lay upon.

Humeau is known for creating artworks that form semi-mythical ecosystems. In her practice, she poetically resuscitates extinct or forgotten worlds and weaves factual events into speculative narratives. For Orisons, Humeau turned her attention to the San Luis Valley, an alpine valley with a rich history of agriculture and home of the oldest continuous water rights in Colorado. This region, along with the Southwest United States, is amid a megadrought due to the changing climate. Developing Orisons in response to these urgencies, Humeau has worked closely with fourth generation San Luis Valley farmers, Jones Farms Organics, and has also extensively researched the site and consulted a wide array of experts—local agronomists, resource conservationists, historians, wildlife refuges, ornithologists, and indigenous communities, among others.

Altogether, Orisons, meaning prayers, deeply acknowledges this specific site in the San Luis Valley, attempting to link all of its complex bonds and invoke a sense of wholeness that traverses time and space, revealing the immensity of our world.

Format Engineers were responsible for the Engineering design of the sculptural interventions on the land.

‘Orisons’ by Marguerite Humeau, curated and produced by Black Cube, Nomadic Art Museum.

Orisons is made possible with generous support from Surface Horizon Ltd, as well as Jones Farms Organics, the David & Laura Merage Foundation, Etant donnés Contemporary Art, a program of Villa Albertine, The Shifting Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, White Cube, C L E A R I N G, Demiurge, UOVO, InCord, Jamps Studio, MKSK.

Marguerite Humeau in “Orisons”, 2023, photography by Julia Andréone and Florine Bonaventure. Image courtesy the artist and Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum.