June, 2012
Mabou Mines
ToRoNaDa Theater
150 First Avenue (corner 9th St.)
New York, NY

Combining narrative and documentary material, the work ranges over rural/urban-industrial, local/global, traditional and technological imagery. However its own roots are in the landscape of cornfields that still bordered Archer’s childhood home just outside Minneapolis in the 1960s and 70s. “we would find landscapes” places the glamorized Americana of that time, alongside the magical realist iconography of Oaxaca, Mexico, the true cradle (though not quite birthplace) of corn, as a series of nesting boxes of vanishing cultures.

The layering of media and modes evokes the theatrical atmosphere of these unique landscapes; their emotional as well as their physical power. The mingling of stories reveals some consistencies in various cultural responses, and certainly many differences. This work dramatizes the intricately specific interaction of culture with landscape, and also gives visceral dramatic weight to what we lose if that vanishes. It makes a case for the realm of being, which seems so very vulnerable right now to aggressive incursions by the realm of having.