Tracy Linder: Blindsided
Missoula Art Museum
January 11– April 21, 2013
Missoula Art Museum is pleased to host the exhibit Blindsided, designed and installed by Molt, MT artist Tracy Linder. Blindsided addresses the artist’s deep rooted connection to the land and her belief in the sanctity of our food sources. Linder states, “For over twenty years, I have been exploring the cultural significance of agriculture and agribusiness along with the integral roles of science, humanity and philosophy.” The word “blindsided” brings to mind a phenomenon that catches us unawares, especially with a harmful or detrimental result. In the same way, we are often blindsided by information which addresses the artificial manipulation of agriculture and the food supply, sometimes very unexpectedly. Linder goes on to state, “My works are derived from living a life close to the land as I transform remnants of animal, plant, human, and machine into visceral hybrids that reveal the reciprocal relationships necessary to sustain life. I grew up on a farm and now live on the vast windswept prairie of south central Montana. It is a place where the life-cycle is revalent and death is commonplace. I prefer to consider the mass of these circumstances by looking at the individual; the source.”
The presence of nearly identical cow heads communicates multiplicity, reproduction, and identity. Constructed from cast cotton paper, fescue grass, and metal ear bands, Blindsided masterfully communicates a sense of cloning and the manipulation of nature. We are reminded that when everything is identical, we lose uniqueness. Linder continues, “The cyclical patterns embedded in time are inherent to my process. I create unique handmade multiples to emphasize timelessness. The survival instinct is a resource. It is true ‘all flesh is grass’ and I am always seeking to reveal the intermingled and interdependent relationships necessary to the survival of both the grass and the flesh.”
Linder is an experienced and skilled sculptor and in Blindsided her approach is simple and straightforward. Her decision to present an apparently sterile duplication of 100 identical cow heads speaks to us of identity lost. Linder confronts us with one white head after another revealing a darker reality: the underlying desire to create a uniform, streamlined, and inexpensive production line.
Linder has exhibited extensively in the region. She has an MFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an MA from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Her artwork is present in numerous public collections throughout the region including Montana State University, Yellowstone Art Museum, and Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.