Mapping space, sculpting time: Mary Lucier and the double landscape
Appraises the work of the American artist Mary Lucier from the early 1970s to the present, describing selected works from her oeuvre in the medium of photography to illustrate her approach to landscape art. The author explains that Lucier was influenced at the beginning of her career by the work of the American composer John Cage, states that she attempted to emulate his achievement in her own field, and considers points of comparison in their work including the use of pairs of images to juxtapose ideas, and an interest in landscape as a means of mapping the passage of time. She explains how Lucier's Media Sculptures (Maps of Time) series (1972-5) incorporate her hand as a focusing device in studies of features of the landscape, suggests that objects such as a tombstone or a piece of litter bearing a date indicate the passing of time, and notes that, in the late 1970s, her interests developed to incorporate the concept of 'organic' as a quality of both subject matter and the resulting works. She describes Dawn Burn (1977), which records the sunrise through its destructive effect on her camera's vidicon tube and comments on recent works such as Maps of Time: Nancy (1995), which record the scars of her mother's body in the manner of landscape.