Opening Reception: Saturday, July 29, 2023
On View: July 2023—June 2025
Currently closed for the winter season
Marguerite Humeau is a 2021 Black Cube Artist Fellow. At 160 acres, Orisons marks one of the largest earthworks created by an individual woman artist to date, paying homage to the fragile ecosystem of Colorado’s San Luis Valley—the world’s largest alpine valley.
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. 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, a high 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, geomancers, and indigenous communities, among others.
“I wanted to collaborate with all the living beings who were living there or passing through. The land is the artwork, and I wanted to celebrate it and every being on it, as well as reconnect it and its inhabitants with their presents, pasts, and futures.” —Marguerite Humeau
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.