Finisterwolde, Holland, Artist's Statement, 1969:
"The route from Finsterwolde (location of wheat field) to Nieuwe Schans (location of storage silo) was reduced by a factor of six times and plotted on a 154 by 267 meter field. The field was then seeded following this line.
In September the field was harvested in the form of an X. the grain was isolated in it’s raw state, further processing was withheld. This project poses an interaction upon media during the early stages of processing. Planting and cultivating my own material is like mining one’s own pigment (for paint)- I can direct the later stages of development at will. In this case the material is planted and cultivated for the sole purpose of withholding it from a product- oriented system. Isolating this grain from further processing (production of food stuffs) becomes like stopping raw pigment from becoming an illusionistic force on canvas. The esthetic is in the raw material prior to refinement, and since no organization is imposed through refinement, the material’s destiny is bred with it’s origin."
American Art of the 20th Century, Sam Hunter,
Abrams, New York, 1972
About Dennis Oppenheim
From a church standing on its steeple to rings carved in a snow-covered field, Dennis Oppenheim’s vast and unpredictable oeuvre spans Conceptual, Performance, Land, and Body Art, sculpture, video, and photography. “I have never been able to be what they call a signature artist,” he once said. “Most of my work comes from ideas.” Oppenheim was featured in the seminal “Earthworks” exhibition of 1968 alongside the likes of Robert Smithson; his earliest works were ephemeral pieces—patterns cut in wheatfields, a mound of dirt punctuated with wooden planks. He would take up Body Art after befriending Vito Acconci, producing pieces like Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970), for which he laid in the sun for five hours, sunburning the shape of a book onto his chest. In the decades after, his wide-ranging practice included several Pop-inflected public monuments, including giant Hershey’s Kisses and diamond rings.
American, 1938-2011, Mason City, Washington, based in California & New York