'Then There Was Land' has evolved from K. Yoland's four-month artist residency at Marfa Contemporary Gallery and subsequent months. On the border between Mexico and the States, K. uses video, photography, sculpture and performance to investigate land in terms of restrictions, borders and divisions.
K. Yoland is exploring West Texas and the border by solo excursions as well as field trips with the border patrol, oil foremen and ranchers. Each group allows K. to observe their work and their relationship to the land.
Whilst with ranchers K. learned that although tumbleweed is considered iconic for Texas it is not indigenous. Brought over from Russia as seeds, tumbleweed is actually Russian thistle. Noticing tumbleweed crossing the border freely every day, K. uses the idea that it was an invasive immigrant to explore notions of foreigner, immigration and invasion. Tumbleweed feature in many of her photographs and videos: Tying them to her head or beating them with a baseball bat or concealing them in paper for transport or wrapping them in cling film and leaving them out in storms.
95% of land in Texas is privately owned and K. felt this was important to the project. A red line occasionally features in K.'s videos and photographs and reminds us of territory and divisions. The cheap red paper was bought at local builder's merchants and is a way for K. to divide land and space as maps do to indicate borders, land-ownership and conquered territory.
(Then there was land loctions include the Rio Grande at night, border towns - El Presdio, ghost towns - Shafter, National parks - Big Bend, military zones in California and New Mexico, Native American Reservations, various ranches around Marfa and West Texas).