Title: Words to that Effect Program Department: MFA Print Media + MA Critical Studies
Summary: Made as a site-specific installation Bakken’s thesis work Words to that Effect displays numerous letterpress prints in the landscape of the artist’s home area of rural Eastern Oregon. Letterpress prints mimic “no trespassing” signs, sending invitations for self-regard versus warnings and accumulatively draws attention to the fence as an enabler of settler colonization, attention to the illusion of land ownership, and attention to the history of the American West as a constructed entity. Words to that Effect brings visual attention to the fence and its accompanying signs to imagine and release possibilities free from a settler colonial paradigm and free from political, environmental, and economical unrest, we must all nurture a radical ethico-political engagement with our individual accountability. A radical ethico-political engagement is about accommodating and recognizing “the plurality of singularities” and to allow for sensitivity to other ways of being and experiencing reality. This is to recognize that this type of engagement is open-ended, dynamic, and has no solid assurances or outcomes, but it is a process all must begin to engage in nonetheless. By seeing the structure that holds all captive and demonstrating accountability to varied experiences and the uncommonalities between them all, a constructive potency can be cultivated that can guide a liberation of possibilities outward from power and limitations.
Artist Bio: Hannah Bakken (b. Salem, OR) works inter-disciplinarily by combining printed media with performance, sculpture, and installation to explore identity, the body, landscape, and place. Her works comment on land use in the United States and how the “cowboy narrative” intersects with constructions of gender, material economies, nationhood, and the environment.
She received her BFA in Studio Art from Southern Oregon University in 2017 and received her MFA in Print Media and MA in Critical Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art this spring.
Bakken has work in private and gallery collections and she enjoys traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest with her partner, being home with her cats Ed & Al, and finding humor within the complexities of the current world.