Marcus Lund:

Grandmother’s Instructions (for four future directions), 2020

offset monotype, polyptych
courtesy of ArtOrg

Marcus Lund is an artist trained as a landscape architect with a broad, multidisciplinary interest in the land and its relationship with people and culture. Originally from rural North Dakota, Lund is a current resident of the Bay Area in California. Like so many people connected to the Northern Plains, Lund has a love of what makes the region so special, and a sincere interest in its history.

“As a child within and in relation to the Northwestern North Dakota prairie landscape, very near an international border with Canada, on the Northern Plains, I was often experiencing a visual and imaginary limit that was self-imposed, because, possibly, looking at the distant horizon for too long was too overwhelming after all. I can also recall embracing the concept of infinity, but it was more rare and profound.”

Grandmother’s Instructions (for four future directions) was produced in collaboration with ArtOrg in Cannon Fall, Minnesota as part of a polyptych that refers to the four faces of the North Dakota Pyramid, what Lund considers “humanity’s anti-monument.” The Pyramid was constructed as the Stanley R. Mickelson Program near Nekoma, ND, between 1970 and 1975. A large and notorious Cold War relic, the ND Pyramid was originally created as a radar and missile defense system - one of many planned (but most subsequently never built) for the United States amid heightened tensions with Russia. Lund’s piece builds upon this history, and creates a visual field that places this site, this architecture, within a long, complicated trajectory of design and control. “Attempting to square and center national security with Nike-Zeus, Nike-X, and Safeguard Program-generated objects was perhaps, mythologically, an Aeolian process and Sisyphean task,” Lund writes. “But now as reflected in generations before, it is often invisible military processes that keep the civilian and political world relatively on track. Phased Array Radar has given way to Anti-Bot Protections in 2020. What remains the same is a necessity to develop innovative navigational capabilities of our individual imaginations to weather collective responses while filtering waves of misinformation.”

In the color and abstraction of Grandmother’s Instructions (for four future directions), Lund meaningfully unearths a space to interact with these legacies, and also to locate – as with the horizon line itself – a spiritual and transcendent potential in the midst of the most symbolically charged artifacts on the landscape of the plains.

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