Heather Theresa Clark, Maintenance, 2017. Bellows, concrete ball, railroad tracks, water fountain, and 4 live canaries.

Heather Theresa Clark

Washington, DC

Hillyer Art Space

Heather Theresa Clark comes to artmaking from the unusual background of urban planning, green development, and ecology. Every component of her installation, Maintenance, was carefully engineered to critique “exurban” life as she experiences it in Northern Virginia, being, in her words, “embedded in a landscape that feeds on cultural neurosis.” Clark posits that this neurosis derives from detaching labor from the basic survival needs of shelter, food, and clothing, instead basing exurban planning on consumer consumption. The gallery was arranged as an opposition between a domestic interior and a domesticated landscape. On the entrance side, hydrangeaprint wallpaper with a chair rail and wainscoting below represented petty bourgeois notions of decorating with a nature theme. A circular vortex, with matched flower patterning, cut into a wall projecting about 18 inches into the space. On the other side of the entrance, a wall-mounted monitor screened the video Exurban Roulette vol. 1. Filmed as Clark turns pages of a flipbook, the video dramatizes the plight of three Latina women trying to cross a multi-lane suburban roadway to get to work. .…see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.