TERRAIN is Jackie Nickerson’s new work in progress.
TERRAIN is about us in the landscape, how we change the world we inhabit at every moment of our being human, and how, for better and for worse, the habitus that we make, in turn, changes who we are.
People and landscapes in TERRAIN intertwine and co-exist at that moment which is central to the moil of the human race – the cultivation of crops and the turning of raw materials into something made. The effects of these physical and chemical processes on the material world are seen as almost alchemical effects on the humans whose labour enables the pure sorcery of industry.
TERRAIN registers these psychic and physical after-effects of work in the landscapes of labor. Gazing steadily at the point at which one element meets another, TERRAIN asks us to think about these markers and imprints left by the material processes of work as the evidence of our presence on the earth, and to think about how contemporary human beings, living in a western urban environment, can relate to the metaphysics of the labor which enables our lives.
In a time when environmental politics thinks too simplistically about the effect that humans have on nature, TERRAIN nudges us towards a deeper understanding of the lived spaces of human activity. Here hands and plants, limbs and fabric, bodies and soil hold close to one another. Visually, the easy sense that there is nature and that there is humanity, and that the two are separate, ceases to exist. In TERRAIN people are, in the fullest sense of that archaic adjective, ‘terrene’, of the earth.