fig. 43: Room for Extinct Birds
San Francisco Mission Cultural Center, 1994
© Rhoda London and Chris Baeumler

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Artist Statement
Rhoda London and Christine Baeumler

We believe that "transition," "action," "opinion" are some of the key factors in the ongoing environmental debate, and a place where we like to work.

Christine Baeumler:

As an artist and activist I explore the intersection of the environment, history and community. I work on projects that engage community efforts to create welcoming places - a form of public art with a social dimension. These activities are about reclaiming both the natural environment and acknowledging local history. The transformation of a site into a place involves a collaborative process. I work with other artists, residents, city workers, community groups, arts organizations and local businesses. The authorship is shared with many individuals who have contributed to the design and implementation of the projects.

Public art today is predicated on the conviction that art has a role to play in addressing social issues and as a tool for social change. In this regard I see the artist as a cultural worker, a coordinator of projects that build community as part of the artistic endeavor. This new paradigm doesn't replace individual artists and their work, but becomes another strategy for artists to use their creativity while encouraging others to do the same.

 

Rhoda London:

Art making is a process - a life's thought, a moment - it comes from an idea, sometimes a feeling. I make art for the search, the inquiry, the discovery, the fun. I make art for the "distinction between saying something and being something - to respond precisely to (that) distinction between what can be said and what shows itself, and the point about art is that it shows rather than says."

I use materials that will convey my notions but that will keep the viewer in the dialogue; to let the viewer think and feel his/her own thoughts, feelings, ideas. The viewer gets to show himself/herself.

Collaboration takes the art to its maximum. The work about the environment covers duality: surface to essence, inherent contradictions, persistent loss, fragility. What I want is intelligence, poetics, questions, levels of meaning, serenity, suitability.

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All text © Rhoda London and Christine Baeumler.