Red Dirt Rug Monument

Rena Detrixhe's avatar Rena Detrixhe

200 gallons of sifted earth. 200 hours of careful labor. Hundreds of soles of shoes. An intricate ephemeral carpet of soft red dust. This work embodies the complicated history of our relationship to nature, particularly in my state of residence, Oklahoma, where human presence has deeply altered the landscape. This is the land of the dust bowl, the end of the trail of tears, of land runs and pipelines, deep fault-lines and hydraulic fracturing. There is immense beauty and pride in this place and also profound sorrow. The refining of the soil and the imprinting of the pattern is a meditation on this past, a gesture of sensitivity, and the desire for understanding. A rug is an object of luxury, a symbol of wealth and power. It is also an article of beauty and cultural significance and the result of many hours of careful labor. Through this form, I address the tension between nature and human impact and suggest the ubiquitousness and preciousness of the earth just below our feet.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Time-Based
  • Depth: 480 in
  • Medium: loose red Oklahoma soil
  • Width: 300 in
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 0.5 in