Los Angeles Contemporary Archive
709 N Hill St #104-108 Los Angeles, 90012
12–6pm Wed-Saturday & by appointment
In Key Observation Point, Susanna Battin presents an installation of landscape paintings derived from an Environmental Impact Report from California’s oldest operational landfill. Battin takes the report at its word to perform a naïve translation between text and picture, relocating the landfill and its scenes within the archive of LACA.
Key Observation Point originates from the artist’s interest in the Landscape Scenic Quality Scale, a metric pioneered by a group of landscape architects and foresters in the late 20th century who sought to quantify beauty as a means of environmental protection. The scale’s system, language, and founding ideology are now embedded in the political process of legitimizing development projects of high impact. The Chiquita Canyon Landfill’s most recent Environmental Impact Report uses the Landscape Scenic Quality Scale to break down the site’s surrounding areas into seven key observation points.
Vividness, intactness, and unity, are the three guiding principles through which a landscape’s beauty is understood as scenic fact. Using the report’s descriptions as a script for painting, Battin questions the forensic motives of transfiguring space into language and data, while exploring the pictorial traditions that inform our relationships with nature.
All content copyright Susanna Battin 2018