This Land: An Epic Postcard Mural on the Future of a Country in Ecological Peril
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David Opdyke's massive collage This Land—as elucidated in this book by award-winning author Lawrence Weschler—presents a slow-burning satire of the American Dream as it blunders into the reality of climate change.
This Land is an epic mural fashioned by New York artist David Opdyke out of vintage American postcards which he then treated with disconcerting painted interventions. What at first reads as a panoramic birdʼs-eye view of an idyllic alpine valley reveals itself, upon closer examination, to be an array of connected scenes and vignettes. Across more than five hundred postcards, each one portraying a distinct slice of idealized Americana (town squares, mountain highways, main streets and county seats), Opdykeʼs acerbic, emotionally jarring alterations gradually become evident.
In this prophetic refashioning, forests are aflame, tornadoes torque from one card into the next, a steamboat gets swallowed up whole by some sort of new megafauna, frogs fall like Biblical hail from the sky. The human responses form a cacophony of desires and demands, panic and denial. Biplanes trail banners urging Repent Now!, others insist Legislative Action Would Be Premature, while still others advertise seats on an actual Ark.
The book This Land affords readers a closer and closer viewing of Opdyke’s devastatingly sardonic take on our impending ecological future, one in turn enlivened by Lawrence Weschlerʼs vividly sly blend of artist profile and critical interpretation.Specifications:
- Format: Hardback
- Size: 229 x 152 mm (9 x 6 in)
- Pages: 168 pp
- Illustrations: 100 illustrations
- ISBN: 9781580935562c
David Opdyke is an artist known for his trenchant political send-ups of American culture. His work is held in the collections of the Washington Convention Center, MoMA, and the Brooklyn Museum.
Lawrence Weschler is author of more than twenty books of narrative nonfiction, most recently And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?, as well as Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, and Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism).
Maya Wiley is a nationally renowned expert on racial justice and equity, a professor at The New School and co-director of its Digital Equity Laboratory. She is also a Legal Analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.