Melissa Smedley...Artist at large.... Sitework

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Bumper Crop:  May 2002, Art Produce Gallery. North Park, San Diego, CAA street window exhibition featuring seven salvaged car bumpers turned into actual planters sown with varieties of domestic and prairie grasses.  Wall text points out that lawn grasses are the most prevalent crop in the U.S. - while so many others in the world struggle to subsist.  Cars are so thoroughly internalized by the culture that we take them and our fuel consumption for granted. See Movies:  Why, Lets Make a Living
Campsite: Courtyard Installation From California in Three Dimensions, A survey of southern California artists.  California Center For the Arts, Escondido, 1995.  Sculptures with video window featuring the artist operating certain of the objects in Baja California landscapes. “Practicing for the Millennium”. 
See Movies: Yellow Horses, See About: Artforum
Water Table:  1995, Franklin Furnace, NY. Emerging Artist Grant. An installation of objects and performances that commemorate an imaginary voyage down the Colorado River, rife with dams, aqueducts, hydro-electric plants, etc. Research for the project began with John Wesley Powell’s historic expedition.  A one-armed man strapped to a plank of wood letting gravity pull him through an uncharted wild river.  Smedley’s contraptions are designed to pioneer the waters and dry mudflats amidst remnants of our culture. See Movies: Watertable, Yellow Horses
El Sotano - Insite 94, a bi-national installation art festival with sites throughout San Diego and Baja, California. The installation is result of a year long collaboration with artist, Nanette Yanuzzi Macias.  In a basement in Tijuana that was formerly a mop factory, we spent weeks sorting castaway objects, years of spare parts, retired lamps, and piles of cotton waiting to be spun by an elaborate loom to become the strands sewn into mops.  Our response to the local and global vectors of the site and the neighborhood we were borrowing, was to create an environment friendly to spirits who might linger from the church basement tombs two doors down and to give viewers who stepped down the rickety stairs into the cool underground, their own chance to commune with the invisible.
©Melissa Smedley, 2005