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In search of a probably non-existing oil-well in Montana - A CONTINUOUS PROJECT, ending with a two step tango in Vienna and the end is not yet in sight

Barbara Jean

Solo exhibition

30 September – 8 October 1983
Vleeshal (Map)

Curator: Anton van Gemert

I travelled to America in search of an oil source and discovered a nuclear rocket base (a modernized 3-head Minuteman) on land that I do not own in Teton County near Chocteau, Montana, Township 23 North, Range 3 West, Section 4: Lot 4 , SW ¼, NW ¼ W ½ SW 1.4, Section 5: SE ¼ NE 1/4. I own the mineral and oil dishes, not the domain itself. This division, not the surface, but the right to go into the depths – the right to access the invisible or inconvenient – describe so completely my artistic philosophy that I decided to unite this in a project: a quest. This quest not only brought me to the foot and hills of the Rocky Mountains, also to unexamined valleys and parts of my psyche; confrontations with 'oilmen', unidentified relatives and my past. Incidentally, a ‘Performance in Vienna’ and a walk on the land in Montana, delimiting the borders, following an old and untouched Native American path; Placing next to each other seemingly disparate elements in order to create another order, another system of reality. This is my way of working: fragmented and connected. The rocket installation is real (although not visible: it is underground, like oil), the two-step tango is not real - other than 'the dance of life', two steps ahead, one step backward, and the tidy balance. The tango is characteristic of drama, distortion, and power struggle.