We are proud and excited to showcase for the second year in a row the work of Yohana Junker. Junker is an educator, visual artist, and Faculty Associate in Theology, Spirituality, and Arts at the Pacific School of Religion. She recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation, “Unsettling the Landscape: Appropriation, Representation, and Indigenous Aesthetics in the Land Art of the American Southwest,” at the Graduate Theological Union. In this work, she probes how Land Arts of the American Southwest are implicated in colonial histories and contentious claims to the land. To learn more about Junker, her academic interests, and artistic work, visit her website, www.yohanajunker.com.
The work Junker has produced for this year’s TTC is entitled DesSoterramento I-IV.
How do we shelter what is precious, yield what is valuable, dispose of what is harmful?* How do we (re)assemble our desires for a livable future while disposing of the waste, violence, and trauma we have caused precious biomes, beings, memories, and histories? DesSoterramento I – IV are invitations to dig deep into the terrains of our ontologies, memories, and choices to expose how we have failed to seek and protect life “in this here place.” It discloses the possibilities for re-rooting and relating to our disciplines, relations, and the earth as dynamic, ever in flux, and emergent. These works ask us to mobilize reciprocity and stimulate care for what is visceral, what is buried, what is hidden. Such excavation will, perhaps, reveal the unseen, dig up the unknown, and point to what has been ignored. They whisper: embrace more people, listen to your kin, sense the mystery. Look closer at what is growing and what is dying. Put bodies and memories in motion. Activate perspectives from down under.
*The artwork and reflection are based on the writings of Robert Macfarlane, Underland, (2019); Dian Million “We Are the Land, and the Land Is Us: Indigenous Land, Lives and Embodied Ecologies in the Twenty-first Century,” in Racial Ecologies (2018); Raluca Voinea, “Counter-Landscapes: Where Have All the Ruins Gone,” in Debrisphere: Landscape as an Extension of Military Imagination (2018).