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Karen Rapp
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2006-07, Art History

Karen Rapp curates the Art at the Institute program. Rapp is a sixth year graduate student focusing on contemporary art. Her dissertation, "Not the Romantic West: Site-Specific Art, Globalization and Contemporary Landscapes" looks at a recent trend in contemporary art practice: the return to working in or with remote spaces. Focusing on four projects: Andrea Zittel's A-Z West Studio in Joshua Tree, California; Rirkrit Tiravanija's Land Foundation outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand; Matthew Coolidge's Los-Angeles based Center for Land Use Interpretation and Matthew Boeri's Milan-based collective Multiplicity, she argues that today's land-based work both continues and deviates from the sculptural interests of the 1960s "earthworks" artists. Contextualizing today's trend within a discussion of contemporary spatial politics, she argues that today's projects engage the legacy of the earthworks artists at a more theoretical level to speak to questions of isolation and externality; technology and local/global identity; migration and social change.