America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler
During their decade-long collaboration (1985-1995), Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler produced some of the most influential conceptual art projects of the time. Among their witty and stimulating installations and outdoor projects was Camouflaged History, a house painted in a U.S. Army-designed camouflage pattern using 72 commercial paint colors included in the municipally-approved “authentic colors” of historic Charleston, South Carolina. The commercial name of each paint, commemorating an aspect of the city’s history, is also painted on the house, revealing and illuminating the lingering Civil War-era past of the region. Like the Earthwork pioneers, Ericson and Ziegler took the whole country as their working space; but rather than impose a conspicuous work of art upon a site or situation, they devised projects that altered sites subtly, creating a patchwork of poetic narratives and histories to be excavated. A 216-page exhibition catalogue including descriptions of all Ericson and Ziegler projects as well as photographs and installation views of their exhibitions and previously unpublished and never-before-exhibited plans and drawings from their archives. The catalogue contains essays by exhibition curators Bill Arning and Ian Berry, an interview with Ziegler, and an extensive biography and bibliography. In addition, curators who originally commissioned Ericson and Ziegler’s public works-Judith Hoos Fox, Kathy Goncharov, Mary Jane Jacob, Patricia Phillips, Lane Relyea, Ned Rifkin, Valerie Smith, and Judith Tannenbaum-provide texts about their experiences of working with the artists.