Mowry Baden was born in Los Angeles in 1936, and received a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. from Stanford University. In 1971, Baden moved to Canada, where he has both continued his art and worked as a teacher in post-secondary institutions...
Show moreMowry Baden was born in Los Angeles in 1936, and received a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. from Stanford University. In 1971, Baden moved to Canada, where he has both continued his art and worked as a teacher in post-secondary institutions including the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. With more than 43 years of art marking experience, Baden was a pioneer in the development of body art. Baden creates an internal awareness of the viewer’s movement in relation to his work; the objective of Baden’s art is less the object than it is the experience of the viewer. ARTIST INFO: http://mowrybaden.com/ (Accessed November 14, 2016)
NOTE: Made in collaboration with Steven C. Young. Edition of 10. Other editions can be found in various collections including that of the artist, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and The Art Bank (Canada). The piece "Wolf Tracker" was exhibited at the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont, California as part of a show titled Freckled Gyres. The exhibition presented a number of Baden’s works spanning from 1969 to 2000, intending to discern prevalent themes relative to Baden’s work. Insight to the artist's emphasis on viewer perception and “task-oriented” objects was the central intention of “Freckled Gyres.” DESCRIPTION: Metal cane with grey plastic molding on handle with cast of metal wolf paw print attached to cane’s foot. Cane is contained within a rectangular aluminum case covered in vivid pink/red waterproof fabric. Within the case the cane is bisected in two pieces; when removed from the case these pieces can be connected with a built-in screw mount making the cane ready for use. A panel of black text mounted on silver paper accompanies the piece within the case. The text, dated 1992 and written by Mowry Baden and Steven Young, describes, 1) the “I Wolf Track Story”, and 2) “II Instructions for Use.” "Wolf Tracker" was a collaboration between Mowry Baden and Pomona College English instructor Stephen C. Young. The piece is multifaceted; while it was presented as one of Baden’s sculptural works, it was also used as a prop in Young’s theatre productions based on Sam Shepard plays. Baden and Young’s interests dovetail to allow both parties to express themselves with ease; Baden’s sculptural ability and interest in art perception aptly relays Young’s textual interpretations of theatrical works. Wolf Tracker exists as a series of ten identical pieces; the art object resembles a cane with a wolf-paw cast affixed to the straight end. The piece also includes two short segments of writing; part one is a first person narrative from a wolf’s point of view, and part two contains instructions for the art object’s use. To use Wolf Tracker one is “writing stories right on the earth,” “a basic narrative consists of wolf tracks ad libitum with human tracks beside them.” These physical impressions of human and wolf tracks subsequently animates an assumed recent past of the actions and whereabouts of both the human and the wolf alike.
I WOLF TRACK STORY August 7, 1989—Northwest Coast of Vancouver Island. At first light a solitary male wolf was making tracks in the packed sand below the high tide line: Yes, this is good here. I’m glad I came down to the beach at last and left those fools up there in the hills. I heard them again last night after they’d run down that doe. The howling would lead you to believe they’d taken a bear; and then the tiresome ritual of who gets the first bite, who gets the tripes, the liver, the lights. All that scuffling, fawning, licking—that despicable sociability. The mice in the driftwood and the crabs in the tide pools suit me very well. Little snacks all day long. Then there’s the pleasure of watching the people come in from the water to make their shelters and light their bonfires. Yes, the summer here is pleasant. But give me February and a wild southeaster and that’s the best of all. I take my place, there, just at the edge of the woods. I sit up straight and smile as the roaring waves rush in, until they see that it’s me, looking at them. Then they fall on their faces in terror and rush forward to kiss my feet. II INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE With the Wolf Cane you can write stories right on the earth. The basic narrative consists of wolf tracks ad libitum with human tracks beside them (you walking while you punch the cane into dirt, sand, snow, fresh concrete—whatever surface will take an impression). Already you have three stories: 1) Person walking being tracked by a wolf; 2) Wolf walking being tracked by a person; 3) Person and wolf walking along together. Turn the tracker around and you can produce three more: 4) Wolf backtracking person; 5) Person backtracking wolf; 6) Wolf and person meeting and passing on. The terrain will help you flesh out these versions; every stone, fallen tree, beach, stream-bank, or bush will offer an occasion for a digression or an anecdote. The wolf tracks alone tell the best story of all. If you can erase your own footprints you will have left a tale of the wolf only, producing the animal where it had not been before, and discovering that self-effacement is the first step toward extinction. Mowry Baden Steven Young 1992
- Baden Mowry b. 1936 - Canadian, American (artists (visual artist))
- Wolves--Staffs (Sticks, canes, etc.)--Art, Canadian--20th century--Art, American--20th century--Narrative art--20th century--Baden, Mowry--Environmental art--Sculpture, Canadian--Art, Modern--20th century--Vancouver Island (B.C.)
- assemblages (sculpture)
- Camosun College Art Collection
- Camosun College