Showing an edition of 35 unique archival prints with found colored sands, 30” H X 23” W, Funk & Shuster Fine Art Printing, 2020.
NOTE from Debbie: Hi everyone! AMP Gallery is so pleased and excited to finally open & feature new works by Jay Critchley, DEMOCRACY OF THE LAND - THE MOO MOO WORLD 1620. The Group Show features Karen Cappotto, Barbara Hadden, Jackie Lipton, Zammy Migdal, Lori Swartz, Forrest Williams, Rick Wrigley.
Please feel free to come by Friday the 26th. We will be taking safety precautions, so no more than 4-6 masked people may enter at a time. Thanks so much, and take good care!
JAY CRITCHLEY | DEMOCRACY OF THE LAND - THE MOO MOO WORLD 1620*
Cows are as ubiquitous to the New England landscape as rolling forests, pastures and fall foliage, languishing on their bucolic fields, holding the land, owning the land.
This iconic tableau has affirmed itself over the four centuries since the Puritan Separatists first implanted themselves on North American soil in 1620. They had hoped to land in Virginia, where one year earlier some twenty slaves arrived at Point Comfort aboard the White Lion, a link to the long established African slave trade.
At the time Europeons called this the “New World,” a mythological reverie of an undiscovered, pristine Garden of Eden of valuable un-extracted commodities such as beaver, sassafras, timber and white pine (Biblical Trees of Life), but we now know that it was misnamed. Revisionist historians now more accurately call the “New World” the “Moo Moo World”.
Barnyard animals, cows, pigs and horses – our familiar Beasts of Burden – have gotten too little credit for the ecological catastrophe they and their masters propagated on the Americas – all invasive species. It’s common knowledge that these disease-ridden creatures did not exist in the Western Hemisphere until Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors, themselves immune, paraded their horses and pigs off the boats with arrogant fanfare, a caravan of aliens Moo Mooing and Oinking.
These imperial soldiers, not far removed in time from the Black Plague and the rise of white nationalism in Europe, marauding Crusaders and ecological disorder on the Continent were on a clear Christian mission of “discovery,” recruitment and enslavement. In fact, thousands of indigenous people were captured and shipped off to the Caribbean and Europe.
What about all that pristine, “unproductive virgin land” waiting to be civilized, commodified and cowsplained? After all, there were no fences or rigid enclosures so familiar to the English landscape. By the 1530s Europeans were reading about the Noble Savage, “gentle as cows,” with no history, living in a limitless nature and prelapsarian innocence, these creatures were merely waiting for Christianity to save and civilize them.
*Except from Provincetown Arts 2020 issue
DEMOCRACY OF THE LAND - THE MOO MOO WORLD 1620 opens at AMP Gallery, Provincetown, June 26 to July 8, 2020.