Locus in Quo, 2000, Maison de la Culture Mercier, Montreal, Quebec
“The Barents Sea region of Scandinavia was the focal point for Kathryn Lipke’s installation and multi-media, “Locus in Quo”, show. Lipke adopts an almost categorical approach to her subject – northern culture, environment and identity – bringing together an array of materials, craft and high-tech tools, classifying nature by way of process, material, image and object: to convey the simple message that nature continues to sustain us all, despite apparent neglect and abuse.
There are surveyor’s transoms near the entrance to the show. One of them, has a map of the circumpolar regions beneath, as well as a file drawer. Opening the drawer you find cards with personal notations and reflections inscribed by Lipke. One reads, “Silence keeps things open,” while another states, “It is essential to enter into these explorations from the center, the inside.” We look into the viewfinder of another transom adjacent to this, not to take a reading, but instead to witness a myriad of close-up video views of undulating water and ocean, wave motion, rocks and shoreline, that are coupled with distant oblique panoramas of coast and mountains. A third transom brings the focus back into the gallery. Looking into this one we see a large-scale photo, actually in the gallery, of an empty chair placed innocuously by the shoreline” . . .
“While nature remains the central impetus for Lipke’s ensemble, the approach she has taken in classifying nature evokes a sense of the global scale of environmental concerns, of the cause-and-effect interconnectedness between all things physical. A spiritual dimension thus enters in the work, but Lipke approaches her theme as a witness, and with great modesty. Her installation, a dream-like voyage through time, is a reminder of the fragility of nature.” John K. Grande, Sculpture, Sept 2001, Vol. 20 No. 7