Hannah Bakken’s original intention for this project is to be an art interruption for the usual experience of her home area in eastern Oregon. State law requires no trespassing signs to be no smaller than 8 inches in height and 11 inches in width, and to contain the words “Closed to Entry” or words to that effect. Adhering to sign standards, these prints mimic signs of land ownership and control but extend invitations in place of exclusion. They send invitations for self-regard and accumulatively draws attention to the fence as an enabler of settler colonization, attention to the illusion of land ownership and attention to the history of the American West as a constructed entity.
Bakken hails from Malheur County, Ore. Her work combines printed media with performance, sculpture and installation to explore identity, the body, landscape and place. Her works comment on land use in the United States and how the historical and contemporary narratives of the American West intersect with constructions of identity, economies, nationhood and the environment. Bakken lives and works as a studio assistant, gallery coordinator, business owner and bike courier in Portland, Ore.