Boundary/Waters is a collaboration between writer Su-Yee Lin and visual artist Rita Leduc who met as roommates at a residency in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The text and animation are re-presentations of their experiences there as they recall it from their current selves. While the glacial lake and its environment encouraged an acute resensitization with their natural surroundings, it also had an equalizing affect, yielding a full-bodied sensation that all matter flowed freely between air, body, and landscape.
The trees grow straight into the water here, no separation between sky and land, water and earth. No horizon but the middle distance that your eyes want to seek, looking for a break in the symmetry. Boundary waters for a place without boundaries.
In Osprey, you place your animal cards: contrary Whale, Badger, contrary Fox. An eagle soars past, breaking your view of the lake. Clap for bears at night, gaze at the Milky Way until your neck aches. Tell us something we already know, scrape the image till it all comes clear. What can we ask for that we haven’t asked for before? Tell us what we love, what we need, what we want. The light slants down to sunset, the sauna is firing up. Take a kayak out on the water for a more silent silence, for lily pads and their flowers blooming white, for the insects skating on the water’s surface, for the storm that threatens from the sky. The lake is its own creature and the loons, too, upon it. Past, present, future—which is most important? What matters most is the asking, not the answers because the answers are all the same. Make your wishes to the midnight fire, a bottle of whiskey by your side.
Su-Yee Lin is a writer from New York with a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her work tends to focus on the intersections of identity, place, and memory.
Rita Leduc is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes photography, painting, drawing, collage, and installation. Collaborating with chosen locations, Leduc’s work addresses resensitization of place in a world deprived of environmental empathy.