• Marysville, Oh Holy Land


    Marysville, Oh Holy Land

    In "Marysville, Oh Holy Land", Loreum lays out the scene of a certain California. Not a California of wealth & movie glamour but a land of historic loss; a dust bowl settlement littered with industrial collapse, human strife and false promise. Loreum utilises this imagery of a domestic past to become a form of religious reliquary. Though lost and forgotten as if uncovered from the sand, Marysville becomes a staging ground or chapel for their artworks. Serving as a kind of legacy of affect for a spiritual fictionalisation and simultaneously, a very real articulation of familial struggle and a life of labour. Residual artefacts of once-living agricultural animals may become the hyde/skin and canvas for a seraphim’s angel wings, or the pigmented layers of dust adorning a moth’s back. Warm and soft, though ever watchful, surveying eyes intrude.

    -Stanley J Buglass, Kupfer




  • This fragment of the modern world's history, which the artist evokes in their video “Marysville, Oh Holy Land” (2021), still...

    This fragment of the modern world's history, which the artist evokes in their video “Marysville, Oh Holy Land” (2021), still fuels a blind optimism that is mirrored in the contemporary "American dream". Through insight into their friend and neighbour’s abandoned home turned meth-squat in Loreum's hometown of Marysville, a city on the ancestral land of the Maidu and in today's state of California, the artist narrates the most recent developments of the working masses' history of abuses. Many authors have already documented the effect of the Great Depression on the hordes of seasonal farm workers and their displaced communities that migrated towards the Western United States in the 1930s.Drawing from their background and the artist’s early life, Loreum pursues a denunciation of nowadays U.S. American poverty, addiction and mass incarceration. Loreum's artistic practice develops as a sort of minimalistic craftsmanship capable of reinstating dignity to objects and memories discarded. For “Marysville, Oh Holy Land”, the artist produced more than twenty sculptures made from trash and objets trouvé. The works, serving as illustration when filmed, give shape to an articulated visual and musical poem. The memories attached to their sculptures are not always theirs directly, but they also entail that of their relatives and extended kinship. The images produced thus acquire the temporal dimension of myth; they address the aìon, a circular time where individual narration fuses with that of the collective. The present moment is cut down into infinite pieces and distributed between past and future. Scenes of a dilapidated Marysville are mixed with those representing the opposite; portraying details of marble statues, held in luxurious palaces in Venice. Whilst both cities are known for being exposed to numerous floods, the latter is called up as a symbol of the precious and preserved, the modern European civilizing project, sustained by an enlightenment-type of reasoning.Through this association, a dystopian portrait of Loreum's hometown becomes the "canary in a coal mine” placed at nearly the endpoint of one of the many possible hegemonic narratives involving world history. Marysville represents a cluster of disregarded promises—jobs, class mobility, resources—that have fed the neoliberal engine for many centuries. These promises are used to administer modern life and dreams; they are the underlying justifying doctrine for the consumption of working bodies and what was once wild nature. Through Loreum's imagery, they lose their appealing grasp on the individual's psyche, freeing up space for new creative energies that radiate from the sensorium and subconscious. These are the loci where the Dionysian disposition of the characters performed by Loreum have 

    been generated and head to dwell.

    By Giulia Menegale

  • Film stills from “Marysville, Oh Holy Land” (2021)


  • Marysville, Oh Holy Land

    Make me man of bear than rather man of wolf
    or rather, make me man of nature’s loving kindness than man of men and steel
    or rather, make me man of the real
    As I feel, oh holy neanderthal, the prostrating, humble cult of bear
    Where, they stack their dead under feet of beasts with bodies bare
    not of man who steals the pups of wolves and makes them starve for meat
    4 legged slave with teeth at their feet
    came beast, came wolf, came dog, came stray
    come dog, come wolf, and come away
    to make the wild your’s
    and trespass past all walls and doors
    but when you see a horse in pasture
    Did you ever ask her?
    Or do you see her for her meat?
    or do you take a fence post in your teeth?
    and pull with the power of a pack
    ’til fence post, gates, and locks will crack
    like a river down a mountain
    or the tide harnessed to a halogen moon
    reflecting tomorrow’s daylight, tonight, and soon
    come freedom like a free horse
    rushing/marching/flooding down

    to my forgotten-valley ghost-town
    dredged of gold and damned dry
    for my flat and barren fields I cry:
    Marysville, Oh Holy Land
    with Histum Yani Presiding
    and respectfully, ancient Maidu residing
    dried up ancient sea of California
    but when gold glimmered in the waters, came man of wolf
    with a glimmer in his eye for greed, and shovel in his hand
    and the bankers/breakers command, to “head west young man”
    in the golden gateway, “there are gold in them there hills”
    rob the river naga of her gifts
    the revered, severed serpent, now sits in cuts and shifts
    gone, the drawn rattlesnake in dust, gravel in the gulch, and guts on the roadside
    where the waters all were dammed and dried
    for new land and conquest never rests
    lake bed, bottom, and dead with dread that tests
    the strength of bricks of clay
    Never will I see a day,
    a palace, not a stack stone
    but the hands that hone, cut and carried, working muscle to the bone
    A true temple houses free birds singing hymns more old
    not made of gold, not the towers of rich men and their goals,
    but we the horse of broken spirit since we’re foals
    Do run faster than the man of wolf

    and only wish for green pastures without fences
    so rich men, we demand you lower your defenses.
    but forgive me listener, I’ve only known the wild
    So you may think my tongue is soft, my speech/heart broken like a child
    but I know from all the blisters and the digging and the dirt
    that those who have endured have done so with the hurt
    so forgive me all the gentleman, I’ve only known the wild
    and that is why I speak out of turn, am angry and not mild
    and I will say that you may stay and witness all the show, but you should know
    I hope you know, that who I owe
    are all the angels of the earth
    who’s names you’ve never known because you’ve never known their worth
    You say I have no people cuz my people have no home
    but gutter, green, and roadside, do my people roam
    Such people sleep outside with starlight in their dreams
    and rubbing eyes and tired feet and arms from holding everything
    oh we, those who touch the dirt for others, are made dirty by our doing deeds unfit
    hands are bound, soul is tired, words are bitten, and where we sit is shit
    a peach pressed in our palm for picking
    but we have always pressed a poem on our tongue
    and burned our fields of dreams when young
    and always read the scriptures on our eyelids when glaring at the sun
    but when was the work ever done?
    but a promise made

    a vision is a promise made
    and one that boils over when you’re cooking in the shade
    A vision is a hope you have you fear will never happen
    but it is not fear but desire,
    and muscled arms from working that wield a sword with fire
    and work, more work, and working
    and hope, and hope, but no,
    Because rarely do we taste the fruit from seeds we sow
    and this we too deeply know
    we must be hopeless to be fearless
    so we will not fear when hope fails
    but rather use our last breath to push upon the sails
    but a bird with clipped wings
    only sings
    when there is some daylight out the window
    so aye, I and we say, the dawn is now
    Not the “why?”, but the hesitation is the “how?”
    do we speak
    or stand if we’re weak
    and if teeth are too broken
    for our words to be spoken
    we whistle wind through harmonica smiles
    and make hooves from the callouses, running for miles
    make angels of your lovers
    sisters and brothers

    and the rambling beggar as genius-poet of ‘others’
    let the gas station light at 3:00 AM
    Be that flickering light within
    and the shopkeep the guardian
    the Walmart clerk and street-sweeper
    the oracle and gatekeeper
    let no one who profits become a prophet to preach,
    or teach that the world is not wrong
    Stuck in your throat is a song.


    - Loreum