Before seeing Marcus's piece in person, I had ideas about his use of pine needles and the meaning behind the choice. The pine needle's ability to maintain the chlorophyll in their leaves for quite some time after being removed from a tree makes the leaves a perfect candidate to imitate real, living grass. At first, I thought the choice to use pine needles and the transporting of dirt indoors suggested that this piece dealt with illusions. Upon my visit to the Crane House, I began to wonder about the artists's desire for people to walk on his work. I was also curious to know the purpose of all of the dirt surrounding the grass that one must walk on to get an up close look of the pine needles. I began to consider the coniferous tree's ability to adapt to extreme weather conditions, as well.
The title Lineage and the inclusion of artwork by both father and son makes me wonder how this piece might tell a story about the artist's generation or heritage. The barren dirt surrounding the grass could express rough conditions for development. Perhaps the coniferous leaves' resistance against both very cold and very hot weather relates to the personal adaptations people make in unwelcoming territory. Marcus's and his father's works share a common theme of nature. The adaptive quality of coniferous leaves and the manipulation of these leaves and dirt could refer to the ways that we, as artists, adapt or alter nature into works of art. The shared aspect of nature explored by two generations of artists might tell of changes in artistic approaches nature are over time.
Marcus's will that his work be stepped on may mean that even though he worked hard to capture an essence of nature with his art, he doesn't want the work to be treated any differently than a naturally occurring patch of grass would be treated. The act recreating a nature scene indoors might also refer to the disconnect that occurs when comparing man-made things to things that occur naturally. With so many different concepts that could underly Marcus's work, perhaps he is interested in the cognitive dissonance that happens when we encounter his piece.
Thanks for the art and food for thought, Marcus!