Ilana Crispi, San Francisco State University
Mission Dirt Project, 2017 - ongoing
Mission Dirt Line Blends
ceramic (made from soil excavated from under the artist's San Francisco Mission district apartment), objects found during excavation, gold, Mission pay dirt (weighed and bagged Mission soil), scaffolding (steel and boards sourced from a retiring SF contractor and then reconstructed and finished into a table, shelving, bench and sluice), native plants (including yerba buena used to make and serve tea), mixed media
Ilana Crispi’s Mission Dirt Project is an extended ceramic and community excavation project. In what the artist describes as “a kind of guerrilla land grab,” Crispi has taken soil from under her apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco to share with neighbors and use as the raw material for a variety of projects. She uses this local soil to make ceramics, grow native plants, and even mine for gold. In the process, she questions the meaning and ownership of local land, and investigates landscape: how we imagine and perceive our environment, and the physical material of place. Through the tactile experience of the project, Crispi invites exchange and a shared re-experience of place, history, and human connection; she uses the dirt to examine the geologic, but also the complicated social histories that soil holds.