A German transplant to Minnesota’s Arrowhead
Region, Frank Sander has learned that, if connected to
nature, a person can live very simply; and through
simplicity comes freedom. One Earth, one chance is
the eco-imperative that links his philosophy with his
Human Nature features three main architectural
components—Fishhouse, Bathhouse and
Beaverhouse—each a distinct, symbolic, sensory
experience that reflects the artist’s belief that the
environment must be our primary issue if we are to survive.
Fishhouse speaks to the container of time and the socialization of the
human soul. Its roof is an ash and beeswax-coated boat, overturned and
held high by four strong timbers. From the roof, Sander suspends 365
resin-encased, smoked herring—each representing a day of the calendar
Beaverhouse comments on our calculated, often ruthless exploitation of
nature. Its form is built around a log frame of poplars felled by beaver.
Underneath it sit 70 government-issue file cabinets, each drawer
containing a beaver skull. The skulls were discovered at a remote
woodland site, where a long-ago trapper had tossed them.
Bathhouse is more hopeful in its suggestion that we can find our way
back. Under the structure’s roof—an aquarium containing live fish—is
a chair standing in a small reflecting pool, which, to the artist, signifies
Frank Sander’s work is made possible, in part, by the support of the Duluth Art Institute.
Human Nature is presented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program, an
artist-managed curatorial department of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.