Happy Valentine's Day in Northern New Mexico! Site Santa Fe opens an exhibit of one of those local yet "global' artists that fill our town, belying those who still insist on an absurd, archaic regional/ international split in the art world. Steina: 1970 - 2000, is a retrospective of a new media trailblazer.
"Long considered," write the show's curators, "a pioneer in the field of new media art by artists and curators alike, Steina has been making art for over three decades that has expanded the boundaries of video technology and electronic imaging. Through an ongoing process of experimentation and play, she deftly merged the unlikely and complex languages of electrical engineering and musical composition into a visual aesthetic that has set Steina apart from her contemporaries."
Steina's background as a musician has allowed her to create a continuous and contiguous exploration of electronic media from the inside out with a lyricism that belies her technical mastery. Violin Power, whose predecessors were first performed in the 1970s, remains an ongoing theme for the artist. Site will show three versions of this work and commission a fourth during the show. In Violin Power, the artist creates and manipulates the electrical impulses (and therefore video feed) by playing her violin.
The West (1983) is a multi-screen digital panorama of the artist's response to the wide-open spaces of the American Southwest, while Borealis (1993) takes small bits of the natural world from the artist's native Iceland and projects them onto large screens. Borealis begs the brain and the body to enter into flux of creation as the rhythms of the work wash over one. Steina opens to the public on February 15, from 5 - 7 pm.
Persistence of the Other: the love and war show created by the multi-talented Lisa Corradino opens at the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) with an opening reception on February 16 from 4-6 pm. Corradino explores the "unifying and sabotaging" forces of love and power in four groupings: gender; patriotism; love; and identity. This Foucauldian take on the radical alterity that we all possess, that can be shifted around throughout our psyches, our bodies, physical spaces and institutions becoming visible in a mix of painting, sculpture and installation. In Afghan Heart, Arabic script overlays what looks like an aerial view of land: the territory. The works patterned flatness recalls the delicate lines of a Persian miniature despite its scale and graphic power.
Voices from the Mound, which opened February 1 at the IAIA Museum, is devoted to the work of artists from two Choctaw nations, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. While some, like the prodigious Marcus Amerman and the late Valjean McCarty Hessing, are better known, this exhibition gives the New Mexico public a chance to see a wider range of Choctaw work.
Amerman, best known for beadwork "paintings" and objects, has a very clear take on "patriating' as well as "repatriating' images. Commenting on a depiction of Janet Jackson that was reproduced on the cover of Rolling Stone, the artist claimed, "If you (a Native artist) do a painting or a sculpture, say of Janet Jackson then it's like you're going over into western culture. With beadwork, you're taking it back. It becomes Indian. Janet Jackson becomes Indian."
An exhibition within an exhibition honours Valjean McCarty Hessing. Hessing depicted contemporary Choctaw life. She has been widely collected by both public institutions and private collectors and was honoured during her life with the title Master Artist of the Five Civilized Tribes. The IAIA Museum is becoming increasingly visible as a major venue for re-thinking native art.
The Wheelwright Museum is one of the little jewels of Santa Fe, founded in a very different era than the IAIA Museum. Started by Mary Cabot Wheelwright and the guidance of Hastiin Klah in 1937, The Wheelwright Museum was initially dedicated to preserving Navajo religion and culture. During the 1960s and 1970s the mission changed to collecting objects and archives pertaining to the arts and cultures of the Navajo, the Rio Grande Pueblos, and other native peoples of New Mexico. Extraordinary for the time, the Museum gave back several important medicine bundles and other objects. Recent acquisitions include major collections of southwestern baskets, Cochiti figurines, and modern Navajo and Pueblo jewelry. The Wheelwright has flawlessly collected contemporary as well as traditional arts.
This winter, the museum is exhibiting Native American Modern, 1960 to the Present, which consists of more than 300 works from the collection. Acquired over the last ten years, the work ranges from stunning collections of jewelry by Charles Loloma and others, Navajo folk art and examples of work by Tony Abeyta, Clifford Beck, Darren Vigil Gray, Harry Fonseca, Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Pablita Velarde, and Emmi Whitehorse.
Native American Modern is a delightful peek into a unique institution. It lays bare the full-hearted intention to collect across all media and objects with the ongoing collaboration of nations across Indian Country.
SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Friday 10 am - 7 pm, Admission is free.
Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm
1050 Old Pecos Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Hours: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
108 Cathedral Place
Santa Fe, Nm 87501
Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm
704 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm
Admission is free
The photo gallery below contains still images from the work of Icelandic video artist Steina. SITE Santa Fe is organizing the first retrospective exhibition of Steina's work - STEINA: 1970-2000.
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