Nearly one hundred works of art by the late Fritz Scholder are included in Fritz Scholder: An Intimate Look at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, (108 Cathedral Place, July 18, Reception for Indian Market, August 20, 4 - 6 pm). "As one of IAIA's most illustrious professors from its founding decade, the 1960s," writes Curator Joseph Sanchez, "Scholder is known for deconstructing the myth of the American Indian, and constantly examining the concept of identity. Considered controversial at first because of his realist take on Indian life, his contribution to the success of contemporary Indian Art and his influence on artists, Native and non-Native, continues today." In Indian in Paris (1976), for example, a fully dressed warrior stands in front of the Eiffel Tower. Bisected with a perfect Golden Section, and combining a perspectival post-card view of the tower with a flattened abstract rendition of the rest of the space and the figure, the print is playful but also clearly in the viewer's face as a play on primitivizing versus classicizing. Work in multiple media that spans his career gives the viewing public a peek into the artist's life.
On Friday, July 18, two shows open at Linda Durham Contemporary Art (1101 Paseo de Peralta, 5 - 7pm). Yozo Suzuki continues his Personal Identification Artifacts series in which he takes all the methods that people use to identify and classify people, combines them and then submerges them beneath gold leaf. DNA mapping, fingerprints, photographs, dental records and so on hint at presumed identities. These creations construct identity yet reveal its inherently fragile nature. In contrast to work by Scholder's generation, the thirty-something Suzuki plays with identity as inherently unstable rather than something that one can use to re-formulate images. Videos are submerged in stone, wood, glass and steel in Susanna Carlisle and her husband Bruce Hamilton's exhibit, Elements. Carlisle and Hamilton's long participation in new media allow them to utilize seemingly naïve camerawork to invigorate and investigate relationships between the classical elements and perceptual realities.
As part of the Santa Fe Art Institute's ongoing Outsider: Tourism, Migration, Exile program, Armando Espinosa and Craig Johnson will present a showing of their most recent project Danza de la Pluma on July 21 (Tipton Hall, 6 pm) and a workshop (Tuesday, July 22 through Friday, July 25, Santa Fe Art Institute, 1600 St. Michael's Drive). Danza de la Pluma is a traditional dance still performed in Teotitlan del Valle in southern Oaxaca. The duo interviewed dancers and community members, then filmed the dance itself on December 12, the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Espinosa and Johnson are concerned with what they call Fair Trade Art and Anthropology through their organization, the Metamorfosis Documentation Project. Metamorfosis was founded in the spirit that documentation of threatened cultural rituals was, in itself, serving the interests of the first world, but not really "giving back" to the communities. Now, Espinosa and Johnson give the video document and its reproduction rights back to the community at a formal reception. The third phase of a Metamorfosis project is to present the documentation to wider audiences-such as the Santa Fe Art Institute-in order to foster dialogue and respect between cultures.
The 57th Annual Spanish Market takes place on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27 on the Plaza. Begun by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in the 1920s, Spanish Market was revived during the mid -1960s and has become the premier showcase for traditional Hispanic Arts. Come downtown and admire tin work, colcha, santos, hide painting, straw appliqué and other media often made by multiple generations within a family. Spanish Market is a unique opportunity to enjoy New Mexico's Spanish culture. Children as young as five exhibit in the children's market where often the freshest and most charming (and less expensive!) work can be found. Individual artists demonstrate their techniques while a steady stream of performers entertain.
Alongside the traditional arts on the Plaza, Contemporary Spanish Market provides a venue for Hispanic artists working in non-traditional media. After the revival of Spanish Market, many felt left out because of the strictures on what was shown. Was the Market an attempt to control and limit Hispanic culture? Eventually, the concurrent Contemporary Market was born, creating an even larger festival of vibrant culture.
These are just a few of the many and varied shows and festivals taking place mid-summer in Santa Fe. Attend them, but be sure to poke your head into other galleries and museums, listen to the always-stunning Chamber Music Festival and music on the Plaza, eat corn-on-the-cob and fajitas, and enjoy the New Mexico sun.