Wednesday, July 9, 2008

the local and the global

There is so much going on in Santa Fe in the summer. This weekend, for instance, there's the Folk Art Market and Art Santa Fe, an art fair, in which the gallery that I'm in for the summer show will participate (not with my work, though, only their signed on artists.) I haven't even thought about visiting Chimayo, Abiquiu, Bandalier park, or any of the places I've driven through on past visits, nor have I gone to Museum Hill to see the wonderful Folk Art Museum again. If I hadn't been here before, I'd never get a bit of work done.

Last night we went to a panel discussion at Site Santa Fe, where the Biennial is now in progress. It was curated by Lance Fung, whose process was a little different than most Biennials. Read about it here.

The panel was very interesting and inspiring-three artists from Santa Clara pueblo (mother, daughter, and niece, the Naranjo-Morse family) who participated in the Biennial, and an artist from Bulgaria. The discussion was about place, identity, and community. The women were so articulate, thoughtful and aware; not only of their place and function as the "tour guides" in a sense to the artists who came from elsewhere, but aware of the changing nature of indigenous communities, especially in Santa Fe. So many artists live far from where they are from, whether they settle in Berlin, New York, or wherever- but these women have been in the same place for generations, and pointed out that wherever you go, you take your sense of place with you. Their work in the show is a collaborative piece- an adobe "line" that snakes around the city, looping onto buildings, going through trees, being buried, then emerging from the ground. Santa Clara is famous for pottery, yet one of the women said "we don't 'own' clay as a material- many cultures use clay." She talked about how the many stories of her people get "put in a box" for consumption- i.e., Indian Market.

I haven't had a chance to see the exhibition in detail, and a lot of it is off-site, in various locations around the city. My first impression is that it's a mixed result. I'm really glad I went to the panel, because the dialog that took place was so sincere and generous, that it made me glad to be an artist in fellowship with other artists.

I couldn't get any photos off the Site Santa Fe website to post, because it's all Flash animation, but if you're interested in seeing some of the work and the artists, it's at

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