Time-Lapse at SITE Santa Fe 1606 Paseo de Peralta (505) 989-1199
Exhibit runs from February 18-May 20, 2012
In addition to satisfying a taste for the the artistic permutations brought to us by our Museum of New Mexico system, with its panoply of offerings from folk art to photography, a hunger for the cutting-edge can be sated without a trip to the East or West Coast. How? SITE Santa Fe, of course!
Since its inception in 1995, SITE has become a valuable resource in the Santa Fe art world. The ample layout allows for installations and large-scale works, and the curatorial staff understands their mission well. February brought the opening of the newest offering from SITE, Time-Lapse 2012.
With an aim of demonstrating the mutability of art, Time-Lapse brings together four artists whose work are specifically intended to change over the course of the exhibition. And an opening event on February 17 also gave Santa Fe art-lovers the chance to enjoy the artistic antics of the Meow Wolf collective, a loose and exuberant confederation of multi-media artists who staged a happening (for lack of a better term) in the Time Capsule Lounge. They did not disappoint!
Curated by Irene Hofmann, Director and Chief Curator of the Phillips Collection, along with Assistant Curator, Janet Dees, and thanks to much-appreciated support by our local Barker Realty, this examination of change over time features work by artists Byron Kim, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation and Mary Temple.
Ms. Temple engages the viewer immediately with her Currency Series, begun in 2007, and continued with a drawing every day, inspired by the current news and headlines. She creates a portrait of a news-worthy political figure and accompanies it with text that elucidates its relevance. Laid out in a timeline, the drawings challenge us to remember what happened yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, and in so doing, remind us how quickly we consume the happenings of the day and move on. The drawings are proficient, and threads of content re-emerge as events wax or wane. A great concept, well-executed and well worth visiting, as the artist has committed to adding images throughout the run of the show!
Byron Kim’s Sunday Paintings, have a similar intent, although his skyscapes have a weekly format, with a painting of the sky every Sunday in whatever locale he finds himself. The work was begun 25 weeks before the opening, and each week during the exhibition, he will send a new painting after it is completed. The skyscapes include a textual diary of his musings, and it will be interesting to see how the sky changes and to wonder where he has been.
Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is represented by two works from a body of tech-savvy pieces he calls Recorders, which invite viewer participation. While these artworks originated in the artist’s mind, the completed pieces depend on interaction from the viewers for their final content. An apt reflection of the digital world, his work asks for a commitment to engage and leave a ghost of oneself behind. Probably not for those already discomfited by the encroachment of social media!
Eve Sussman is repsented by whiteoinwhite: algorithmicnoir, the most recent of her films in collaboration with the Rufus Corporation. Highly experimental, the work runs continuously with a changing narrative that never presents the same juxtaposition of image and words. Edited in real time by a computer algorithm drawing on over 3000 film clips and assorted voice-overs and music, the film revolves around a protagonist named Mr. Holz, placed in an evocation of Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal film of 1956, Alphaville. Having seen a tantalizing tidbit from this work in NYC, I welcomed the opportunity to actually sit down and contemplate it more thoroughly. Advice: Sit in the front row of seats, in case someone tall plops down in front of you!
The Time Capsule Lounge, comfortably outfitted with floor and stool seating and futuristic lighting, will be welcoming other public events: Musician Brian Mayhall will present a performance on March 30 at 5pm; Brendan Carn and Colin Woodford will perform a live/Skyped internet piece on May 4 at 5pm; and on May 12 at 11am, Axle Comtemporary Art celebrates a book launch for E Pluribus Unum, a composite portrait of Santa Fe. The Lounge also features a four “timely” films from the past, A Trip to the Moon (1902), La Jetee (1962), Powers of Ten (1977), and Primer (2004), organized by Jason Silverman of the CCA Cinematheque and screened continuously on a loop (thank you, Mr. Silverman, most enjoyable!).
A final touch is added by our beloved Collected Works Books, which supplied a selection of science fiction books, curated by Cynthia Melchert, in the Time Capsule for visitors to read and ruminate on. If you don’t finish before you leave, some titles will be on sale at the SITE bookstore, so you can continue your time travel at home.
SITE Santa Fe consistently presents work that invites contemplation of modern issues that confront not just artists but all of us. I welcome these opportunities for consideration and am grateful for the free Fridays that let me return repeatedly to see such interesting work!