October 1 – 30, 2021
Opening Reception: October 1, 5 – 7 pm
Sanitary Tortilla Factory presents, Adaptive Immunity, an exhibition by Toni Gentilli that renders the entanglement of human and environmental health, specifically the disproportionate impacts of autoimmunity on women and other chronic conditions linked to ecosystem degradation, through a compendium of naturally dyed textiles, weavings, paintings, sculptures, chlorophyll prints and botanical hydrosols.
Over the past five years Gentilli has worked almost exclusively with cottonwood trees as both subject and material. In the Middle Rio Grande Valley where she lives, the majority of cottonwoods are in decline and struggling to regenerate due to disruption of the flood cycle and riparian ecology. Moreover, extended droughts resulting from climate change are causing weakened immune systems in cottonwoods, and so they increasingly fall victim to fungal infection and other environmental stressors. Beyond living among them, Gentilli feels a deep kinship with Rio Grande cottonwood trees because she has a chronic case of Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, a pulmonary infection caused by microscopic soil-dwelling fungus endemic to the Southwestern United States. Coccidioidomycosis is on the rise due to global warming, intensified dust storms, and desertification, and further fueled by sprawling urban expansion, industrialized agriculture, and other disruption of soil ecosystems.
Gentilli’s continued reflection on these issues has led her to understand that the climate crisis is a shared immunological plight which upsets longstanding notions of humans apart from nature, self and other, and individuals with discrete bodies versus interdependent communities of organisms. Her adaptive response has been to conscientiously reinsert herself into the web of connection between people, plants, the Earth’s regulatory systems and our mutual wellbeing, and she invites you to join her on this journey toward collective healing.
Space Race UNCLASSIFIED
September 3 – 25, 2021
Opening Reception: Friday September 3, 2021 at 4-9pm
Performance: Saturday September 4th, 2021 at Noon
Masks Required at all events
Sanitary Tortilla Factory is proud to present Space Race UNCLASSIFIED by Michelle Marie Murphy (M.M.M.). M.M.M. shares artwork + artifacts + opinions after a decade-long contract with NASA. The artist was previously a photo-based propagandist for science + the US Military and now insights with social + body-based practices, research, and provocation, the goal of being & becoming: civil rights & knowledge sharing.
MMM reveals NASA’s Unclassified human history: Operation Paperclip [Nazi Scientists who were given employment and citizenship in America at the end of WWII to work for the US Government], Civil Rights era missteps, and collaborations with Disney.
What did it feel like to become irrationally attracted to the Moon, the pulse of our tides, the reflection of our life star, ONLY to discover that 12 square white American men have gone? MMM sold telescopes and STEM toys at the downtown mall in Cleveland from 1998-2003. MMM went to Adult Space Camp as “Lady Apollo” in 2003 on a credit card and found their-self 2 years later in a full term contract with the government as a NASA Photographer. They then left this “lifelong” career because eventually they knew exactly how their work contributes to weapons in war. MMM is a pacifist, an artist, a scholar that was swept into a brilliant sparkling whirlpool of DREAMS (and Power) and lost sight of the point. To love. To work together. To dream together. To die together. To live together. They are imperfect and tired (sometimes) but “light up” with every person they are privileged enough to speak with. MMM will be here for part of the duration of the exhibition. They would love to meet you, to listen, to share insights, to speak about space and the future, to see.
From photographic archive digs to solo stunts at White Sands National Park & Missile Range, MMM’s work is a series of art, actions, and revision notes. They combat supremacy through site visits, conversations, education, and embodied practices. MMM finds the truth and responds to American amnesia, and the pervasive culture of “Explorers” that continue to “dream” and traverse without human and eco care. The Artist reveals human-based histories (oppressive and lesser-known) and inspires new culture-in-the-making.
Michelle Murphy (they/them/theirs) is a visual and performance artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Their work and research orbits around lesser-known sites and histories of the American Space Program.
Murphy earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as a New Artist’s Society Fellow and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Murphy has participated in several artist’s residencies including: Mana Contemporary Miami, SITELAB at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC). Murphy’s interdisciplinary work has been exhibited in NYC, Paris, Switzerland, Guatemala City, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Detroit, and Cleveland. Murphy co-curates the art and culture publication MAKE8ELIEVE with Swiss Artist + Designer named Cetusss. From 2013-2015 Murphy was Director and Founder of an Artist’s Residency Program and Gallery, Micro Art Space, in Cleveland Ohio which provided solo exhibitions, support, documentation, and mentorship for 18 Artists over 3 years. Murphy has lectured at SAIC, University of New Mexico, University of Chicago, Ithaca College, University of Utah, Loyola University, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College.
Friday, July 9th, 2021
Sanitary Tortilla Factory is proud to host “The Get Down”, a Blick Lives Matter ABQ event. Join us on Friday, July 9th from 4-10 pm. There will be food, vendors, art, and music including live performances by Chloë Nixon, Khali Sol, Z THE AUTHOR, and more!
EXHIBITION OPENING: Friday, August 13, 5-7pm
Sanitary Tortilla Factory is proud to announce our Summer 2021 Artist in Residence Mitchell Squire will be joining us July-August, 2021. Squire is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator whose practice encompasses architecture, visual art, and the study of material culture. He has mounted solo exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation (NY), White Cube (London), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha), and the Des Moines Art Center, and has had work included in signature group exhibitions across the United States such as Richard Gray Gallery (Chicago), Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse), and Minneapolis Institute of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Des Moines Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art as well as major private collections worldwide. He has completed residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and has been an invited participant in educational programs at Museum of Modern Art (NY), New Museum (NY), and Pérez Art Museum Miami. Squire currently holds the position of Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University where he took both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and has been visiting professor at Bernard & Ann Spitzer School of Architecture at City College New York (2020/21), University of Tennessee (2020), University of California Berkeley (2012 and 2015), University of Michigan (2009), and University of Minnesota (2000), and has taught abroad in Rome, Italy (2004, 2007). He has received awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) for New Faculty Teaching (2005) and Creative Achievement (2009).
In 2020, Squire co-curated the exhibition “Black Stories” at the Des Moines Art Center, which was his first major curatorial effort, and founded the Gateway Fund, a self-sustained, self-funded public art project that distributes micro grants to emerging BIPOC artists, designers, activist, and public intellectuals living and working in Iowa. He also initiated the Black Chapel project, an on-going site-specific installation that is his largest sculpture to date. The project is a creative emplacement within a 3-story antique corn-sheller located at Black’s Heritage Farm in Ames, Iowa, about 1.5 miles south of Hwy 30. Built in 1965/66, Squire intends the site be used for explorations in Black spatial practice, specifically Black performance and sound art, in addition to a sculptural repository for antique jewelry.
Another on-going project, which Squire began in 2020 under the annoyingly academic title “Self Portraits on the Socio-Sexual Effects of Extractive Economies and the Material Geophysics of Race” but which he has since coined “the sexuality of the thicket”, he plans to pursue during residency at Sanitary Tortilla Factory through drawing, photography, and performance. This project marks Squire’s formal return to self-portraiture which he began in the 90s, through which he hopes to assert a set of ever-shifting imaginaries of sexualities of the ‘field’, in the materiality of a ‘wilding’ Blackness, in the Black Outdoors. Examples of this work will be featured in the upcoming Issue #15 of Aint-Bad, an independent publisher of contemporary art.
THE FIRE NEXT TIME…a longing in our hearts….
THE FIRE NEXT TIME is an exhibition that looks back to last summer’s national and regional protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd. Symbols of Confederate and colonial oppression took center stage in gathering forces imagining an undeniable reckoning. Simultaneously terrifying and hopeful, the protests of last summer are a year behind us. This exhibition will include ephemera from recent protests in hopes to remind us of the people, passion, commitment and sacrifice many of our communities made in hope of a better tomorrow. Part memorial, part instigation, part celebration – the artists in this exhibition want you to dig deep today and tomorrow.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the James Baldwin book published in 1963. The title is a reminder of the long history of white supremacy and the deadly struggle for equality in this country. The Fire Next Time brings together local artists working in sound, performance, painting and physical objects. These works exist against a backdrop of community sourced signs, banners and objects from the demonstrations and protests of last summer. The exhibition also honors community led projects emphasizing the good that can be done when community members come together.