The Black Hole in Los Alamos, NM, 2009. Photo by Jeff Keyzer
Black Hole/Atomic City (State of Decay)
August 2 – 30, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION: August 2, 6-9pm
Black Hole/Atomic City (State of Decay) is an exhibition dedicated to alternative stories related to “the nuclear business” in New Mexico since the dawn of the Anthropocene/Trinity test near Tularosa in July 1945. The combined burden of nuclear byproducts and waste that decays over tens of thousands of years weighs heavily on New Mexico, a “national sacrifice zone.” The show will be on view until August 30.
Impacts that largely affect Indigenous and rural communities from nuclear weapons and their production in New Mexico and around the world, are not featured in the celebratory story of the Atomic Age promoted by Los Alamos, set for the commemoration in 2020 of the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and only cities to be destroyed with atomic weapons.
What is the impact of the theft and decimation of sacred lands? How have involuntary radiation exposures from atomic explosions and contamination from mining and milling of uranium affected generations? What are the ongoing threats from transportation and storage of radioactive waste?
This will be one of numerous efforts to highlight alternative views of our nuclear world during the lead up to the Anniversary of the Nuclear Age. The Black Hole, a Los Alamos business known world-wide for recycling equipment and materials from the Los Alamos Scientific/National Laboratory, was owned by anti-nuclear activist Edward Grothus, who died in 2009. Artist and activist Barbara Grothus is the lead organizer of the project.
Artists include: Josh Atlas, Brandi Beckett, Mitch Berg, Anna Bush Crews, Sabrina Gaskill, Barbara Grothus, Sheri Inez deLopaz Kotowski, Sto Len, Melanie Mills, Santiago Perez, Thomas Powell, Rachele Riley, Yasuyo Tanaka, Jessi Walsh, Nora Wendl
This exhibition was made possible in part by the Fulcrum Fund. The Fulcrum Fund is an annual grant program, created and administered by 516 ARTS as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
April 12th – 26th, 2019
Opening: Friday, April 12th, 6-9 pm
Closing: Friday, April 26th, 6-9 pm
Ananke, the Necessity, was considered one of the forces dominating nature and human fate in ancient Greece; even the gods were subjects to her; a mechanical force of chained events, reactions, given possibilities. In this exhibition, Viola Arduini explores and suggests a renewed understanding of the power of such force, while suggesting the necessity for change. Ananke is the mechanical, blind destruction humans are causing on the planet, yet Ananke is the need of a reaction.
Arduini’s creative practice investigates relationships formed by humans, animals, and technology, engaging in issues of biodiversity loss, promoting new forms of dialogue about coexistence.The impact of human activity on the planet is so enormous, cohabitation with other species seems impossible. Mixing languages and practices from both art and science, Ananke offers a space for questioning and promoting change regarding the current ecological crisis.
Arduini’s work narrates – through embodied aesthetic experience for the audience– stories that are just small enough to be felt and thought; yet are complex and open for generating new connections, feelings, and ideas. Embodiment becomes a tool through which stories and ideas are activated, a space for generating different views of extinction and cohabitation; ideas of kinship, interspecies relationships and human presence become the ground for seed
ing different awareness and possibilities for new archetypes.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar
Ananke by Viola Arduini is a University of New Mexico MFA thesis exhibition that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s 2019 Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar (EVAS) series. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.
Used to Know Me Now
Teena Lee Ryan
Opening: Friday, March 22, 5-8pm
Closing: Friday, April 5, 5-8pm
My maternal family is from Appalachia. I am the third generation to be named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Not only was the double ‘e’ in my first name inspired by the general, but my middle name as well. Changing my name would be a meaningless gesture, rather I demolish, rewrite and reimagine my personal narrative, in the hope I can construct my own legends. I explore ritual, creation, destruction, fiction, the fallibility of memory and the transformation of identity. Through my work, I believe it is possible to originate and uphold my own story.
Ritual, creation, destruction, and transformation are utilized to uncover my present self. I use these tools to conceive and fabricate my own story. A story that will exist as my legend, in the way I deem honest. What these works all share is an exploration of the embodiment of knowledge and experience. Most of the work is a ritualistic exploration of the ways that embodiment, which physicality weighs on the soul, is digested and lost, is ripped asunder, is a skeleton that harms as much as it helps. I make artifacts as ritual offerings to reclaim myself.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar
Used to Know Me Now by Teena Lee Ryan is a UNM MFA Photo thesis exhibition and the first of two exhibitions in 2019 that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar (EVAS) series. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.
Friday, September 7th, 2018
Jeremy Adonis Carlson, sheri crider and Gary Sanchez will lead public participation notating the walls of the gallery with the collateral impacts of maligned policies of criminal justice on our local communities (focused on felony convictions- eviction from public housing, ineligibility for federal education loans and grants, and a ban from food stamp programs).Live screen printing by DRY MTN, poetry by Manuel Gonzalez and daughter . Large scale building projection & 200 free tacos (El Paisa Express)
Informed by SMART JUSTICE Campaign (ACLU) participants hope to shift criminal justice policy and build meaningful narratives that move criminal justice reform.
Project is a part of Our Town an Albuquerque City Wide project sponsored by the NEA.
Beautiful Test Sites / Now I am become death
July 13 – August 31, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 2018, 6 – 9 pm
In Beautiful Test Sites / Now I am become death, Mitchell Squire and Nora Wendl make full use of their research-based and architecturally-founded practices to present a series of photographs that meditate upon “beautiful test sites”: spaces and bodies wastelanded by the American techno-utopian imagination of the 20th century. For Squire, this means unearthing a series of inherited mid-20th century photographs taken by an amateur photographer—who at the time served as Executive Secretary of the Iowa Industrial and Defense Commission (1941-45), the first Director of the Iowa Development Commission (1945-53), and State Director of Civil Defense during WWII and again in the 1950s—and whose subjects were both women and nuclear blasts, whose images Squire alters through the strategic use of gilded frames, veils, and glass vases. Nora Wendl presents a series of photographs taken during her recent occupational performance of the all-glass Farnsworth House, designed by Mies van der Rohe for Dr. Edith Farnsworth in the mid-20th century—a house that was conceived the same year as the first American nuclear test. Wendl pairs these with a series of archival photographs of women within this house who have commonly been mistaken as being Dr. Farnsworth, which she heavily annotates with autobiographical and biographical information, thus bringing specificity to women who are otherwise anonymous within the visual discourse of architectural history: researcher and subject alike.
Above Image: Mitchell Squire, all your fears are caused from novel reading, 2018
The mode of operation in viewing visual information today, and particularly photographs, is that even a casual observer must work as a journalist to determine veracity. At the same time, the photograph is a way to arrest beauty, to prolong it, and to catalog even those places and bodies that are wastelanded until a future time when they can be read and named.
Mitchell Squire: Mitchell Squire is an artist and educator whose practice encompasses architecture, visual art, and the study of material culture. His work employs techniques of assemblage and informational strategies of collection and archival presentation, toward understanding the sociopolitical complexity of material and immaterial artifacts. He holds the position of Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University.
Nora Wendl: Nora Wendl is a writer, artist and educator who uses disciplinary strategies drawn equally from literature, visual art, and architecture to amplify overlooked or suppressed narratives within the built and unbuilt environment. She holds the position of Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico.