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.
Nora Wendl, Guard Everything Appropriately and All Will Be Well
Performative legal document redaction & film screening
On view: March 11 – 15, 2019, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In 2014, I was given access to the transcript of the trial van der Rohe vs. Farnsworth, in which architect Mies van der Rohe and the client that commissioned him to build a glass house in Illinois, Dr. Edith Farnsworth, sued one another. The architect alleged that she still owed him some of the cost of constructing the house, and she responded by alleging that he had misrepresented the cost of the house to her, and was practicing fraudulently—they both sought financial remuneration from the other, and much is revealed about their personal and working relationship in this document.
The transcript, a hefty 4,000 pages, is guarded by the estate of Mies van der Rohe, who are concerned with preserving the architect’s legacy—indeed, his grandson describes it as a “grave concern.” My negotiation of access to this document as a writer, artist and historian meant that I was bounded by the requirement that I not make the information available to others, under threat of legal action. “Guard everything appropriately, and all will be well,” and “I know you’ll conduct yourself professionally” were final instructions from the estate—both vague, and threatening.
From March 11 to March 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I will clock in at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory exhibition space to redact this 4,000-page document in public. Working within the confines of typical American working hours, I will not be able to address visitors: I must continue to redact with a deadline of Friday, March 15th, 5:00 p.m. Visitors who arrive during Redaction Hours are invited to take any available seat in the gallery. This performance is meant to reveal what it means, in physical terms, to read and redact such a large document, to work at preventing it from entering into the flow of documents that make up history.
Also on view in the exhibition space during Redaction Hours and at the reception is a two-channel film made during a recent residency at Santa Fe Art Institute in which I worked with filmmaker Melinda Frame to prepare for this durational performance at Sanitary Tortilla Factory.
207 by Darby Photos
Nov. 9th, 2018 – Jan. 4, 2019
Closing Reception: Jan. 4, 2019 5-8pm
In 207, Darby Photos’ depicts schools that have been the sites of mass shootings. The quilts these schools are depicted in represent safe spaces that have become scenes of horror and destruction. Buildings such as Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, as well as lesser, discussed schools like Red Lake High School in Michigan and West Nickel Mines school in Pennsylvania became physical manifestations of our society’s willingness to sacrifice our children to gun culture. The quilts confront the audience with the new banality of mass murder.
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.