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.
April 27 – May 11, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 27 6-9pm
Poetry reading by Beata Tsosie-Peña 7:00pm
CLOSING RECEPTION: May 11, 2018 – 6:00-9:00pm
In Gently Radical Changing, Kaitlin Bryson engages with the legacy of toxic contamination and subsequent trauma in ecologies ridden with histories of environmental injustices. The work presented in the exhibition offers gestures of remediation and healing to these places, through bioremediative sculpture and performance, video, installation, and participatory workshops. In partnership with the Environmental Justice department of Tewa Women’s United, based out of Española, New Mexico, this work synergistically explores how radical environmental and social change can happen through compassionate acts of interspecies collaboration.
The work presented in the exhibition will transform and physically change throughout the duration of the show. Some works will appear and others will disappear. Viewers are encouraged to stop by throughout the exhibition run to observe the living works.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series
Gently Radical Changing, new works by Kaitlin Bryson is one of two exhibitions in 2018 that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar 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.
About the Artist
Kaitlin Bryson lives and works in the high deserts of New Mexico, and has spent her life working as an artist and organic farmer. Drawing from her experience as a cultivator, her artwork illuminates the processual nature of life through the lens of transformation. Biological materials are embedded into her work so that the “finished” pieces have the potential to play, transform, and live out their own dynamic processes. Her work unfolds as restorative gestures for human and nonhuman audiences, serving as a reminder that mutability and adaptability are the common grounds we all inhabit.
Bryson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Nevada, Reno in 2012, and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Art & Ecology from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Holland Project in Reno, Nevada, Site Santa Fe, and BioCultura in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has been performed at The Holocene in Portland, Oregon. In January of 2018 Bryson will participate in the Interface Residency Programme in Gallway, Ireland, supported by funding in part from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation.