We are pleased to present the catalog for hazel batrezchavez and mk’s incredible exhibition Across the Room From Each Other. The catalog features a forward by sheri crider and an essay by Alicia Inez Guzmán. This book was made possible by Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Award and the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund.
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.
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.
FREE Virtual Film Screening and Panel discussion
Thursday, November 12th, 2020
We will post a link here to join the Zoom screening the day of the event.
Sanitary Tortilla Factory and the ACLU are partnering to screen a powerful triptych, Grrrl Justice. The screening of Shontina Vernon’s film creates a powerful window into the human consequences of the criminal justice system.
Grrrl Justice follows the stories of three characters – one being released from juvenile detention, another being exploited by a sex trafficker, and one navigating the school to prison pipeline. The film examines how traumatic backgrounds including family violence, racism, poverty, sexual abuse, homophobia, and transphobia attach young people to systems that criminalize them, rather than alleviate the impacts of systemic oppression in their lives. It also takes an honest look at how these youth are employing their agency, body autonomy, and healthy resistance in pursuit of their own liberation.
At this critical moment in criminal justice reform, girls and queer youth of color are largely being left out of the broader public conversation – even as they have the fastest rising rates of incarceration. Among girls involved in the juvenile justice system, African-American, Native American and Latina youth are vastly over-represented and face harsher sentences and outcomes. 40% of girls in the juvenile justice system identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or gender non-conforming, and 85% of LGBTQ incarcerated youth are the youth of color. Grrrl Justice centers this reality while asking its audience members to consider their role in supporting the conditions for healthy girlhood. Grrrl Justice is produced by the Visionary Justice StoryLab with support from the Right of Return Fellowship. The national community engagement series and additional media is made possible by the generous support of individual donors and the NOVO Foundation.
More About Visionary Justice Storylab – https://www.visionaryjusticestorylab.org/
Across The Room From Each Other, a collaborative performance and exhibition with hazel batrezchavez and mk acting within a collective space interweaving ongoing conversations of family and practices of personal and public memorial over the duration of 6 weeks. Please check back for dates for performances, exhibitions openings for each phase.
PHASE ONE (October 2 – 23), hazel batrezchavez considers the layers of systematic oppression related to silencing and policing of individuals both at the border and on the stolen land we currently occupy. BLINDFOLDED UNDER THE SAME SUN moves freely between poetry, textiles, sound-video installation, and large-scale sculpture. It is grounded in batrezchavez’s familial history of migration from El Salvador/ Mexico and the inter-generational experiences they have shared when it comes to resistance, isolation, and survival.
BANNER on north side of STF is a temporary installment affiliated with the work of hazel batrezchavez. The artist is a participant of a coalition of artists, fronteristxs. As part of the movement for abolition and to divest public pension funds from private prisons, fronteristxs will install a wall-size message in downtown Albuquerque on Oct 2nd at 10AM. Watch live on Instagram and Facebook: @fronteristxs
Follow #NMERBdivest, a project of the Prison Divest New Mexico Coalition
PHASE TWO (October 26 – November 6), hazel batrezchavez and mk perform their collaborative piece Across The Room From Each Other, over the duration of four days, they will acknowledge their own perspective journeys, and collective memories regarding familial histories.
PHASE THREE (November 9 – 28), mk investigates coping mechanisms through the function of photographic memory within the last remaining family archives in their immediate family. You’ll miss me when I’m gone, calls attention to their uprooted deep southern upbringing in relation to the practices of memorial, forgiveness and celebration while addressing their personal and public relationships with family
hazel batrezchavez and MK received Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Award in 2020. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar (EVAS) series offers professional space for two Master of Fine Art graduate students per year as their final thesis show. The culminating exhibition launches them into their profession as an artist. With the series, we underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s innovative contemporary art scene.
hazel batrezchavez received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art and Anthropology from Grinnell College in 2017 and her MFA in Sculpture at the University of New Mexico in 2020. Since then she has been a part of various group exhibitions and pop-up shows in the United States, specifically in California, New Mexico, Iowa, and most recently México City, and Michoacán, México. batrezchavez is a recipient of the Center of Fine Arts, Dean’s Travel Grant Award, MaryAnn Evans Grant and of both the Lucile Lattanner Reid Brock and the Betty Sabo Scholarship. At the moment batrezchavez is partnering with the Santa Fe Dreamers Project as part of her StoryMaps Fellowship at the Santa Fe Arts Institute (SFAI) to create a collaborative project, that centers the voices of humans that have been forced to migrate from their homelands. As she continues to prepare for a performance at the border ports of entry in El Paso and Brownsville, Texas following her own families migration.
MK (Monica Kennedy) is an artist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2017, they received their BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and are currently attending the University of New Mexico for their MFA in Photography. They are originally from a small rural town by the name of Sulligent, Alabama, and this place has become a driving force for the mass majority of their work.
Using found items, stories, and the longing to be back with their family in this small town. They work in a variety of mediums ranging from photography, printmaking and sculpture in order to pursue and question their upbringing, identity, family, and the terms of loss and memory. They have shown at institutions such as the Blaffer Art Museum, The National Hispanic Cultural Center and SITE Santa Fe.