Time Pieces: Wendover Landing, Common Landscape and Friends of the Orphan Signs
As part of the Time Pieces series of collaborative projects exploring time and space, poet Miriam Sagan has launched Wendover Landing, an interdisciplinary art piece merging poetry and sculpture, which asks the questions: What is our position vis a vis our own personal histories? How do we understand and express the history of the time into which we were born? How do we locate ourselves – as artists and as people – in relationship to these narratives? Sagan's poetry is combined with a textile installation by Alisa Dworsky and a flock of porcelain messenger pigeons by Christy Hengst in the front of the gallery. Sagan says, "Our notion of the world may be continually expanding, and yet human habitation and a sense of home give the observer a position from which to create. Where is home located in relationship to time, starting with the deep geologic, and continuing to the ephemeral present moment?" and explains, "Wendover, Utah is the site of the Enola Gay hangar and was an airforce base during WW2, now abandoned... a launch from it implies the atom bomb and the destruction of Hiroshima. The 'landing' is about many things: cause and effect come home to roost, the poet in a dystopic landscape, and the more redemptive image of Christy Hengst's dove-like birds and Alisa Dworsky's winged tent structures settling down peacefully. With both ascent and descent over a barren landscape there is hope in some healing from the imagination.
Common Language, Punctuating the Landscape by two west Texas artists, Suzi Davidoff and Rachelle Thiewes, consists of lush, large-scale photographs printed directly on aluminum and a twin-screen video production. Their project began with a joint residency at Fiskars Village, an artist's cooperative in Finland. They created several site-specific installations that responded to the natural landscape and architectural/historic structures by incorporating foreign objects and materials. Returning to the Chihuahuan desert, they continued the project as a conversation with the forested Finnish landscape. Each installation could be experienced in person for a short time before it was dismantled or worn away by natural forces. Because of the temporary nature of the installations, the process of photography became an extension and record of the sites and a central component of the artists' finished project. One image has been selected from each of the 20 installation sites and printed large scale directly on aluminum. Two videos will be projected on walls and floor in conjunction with the photographic installation. The exhibition is accompanied by a hardcover book with photographs and text relating to the project and process, with a special artist proof edition.
Friends of the Orphan Signs, an exhibition in the upstairs gallery organized by artist/curator Ellen Babcock, showcases historic Albuquerque road signs alongside artwork created in response to them, focusing on a dialogue between historic content and contemporary art practices. Friends of the Orphan Signs is a collaborative, public art initiative directed by Babcock, which utilizes abandoned road signs as sites for community generated public art. Once glowing with the neon life-blood of the Mother Road, road signs along Central Avenue have become skeletal remnants of their former selves. In a series of interventions both actual and proposed, Friends of the Orphan Signs, in collaboration with the city of Albuquerque Public Art Program, infuses these sites with the creative voices of our community. Featured projects in the exhibition present histories of signage in Albuquerque as a context to imagine the future of light, color, image and text along Central Avenue. Artists and contributing curators include Pete Yahnke Railand, Lindsey Fromm, Jessamyn Lovell, Aline Hunziker and Bethany Delahunt.