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, Untitled, 2018, dimensions variable, photographs and packing tape.
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.
…on our street, twice a day- a steady stream of people travel to and from the Albuquerque Rescue Mission for food and additional resources. In my mind, it is a welcome reminder of privilege and deep disparities thickening in our communities. Last summer, we hosted our first social practice visiting artist. Christine Wong Yap’s project, Belonging was an outsider’s foray into one’s sense of belonging in a community. (to be continued)
two years ago(2016)…..”Let’s make this the next Wynwood”, neighbor business owner. Little did they know I had just returned from Miami a few weeks ago. I had stumbled upon the remnants of what appeared to be an industrial, working class neighborhood turned art party funded by huge wealth connected to BMW, UBS and the deep pockets of blue chip galleries. A year before that I had started reading about the relationship between artists and gentrification. I had just spent the past 8 years spending much of my time on my hands and knees setting tile in the mcmansions on the east side to pour all my income in the creating a sustainable art space.
By Emma Difani and Kacie Erin Smith
May 18 – June 22, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 18, 6-9pm
Sanitary Tortilla Factory is pleased to present Still Moving. In Still Moving Emma Difani and Kacie Erin Smith create print and sculptural works which respond to how people relate to land — the urban wild and cultivated landscape, respectively. Difani drafts maps for discovering alternative definitions of nature in the city that embrace the grown and the constructed alike, charting sincere connections to place. Smith offers a personal take on notions of utility, tradition and belonging based on her study of transhumance while on residency in Spain. With this work, the artists are still learning through endless observation, still moving through continual exploration.
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.
April 6 – 21, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 6, 6-9pm
Artist Talk: Monday, April 9, 4-5 PM, UNM College of Fine Arts, Room 1020
Football is a manifestation of the cultural processes that shape male-identified formations of body. Using a visual vocabulary that hovers between photography and painting, these works on paper explore the aspects of heroism, romance, and idealized gender role play embedded in representations of college football players.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series
Football is Nick Simko’s UNM MFA Photo thesis exhibition and the first 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
Nick Simko is an interdisciplinary artist. Simko’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States including the Walters Art Museum, The University of New Mexico Art Museum, 516 Arts, and Hillyer Arts Space. Simko holds a BFA degree in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is presently completing an MFA in Photography at the University of New Mexico.