In the heart of New Mexico, where history and culture blend seamlessly, the exhibition “Art Meets History: Technologies of the Spirit” at 516 ARTS challenges the notion of a singular narrative defining this diverse state. The exhibition, now in its second iteration following “Many Worlds Are Born,” offers a unique lens through which to view the rich tapestry of New Mexico’s stories, as expressed through art.At the core of this exhibition is the idea that technology is not confined to gadgets and gizmos but can also encompass rituals and self-care practices deeply ingrained in the community. According to co-curator Alicia Inez Guzmán, the exhibition aims to juxtapose New Mexico’s myriad histories, revealing the intricate web of narratives that shape this region.
One artist, Josh T. Franco, an art historian and archivist for the Smithsonian Institution, delves into the legacy of the iconic artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Franco’s work “On Art History (for Georgia O’Keeffe)” intricately captures a cloud from O’Keeffe’s famous 1960s series using acrylic, watercolor, and projector slides. In his exploration, Franco references a black and white photograph of O’Keeffe holding a stone taken by Ralph Looney in 1962. His installation also features clothing from both himself and O’Keeffe, providing a unique perspective on the artist’s life and influence.
Another artist, Marcus Zuniga, delves into cosmology and personal lineage through his work. He creates a “chuparosa” (hummingbird) using light and mirrors, inspired by his great-great grandmother and her contribution to New Mexico’s cultural landscape. The installation, featuring hexagon-shaped mirrors and video projections, draws parallels with space telescopes, emphasizing the efficiency of this geometric shape in measuring space.
Zuniga’s connection to rural New Mexico and his family’s heritage is deeply woven into his art. Through genealogy research, he traced his lineage back to Hispanics who fled Santa Fe following the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. His decision to name the project “chuparosa” pays homage to his grandmother and her enchanting interactions with hummingbirds.
While the artists in “Art Meets History: Technologies of the Spirit” draw inspiration from New Mexico’s rich past, they also embrace modern technologies and innovative mediums to tell their stories. For instance, hexagons symbolize not only the cosmos but also the James Webb Space Telescope, emphasizing the intersection of technology and culture.
This exhibition not only offers a unique perspective on New Mexico’s histories but also serves as a reminder of the diverse narratives that shape our understanding of this remarkable region. It highlights how art and technology can bridge the gap between the past and the present, connecting us with the stories that have defined New Mexico’s identity over the centuries.
As visitors explore this thought-provoking exhibition, they are invited to ponder the profound ways in which technology and art intersect, revealing the multifaceted tapestry of New Mexico’s past, present, and future.
516 ARTS’ “Art Meets History: Technologies of the Spirit” not only presents captivating artworks but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the complexities of New Mexico’s cultural heritage.
In a world where the convergence of art and technology continues to evolve, exhibitions like this one serve as a testament to the enduring power of creativity in unraveling the mysteries of history.
Explore “Art Meets History: Technologies of the Spirit” and embark on a journey through time and culture, where art and technology converge to tell the captivating story of New Mexico’s diverse and ever-evolving identity.