SITE Santa Fe Announces: Casa tomada

Visual Arts

SITE Santa Fe Announces
New Commissions and Opening Weekend Programming for SITElines.2018

Casa tomada
SITElines.2018: New Perspectives on Art from the Americas

The upcoming exhibition, titled Casa tomada, is the third edition
of SITE’s ongoing biennial series with a focus on Contemporary Art from the Americas

August 3, 2018-January 6, 2019

PREVIEW EVENTS: August 1-4, 2018
PRESS PREVIEW: Thursday, August 2, 10 am – 12 pm PUBLIC OPENING: Friday, August 3, 2018

1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501


Santa Fe, NM, July 30, 2018 − SITE Santa Fe is pleased to announce the new works, commissions, and opening weekend programming for SITElines.2018: New Perspectives on Art from the Americas. This is the third installment in SITE Santa Fe’s reimagined biennial series with a focus on contemporary art of the Americas. Opening August 3, 2018, exhibition features 23 artists from eight countries and ten new commissions organized by a team of three curators: José Luis Blondet, Candice Hopkins, and Ruba Katrib, with Naomi the Beckwith as Curatorial Advisor.

The oldest international contemporary art biennial in the United States, SITE Santa Fe has been at the forefront of contemporary art since its founding in 1995. In 2014, SITElines was


introduced as a reimagining of the traditional biennial format with a geographic focus on the Americas and a new prioritization of collaborative curatorial practice and thematic links as well as a dedication to community and a commitment to promoting under-recognized points of view.

The title of SITElines.2018 references a 1946 short story by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar titled

“Casa tomada” (“House Taken Over”), which follows two shut-in siblings devoted to the care of their ancestral home. As a mysterious and unnamed presence begins occupying parts of the house, the siblings are eventually forced out onto the street without any material possessions.

“When the story was written, it had strong resonance in the cultural and political context of Argentina, which was then experiencing the rise of authoritarian power and the fomentation of fear––of change and of ‘outsiders,’” writes Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe. “Casa tomada plays off the tensions and ambiguities of Cortázar’s story, addressing the reciprocal and complex relationships among those who arrive, those who remain, and those who are forced out.”

The exhibition opens with a critical touchstone of Casa tomada: a cast of Juan de Oñate’s right foot. The installation addresses the history of a controversial monument dedicated to the 16th- century conquistador created in the 1990s by sculptor Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera. Located in Alcalde in northern New Mexico, Rivera’s oversize equestrian statue glorifies Juan de Oñate, who overtook the region through a brutal assault on its people. In 1599, Oñate ordered the amputation of the right foot for men from Acoma Pueblo and other pueblos; he killed more than 800 others. On December 29, 1997, the right foot of his statue was severed by a mysterious group called the Friends of Acoma. The missing foot resurfaced long enough to have been cast in clay, and this replica is included in SITElines.2018. The current location of the statue’s amputated foot remains a mystery. The installation tells a story of historical trauma more than four centuries old, trauma that continues to raise passions in New Mexico today. The monument’s severed foot stands in for justice that hasn’t yet been served—a foot for a foot instead of an eye for an eye.

SITElines.2018: New Perspectives on Art from the Americas

New Works and Commissions

Lutz Bacher (b. Berkeley, CA; lives in New York) will present artifacts from a high school classroom that reveal the absurd simplicity of imperialism as taught under the rubric of American history. Fragments, or subjects, include the “Vietnam War,” “The Red Scare,” “Brown v. Board of Education,” “Rock and Roll” and “Little Rock Nine”. On the exterior of SITE, Bacher has installed a found image of a decommissioned rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. The rocket is now part exhibition, part evidence of American innovation, national identity, and imperialism. Bacher underscores the relationships between technological advancement and the military-industrial complex. In the auditorium, Bacher’s slideshow installation collects handwritten notes documenting recent language from the news, television programs, advertisements, and bits overheard in the street. Collectively they become an instructive chorus of American culture after the 2016 presidential election.

Angela Bonadies (b. 1970, Caracas, Venezuela; lives in Madrid and Caracas) and Juan José Olavarría (b. 1969, Valencia, Venezuela; lives in Caracas) will present a selection of photographs


from the series La Torre de David [David’s Tower] in which the artists reflect upon a community of squatters who have taken over a bank’s unfinished high-rise building in Caracas, Venezuela, constituting the largest building ever squatted in in Latin America. The works document lived moments in the skyscraper, which was soon populated with bodegas, beauty parlors, daycare centers, and a strict code of conduct to control who belonged and who did not. This domestic takeover comes in direct conflict with the corporate architecture, which is ultimately inhumane.

Melissa Cody (b.1983, No Water Mesa, AZ; lives in Los Angeles) will present a group of new and recent weavings with words about love and loss. Considering the effects of history, including the legacy of the Navajo Long Walk and forced displacement, Cody asks: When you are forced at gunpoint from your homelands, is it possible to really return?

Paz Errázuriz (b. 1944, Santiago, Chile; lives in Santiago) will present a series of portraits of members of the Kawésqar, Indigenous nomadic people whose traditional territories are near the sea in western Patagonia. Through her images, Errázuriz seeks to dismantle the ethnographic and missionary gaze of previous accounts and to reaffirm the Kawésqar’s individuality and continued role in society.

Victor Estrada (b. 1965, Los Angeles; lives in Los Angeles) will present paintings that offer a dense, textural interpretation of the landscape he annually traverses, driving between Los Angeles and El Paso alongside the U.S.–Mexico border. Disorienting skies, unsettling atmospheres, recognizable fragments and figures are imposed against the American landscape.

Andrea Fraser (b. 1965, Billings, MT; lives in Los Angeles) will present from her new book, 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics. Tallying American public museums and their relationships to donors, Fraser charts the 2016 campaign contributions of museum trustees as a graphic wallpaper in the SITE’s lobby. Assessing wealth, influence, politics, and culture, the facts speak for themselves.

Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds (b. 1954, Wichita, KS; lives in Oklahoma) creates new monoprints in Santa Fe that collect snippets of language from pop songs, common sayings, fragments from reservation radio stations, as well as declarations taken on mass shootings from the Washita Creek Massacre in 1868 to Sandy Hook in 2012. Even with their abrupt shifts in tone and reference, the prints reveal an ongoing lexicon of “othering.”

Fernanda Laguna (b.1972, Buenos Aires, Argentina; lives in Buenos Aires) will present an ideal home in Painted, not empty, my house is painted. In this work, Laguna constructs a paper house for real paintings, complete with a cut-out window and door, yet utterly flimsy and insecure.

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (b.1930–2016; Baker Lake, Nunavut Territory) created drawings, embroidered textiles, silkscreen works and stencil prints and sculptures that depict Inuit stories and oral tradition. They also express the complex relationships between people, animals, and the spirit world, influenced by Mamnguqsualuk’s early migratory life in the Barren Lands region of the Arctic prior to her moving to the Baker Lake settlement in her 30s. The exhibition will present prints of Kiviuq—a time-traveling figure in Inuit oral tradition—that reveal the processes of transformation via ingestion: humans becoming animal and animals becoming human, often with all of time occurring on a single page.


Jumana Manna (b.1987, Princeton, NJ; lives in Berlin and Beirut) will be present her new film,

Wild Relatives

A seed vault of the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Aleppo is at risk, not only from war but from the impacts of

monocultures and genetic modification (meanwhile, seed copies remain in Svalbard). Additional copies are being reproduced in Lebanon by a group of young migrant women working the fields. Meanwhile, a young man forms his own heirloom seed archive, and a farmer rents his land to refugee camps for a better profit. This marks the first time the work will be shown in an exhibition in the United States.

Eduardo Navarro (b.1979, Buenos Aires; lives in Buenos Aires) will create a new site-specific interactive sculpture in the Railyard park adjacent to SITE Santa Fe. In the park behind the building, Cosmic Playground uses the sun to operate a game with various actions and thoughts as delineated by the sun’s shadow. Navarro’s interactive sculpture enables the player to reconnect with the sun’s energy as well as with other animals and entities.