SANTA FE, NM.- SITE Santa Fe
announced the opening of SITElines.2016 Biennial. This is the second installment in SITE Santa Fes reimagined biennial series with a focus on contemporary art from the Americas. The exhibition features over 35 artists from 11 countries and 6 new commissions organized around intersecting ideas brought together by a team of five curators−Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli.
Under the leadership of Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe, this years biennial, titled much wider than a l ine, is an articulation of the interconnectedness of the Americas and various shared experiences such as the recognition of colonial legacies, expressions of the vernacular, the influence of indigenous understandings, and our relationship to the land.
much wider than a line takes its title from Leanne Simpsons, Dancing on our Turtles Back, a book about life ways of Nishnaabeg people. In her accounts of non-colonial conceptions of nationhood and sovereignty, it is the joint care taking required in the overlapping territorial boundaries between one Indigenous nation and another that are traditionally relationship-building. The relationships that emerge are, like the borders themselves, much wider than a line.
The organizing principles of the exhibition take their cue from the remarkable amphitheater structure in Santa Fe designed by the architect Paolo Soleri. Commissioned in the 1960s by Lloyd Kiva New, then Arts Director of the newly founded Institute of American Indian Arts, the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater was originally built to support their groundbreaking curricula in contemporary American Indian drama. The organic concrete building drew on principles of Native American design, and was host to extraordinary performances of American Indian Theater that bridged cultures and histories. The amphitheater was completed in 1970 on the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School (established in 1890 to assimilate Native American children from tribes throughout the Southwestern United States). Today, the structure stands empty, derelict, and is very much a contested site. The amphitheater represents both a historically potent forum for the exploration of collaborative cross-cultural processes and a stand-in for complexities of geopolitical tensions that presently exist in the region and throughout the Americas.
Key thematic threads explored in much wider than a line include:
The importance of vernacular sources− in design, architecture, textiles, and technique− that influence the work of artists throughout the Americas.
Performance, ritual, histories, and materials drawn from indigenous sources, as they relate to the natural world.
The complexity of networks and affinities in the Americas through questions around identity, race, borders, and emerging de-colonial practices.