HISTORY / HER STORY
DAVID RICHARD GALLERY
FRONT COVER: Cara Romero, Kaa, 2017, Photographic print, edition of 5, 50” x 40” x 2” BACK COVER: Kali Spitzer, Tania Larsson II, 2015, Archival pigment print, 30” x 24” TITLE PAGE: Kali Spitzer, Melaw Nakehk’o, 2016, Archival pigment print, 30” x 24” ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Published on the occasion of the exhibition in collaboration with: Warehouse 1-10 Art Space HISTORY / HER STORY June 23 – July 29, 2017 Warehouse 1-10 Art Space, Magdalena, NM Curated by: Catherine De Maria, David Eichholtz and Howard Rutkowski
Published by: David Richard Gallery, LLC, 1570 Pacheco Street, A1, Santa Fe, NM 87505 www.DavidRichardGallery.com 505-983-9555 DavidRichardSFe
Warehouse 1-10 Art Space 110 North Main Street Magdalena, NM 87825 http://www.warehouse110.com 575-517-0669 / 575-854-3253 Gallery Staff: David Eichholtz and Richard Barger, Managers - DavidRIhcard Gallery Catherine De Maria - Warehouse 1-10 Art Space
All rights reserved by David Richard Gallery, LLC. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in whole or part in digital or printed form of any kind whatsoever without the express written permission of David Richard Gallery, LLC.
Catalogue: © 2017 David Richard Gallery, LLC, Santa Fe, NM. Essay: © 2017 Kathryn M Davis
Art: © 2001 - 2017, Abbey Hepner, Jessamyn Lovell, Delilah Montoya, Cara Romero, Kali Spitzer, and Laurie Tümer
Laurie Tümer artwork courtesy of photo-eye Gallery Jessamyn Lovell artwork courtesy of Central Features Contemporary Art
Installation views in Santa Fe, NM by Greg Zinniel. Catalogue Design: David Eichholtz and Richard Barger, David Richard Gallery, LLC, Santa Fe, NM
DAVID RICHARD GALLERY
HISTORY / HER STORY Featuring: Abbey Hepner, Jessamyn Lovell, Delilah Montoya, Cara Romero, Kali Spitzer, and Laurie TÃ¼mer
Kali Spitzer Fern II, 2016 Archival pigment print, 30” x 24”
HISTORY / HER STORY The New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrates its twentieth anniversary with the photography exhibition HISTORY / HER STORY and related events dealing with the power of photography as an art form. The New Mexico Committee and David Richard Gallery undertook a wide search of women photographers from New Mexico before selecting six photographers to highlight. They include: Abbey Hepner, Jessamyn Lovell, Delilah Montoya, Cara Romero, Kali Spitzer, and Laurie Tümer. The artists selected for the exhibition all have strong statements to make about their lives and the issues influencing them. The title of the exhibition, HISTORY / HER STORY, pays homage to the fact that each artist’s perspectives are shaped by life experiences, ethnicity and the surrounding environment. Hepner, who did relief work in Japan after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, uses her art to interject some resolution between the nuclear and fossil-fuel industries and our environment. Lovell investigates, literally, the impact of her own identity theft in the manner of a P.I. straight out of a mid-twentieth century Hollywood movie; in a Hitchcockian maneuver, she evolves the prey into the hunter. Montoya is an icon of Chicana, nuevaméjicana, and feminist identity, a direct descendent on her mother’s side of New Mexico’s early Spanish settlers; her photographic oeuvre has always been grounded in identity politics. For this exhibition, Montoya chose to include images from her Casta series, inspired by a colonial-Mexico genre of paintings that depict a social hierarchy based on race and ethnicity. Romero creates narratives out of her portraits of Native women, from the viewpoint of her culture’s belief that women are supernaturally powerful because of their ability to bring forth life. Spitzer, originally from British Columbia, seeks to challenge stereotypical beliefs about Native identity in an historical context, using the ancient tintype process to present women who may or may not be of indigenous descent. Finally, Tümer explores our often intimate—whether we like it or not—relationships with toxic elements in nature, such as pesticides, creating a kind of addendum to Rachel Carson’s book cum manifesto, Silent Spring (1962). Cara Romero and Kali Spitzer’s art reconstructs aspects of ethnic, cultural, and gender identity—thus advocating for social change. They present images that challenge the socalled norms of being female and of indigenous descent. Romero’s large-scale, color photographs challenge the viewer by presenting the female body as an unmistakable symbol of power and strength. Her Nikki depicts a Native woman whose stance echoes the iconography of traditional Indian textile work. The nude subject’s long black braids, leggings, and moccasins signify Native pride.
Delilah Montoya investigates the nuances of Chicana identity (which is generally considered to be a hybrid of indigenous blood with Spanish) through her explorations into family—which in her case is matriarchal. With the exception of Abbey Hepner, all of these artists choose to work with images and ideas of personal identity; Hepner herself considers our relationship as humans with our environment. Contaminated Earth is a concern in Hepner and Tümer’s work, and contaminated personal identity is the metatext of Jessamyn Lovell as she seeks the identity of the woman who stole hers; the artists turns the tables on the woman who stole her identity, by investigating every nuance of the other’s identity, including what would appear to be trash, in DIYPI – Paper Scrap. Lovell’s subtext might well be how technology can contaminate our world. Hybridity, the cross between two separate races or cultures, is a factor when considering identity, be it of place or person: The hybrid cannot exist without, at its worst, an element of contamination, or, at its best, a willing intermingling. Making art amid the beauty and undisturbed isolation of New Mexico is a boon to artists, just as it was for such photographers as Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, and Laura Gilpin. Much has been written, since the emergence of critical theory in the mid-twentieth century, about how images can serve to disempower people and places through their exoticization. Exoticizing makes the very thing being romanticized into the “Other,” something that exists, nearly invisible, outside of the mainstream. The land itself, especially in the Western United States, was, by the nineteenth century, reduced to a romantic void in pictures—dreamy, desolate, and somehow full of promise. The exoticization of the West allowed for a kind of emasculation of Mother Earth as a passive receptacle to be taken advantage of by a powerful patriarchy. Just as women have found themselves stripped of power and reverence throughout human history, so was the Western landscape. Hepner’s images change—and challenge—any unilateral reading of the land by showing multiple, antithetical uses of the seemingly isolated West. Her Los Alamos National Lab, New Mexico is a perfect example of the duality of good and evil that art can capture, showing as it does the place where the world’s most destructive weapon was invented by a vibrant group of scientists. The beauty of Los Alamos is overshadowed, as it were, by the thunderheads looming over the labs like a mushroom cloud. The fact that Hepner makes her prints using delicate and unstable uranium instead of the sturdier silver process reflects the frailty of humanity as compared to the powerful elements of the universe. We live but a few decades; uranium’s half-life s estimated in the millions, even billions, of years.
Even if you are not aware of Tümer’s personal and shattering experience with pesticides, her images clearly reflect our tenuous relationship with a toxic landscape, and the most disenfranchised peoples who harvest our food. Tümer’s Glowing Evidence: Farmworker A and B elicit a sense of the sublime when considering the land—sublime as defined by Edmund Burke in the late eighteenth century as “astonishment . . . with some degree of horror.” Tümer’s farmworkers step away from any Romantic notions of benign Nature into the poisonous economics of Big Agriculture. This exhibition chooses to redeem power by flipping the viewed into the viewer. When women become the image makers, they take charge of how they are portrayed. When women invite us to look at ourselves, themselves, and the socioeconomics of where and how we live, true intimacy is possible: an intimacy that has little to do with sexuality and much to do with power. The artists in History / Her Story give us back to ourselves, no matter who we are. This kind of intimacy is raw and can be quite unsettling, but is necessary for us to truly see who and where we are. With gratitude to David Richard Gallery for hosting the exhibition. - Kathryn M Davis
Abbey Hepner Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 1, Carlsbad, New Mexico, 2014 Archival pigment print from Uranotype, 9” x 13” Abbey Hepner Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2, Carlsbad, New Mexico, 2014 Archival pigment print from Uranotype, 9” x 13”
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 1, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Amount of waste emplaced to date: 24,035,165 Gallons
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Amount of waste emplaced to date: 24,035,165 Gallons
Abbey Hepner 7
Abbey Hepnerâ€™s work questions our reliance on technology. Her Transuranic series provides a close-up look at the radioactive waste that is all around us. Hepner photographed each of the sites in the western US that ship radioactive waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM, documenting the locations and tracing the routes across our country and printing these scenes using a uranotype process. Their reddish-yellow hue, formed by the exposure of uranyl nitrate, evoke a haunting nostalgic sensation that is instantly negated by the reality reflected in the images. Hepnerâ€™s snow globes trap modern-day industrial landscapes in miniature and pose the question of what kinds of places evoke nostalgia today.
Abbey Hepner (b. 1983) is an artist and educator investigating the human relationship with landscape and technology. She received degrees in Art and Psychology from the University of Utah and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of New Mexico. Upon moving to New Mexico from Japan, where she did disaster relief work following the 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown, Abbey set out to understand the impact of the nuclear industry on her immediate landscape. In the Transuranic series, she utilizes an archaic photographic process that uses uranium instead of silver, in which the uranyl nitrate is painted onto paper and exposed beneath a negative under a UV light.
Abbey Hepner America The Beautiful 2, 2017 Snow globe with sound, 7.25” x 6” x 6” Abbey Hepner With Power, 2017 Snow globe with 3D object and sound, 6” x 4.625” x 4.625”
Abbey Hepner Black Gold, 2017 Snow globe with 3D printed object, 5” x 4” x 4” Abbey Hepner Pledge of Allegiance, 2016 Snow globe with sound, 7.25” x 6” x 6”
Jessamyn Lovell No Vacancy, 2007 Archival inkjet print, 8” x 10” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012) Jessamyn Lovell Self Portrait (with blonde wig), 2009 Archival inkjet print, 11.75” x 15.75” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012)
Jessamyn Lovell 11
Jessamyn Lovell uses photography as a tool of choice to pull apart personal life experiences, often questioning where truth and fiction meet in the process. Her use of empathy as an asset rather than a liability in approaching investigations is a critical thread that runs through all her work and is a focus in her most recent projects. Using her own stories, successes and failures, she deliberately makes herself vulnerable while simultaneously revealing strengths as she navigates difficult territories through the lens of research. All her work addresses critical social, political and justicial issues which affect us all in unique and personal ways.
Jessamyn Lovell (b. 1977) is a visual artist working with photography, video and surveillance tools to document her own life experiences, making connections between class and personal identity. Holding a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA from California College of Arts, Lovell lives in Albuquerque where she is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Art Department at the University of New Mexico. Jessamynâ€™s work has been exhibited nationally and is the recipient of several awards. She has received international recognition for her work, Dear Erin Hart, in which she found, followed and photographed her identity thief. She is currently working towards getting her private investigatorâ€™s license as a conceptual art piece.
Jessamyn Lovell Deer in Headlights, 2009 Archival inkjet print, edition of 12, 8.5” x 11” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012) Jessamyn Lovell Driving back down the coast, 2009 Archival inkjet print, edition 25, 8.5” x 11” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012)
Jessamyn Lovell Shadow Self, 2009 Archival inkjet print, edition of 6, 11.75” x 15.75” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012) Jessamyn Lovell Surveillance (Window), 2007 Gelatin silver print, edition of 6, 8” x 10” from No Trespassing (2007 - 2012)
Delilah Montoya Casta 5, 2017 Photograph, infused dye on aluminum, wood, glass test tube, sand, edition of 5, 35.75” x 38” x 2.25”
Delilah Montoya 15
Delilah Montoya’s series Contemporary Casta Portraiture: Nuestra Calidadwas born out of interest in the racial categorization depicted by the colonial “casta painting” genre that originated in Mexico, depicting family racial and class types. Like the colonial casta paintings, Delilah’s photographic constructions include a family portrait accompanied by racial identifying information. In her version, actual DNA genetic analysis is conducted and the results are depicted with laser etched panels illustrating a world map of each family’s migration history and with a sand-filled glass tube showing the family’s biogeography. A QR code embedded on the surface of the portrait accesses a unique webpagefor each family depicted. The result is insights for both the subjects of the portraits and the viewers regarding the instability of identity and the ways we are inclined to construct our own histories.
Delilah Montoya (b. 1955) was born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in the Midwest, but her longtime place of residence is New Mexico, the ancestral home of her mother’s family. Working her way through school as a medical photographer, she received her MFA in 1994 from the University of New Mexico. She currently is a professor of Photography and Digital Media at the University of Houston School of Art. As a photographic printmaker who has experimented with most print processes, Delilah consistently pushes the boundaries of what is technically possible and conceptually challenging. Her work explores the unusual relationships that result from negotiating different ways of viewing, conceptualizing, representing and consuming the worlds found in the Southwest from her perspective as a feminist Chicana artist born into a matriarchal family.
Delilah Montoya Casta 13, 2017 Photograph, infused dye on aluminum, wood, glass test tube, sand, edition of 5, 35.75” x 38” x 2.25” Delilah Montoya Casta 15, 2017 Photograph, infused dye on aluminum, wood, glass test tube, sand, edition of 5, 35.75” x 38” x 2.25”
Delilah Montoya Casta 7, 2017 Photograph, infused dye on aluminum, wood, glass test tube, sand, edition of 5, 35.75” x 38” x 2.25”
Cara Romero Nuwuv Woman (Silhouette with Cholla), 2017 Archival photograph, edition of 5, 66.75” x 44”
Cara Romero 19
Cara Romeroâ€™s work reflects her diverse training in film, digital, fine art, journalism, editorial portraiture and commercial photography. Her powerful, large-scale photographs bring awareness to current events as well as the misrepresentation of Native Americans in popular culture, while underlining the importance of protecting Indigenous communities and preserving their traditions. Cara uses her photography to broaden perceptions and introduce ideas outside of the mainstream perception of indigenous art. Through her photography, Cara captures beautifully composed stories layered with symbolism that can evoke emotion from anyone of any background. It is always her intention to portray Native women in the context of the inherent Chemehuevi belief that women have an innate strength as all powerful, supernatural life givers who are equals in society.
Cara Romero (b. 1977) is a Santa Fe-based visual storyteller with a distinctive lens shaped by years of study, personal experience, collective history and a visceral Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory. She is the mother of two boys and the wife of the highly regarded contemporary Pueblo artist Diego Romero, and the daughter of a Chemehuevi father and a German-Irish mother. Cara studied Photography at both the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and Oklahoma State University and studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Houston. Her photography, a mĂŠlange of fine art and documentary style, is often whimsical and with a complex interplay of social commentary, adaptation and examination of modern culture with a distinctly modern Indigenous world view. It is multi-layered, meant to be experienced from a multi-verse of perspectives, and invites viewers to enter into its nuanced visual architecture with an open mind.
Cara Romero Jenna (NM Native Boxer), 2015 Archival photograph, edition of 5, 45.75” x 44” Cara Romero Nikki (Dine Woman in Birthing Pose), 2014 Archival photograph, edition of 5, 42.25” x 47.5”
Cara Romero Sheridan (reclining Chemehuevi woman in white clay), 2017 Archival photograph, edition of 5, 66.75â€? x 44â€?
Kali Spitzer Eloise Spitzer, 2015 Archival pigment print, edition of 10, 30” x 24”
Kali Spitzer 23
Kali Spitzer challenges pre-conceived notions of race, gender and identity through her portraits. Her aim is to provide space for people to be seen, heard and represented in the way they want. In her series, An Exploration of Resilience, Spitzer photographed members of her community, both Indigenous and mixed heritage people. The goal was to convey each subject’s story, including their spirit and perseverance as well as the pain. Trust is an essential element of her work. Through the timeless lens of the tintype, and in close collaboration with her subjects, the relationship between the process of creation and the person being photographed is made manifest.
Kali Spitzer (b. 1987) is a Kaska Dena from Daylu (Lower Post, British Columbia) on her father’s side and Jewish from Transylvania, Romania on her mother’s side. She is from the Yukon and grew up on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. She earned a diploma in Professional Photography from the Western Academy and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Community College. At the age of 20, Kali moved back north to spend time with her elders, and to learn more about her Kaska ancestry and culture, learning how to hunt, fish, trap, tan moose and caribou hides and bead. Kali focuses on cultural revitalization through her art, whether it is the medium of photography, ceramics, tanning hides or hunting; all of these practices she views as art and part of an exploration of self.
Kali Spitzer Bianca Shannon, 2016 Archival pigment print, edition of 10, 30” x 24” Kali Spitzer Ginger Dunnill, 2016 Archival pigment print, edition of 10, 30” x 24”
Kali Spitzer Sasha LaPointe, 2015 Archival pigment print, edition of 10, 30” x 24”
Laurie Tümer Glowing Evidence: Farmworker, 2001 Lenticular print, 32” x 23”
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Laurie Tümer’s Glowing Evidence series illustrates the omnipresence of pesticides –chemicals developed during WWII to eradicate people (and still used in warfare) and later to eradicate insect pests. Her project began in 1998 after she experienced a pesticide poisoning at her home – a company that advertised “organic pest control” sprayed synthetic pesticides instead. This motivated her to create visualizations for what is invisible. Tümer found inspiration in the environmental scientist Richard Fenske who developed a safetytraining demonstration using fluorescent dyes and UV light to show farmworkers working with pesticides, pictures of their exposures despite the use of protective gear. Using Fenske’s technique, she simulates pesticides in our homes, gardens, and in our bodies, and provides updates to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In her animated lenticular photographs, where viewers experience the alternating seen and unseen, Tümer says, “Motion warns us of danger, so the medium is also the message!”
Laurie Tümer (b. 1951) was born in Los Angeles and has lived in New Mexico since 1988. She received her BA from the University of Arizona and MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Tümer has created eccentric bodies of work: self-portraits printed on stone, photo-essays about pesticides and oil drilling, projects that use animated lenticular photography, and cloud studies taken from her bed. She teaches Photography, Art Criticism, and Art History at Santa Fe Community College, and Writing at Northern New Mexico College in Española. photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe represents her work. Tümer’s books include Night Writer and CLOUDS. She is currently working on a publication about Glowing Evidence.
Laurie Tümer Glowing Evidence: Studies in Red - (A & B), 2006 Lenticular print, 14” x 21” Laurie Tümer Glowing Evidence: Studies in White - (A & B), 2006 Lenticular print, 14” x 21” Laurie Tümer 28
Glowing Evidence: Studies in Blue - (A & B), 2006 Lenticular print, 14” x 21”
Laurie Tümer Glowing Evidence: In My Study - (A & B), 2006 Lenticular print, 20” x 48”