LAND/ART NM Exhibitions & Lectures at 516 Arts in Albuquerque


October 3–December 12, 2009 at 516 Arts

Grasslands is a photographic series by Michael P. Berman about the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands in New Mexico, Texas and the northern border of Mexico, where he has wandered into the desert without a compass to, in his words, “live deliberately.” He believes that how you see the land comes down to what you value. “I believe art has a greater potential for meaning when it serves some purpose. People have started to recognize these lands as significant and this is something art can help along. If anything my work is to generate small symbols that reveal the greater complexity of things.” This exhibition is presented together with Separating Species, both curated by Mary Anne Redding, Curator of Photography, Palace of the Governors, New Mexico History Museum. The exhibition catalog for Grasslands and Separating Speciesis published by Radius Books, including essays by William deBuys, Rebecca Solnit and Mary Anne Redding. Available from 516 ARTS, Radius Books, and select bookstores nationwide.

Separating Species

October 3–December 12, 2009 at 516 Arts

Concurrent with Grasslands, the Separating Species exhibition features artists focusing on animals, humans, the biosphere and the U.S. Mexico border, including photographers Krista Elrick, Dana Fritz, David Taylor and Jo Whaley. Curator Mary Anne Redding recounts an essay by Terry Tempest Williams, In the Shadow of Extinction, about the destruction of prairie dogs on the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo elders objected, insisting that if you kill all the prairie dogs, there will be no one to cry for the rain. Redding says, “all things are intertwined: the rain, prairie dogs, folklorists, environmentalists, writers, academics, even those in the government.” Grasslands and Separating Species look at these disappearing desert grasslands and the animals that are affected when ecosystems, both in the desert and elsewhere, are destroyed: “no one is left to cry for the rain.”

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