alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.20 No.31 | August 4 - 10, 2011 

Gallery Review

Life on the Flip Side

Concurrent exhibits at 516 ARTS home in on alternative communities

Harvest: a portrait of the artist, Roberta Price, 1972
David Perkins
Harvest: a portrait of the artist, Roberta Price, 1972

The first thing you notice is a bearded man with “Hug Life” tattooed across his beer gut, standing on a homemade raft. This image, and numerous other examples of alternative living, are the focus of two summer exhibits at 516 ARTS: Across the Great Divide, a collection of photographs by Roberta Price, and Worlds Outside This One, featuring more than a dozen contributors. Across the Great Divide documents life in Southwestern communes―small, rural communities based around collective land ownership. Worlds Outside This One shows environmentally friendly and often portable methods of housing from around the world.

Getting lost in Worlds is easy. The embraceable beer gut, for example, is part of a series called The Swimming Cities of Serenissima. It tells the story of a two-month journey taken by 30 New York artists on three homemade rafts built from salvaged materials. The group traveled from Slovenia to Venice, Italy, on the Adriatic Sea, stopping to give circus performances along the way.

“Rafts Adriatic”
courtesy of Tod Seelie
“Rafts Adriatic”

In another corner of the gallery sits “The Golden Gate 1”―an egg-shaped, wooden mobile home. There’s a surfboard mounted to the roof, while the inside packs a bed, storage, a kitchen stove, a sink and a toilet. Through the cockpit window, you can see a small steering wheel with an iPod Touch embedded in its center. Designer Jay Nelson's original concept sketches ride tandem to the sculpture/vehicle. “The Golden Gate 1” has a 10-mile traveling range, with a top speed of 20 miles an hour―yet the surprisingly compact craft hovers on wheels barely bigger than a bicycle's.

“The Golden Gate 1”
Jay Nelson
“The Golden Gate 1”

Then there’s 1013 First Street, a house built in 1903, then purchased and renovated by Albuquerque artist Justin Bagley in 2002. Bagley completely repaired the run-down house with salvaged materials and has lived there since―without gas or hot water. An old TV in the gallery plays a video of his handiwork in progress, and a photo album gives glimpses of inside of the house, decorated beautifully with handmade floors and antique furnishings. On the wall beside the album are hundreds of scraps of paper with sketches, measurements and scribbled notes.

The salvage theme carries into Jed Lind’s Small is Beautiful series. He photographed houses from the Shetland Islands, off the northernmost coast of Scotland, where harsh weather and a lack of building materials means that many houses have old boat keels for roofs.

There’s also a shot of “Further,” the bus that transported author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters across the country, outside of Santa Fe in 1969.

Across the Great Divide occupies the upstairs gallery and spans 1969 to 1977, during which time Roberta Price took more than 3,000 photos. Most are of relaxed, happy-looking hippies in the Southwest. In one, a hatchet-bearing man wearing nothing but white socks and boots is on his way to chop wood. Another bears the caption “Smokes thoughtfully while contemplating a Tarot reading.”

Echoing the Shetland houses a floor below, the Drop City Commune dome complex, outside of Trinidad, Colo., was built using hoods scavenged from old cars at a junkyard. There’s also a shot of “Further,” the bus that transported author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters across the country, outside of Santa Fe in 1969.

“Small is Beautiful: Norwick”
Jed Lind
“Small is Beautiful: Norwick”

In sharp contrast to these halcyon scenes are Price’s photographs of the October 1969 antiwar march on Washington. In one image, smiling protesters gather for the march. In another, a police officer leans against a cement wall next to a peace sign drawn in chalk. There's tension in the diptych, a brewing storm of idealism and force that would ultimately end in tear gas.

The photos in Across the Great Divide look more like family snapshots than an art gallery exhibition, which suits the subject matter well. Worlds Outside This One, however, is what will keep you at the gallery longest, as each structure, photo and piece of ephemera invites a more personal sort of interaction. The two 516 exhibits blend worlds both known and unfamiliar, and both are worth exploring.

“Spaceframe Vehicle”
courtesy of 516 ARTS
“Spaceframe Vehicle”
Worlds Outside This One and Across the Great Divide

Runs through Aug. 27
Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.
516 ARTS
516 Central SW
242-1445, 516arts.org
 

Tomorrow's Events

Special Exhibit at Adobe Gallery

Beer and Bellies at Tractor Brewery Wells Park

ABC Seed Library Bookclub at Juan Tabo Public Library

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    ABYSSAL/OLD&ILL/CURSE
    ABYSSAL/OLD&ILL/CURSE10.24.2014