Alibi V.24 No.7 • Feb 12-18, 2015 

Culture Shock

Little shop of f-bombs

The rhythm, color and force of David Mamet’s dialogue are iconic. American Buffalo sizes up shady characters fumbling through twisted theories about friendship, loyalty and business as they plot a heist from inside a junk shop. Petty thieves, they manipulate, expostulate, intimidate and berate with aggressive abandon. Vic Browder directs Paul Ford, Ryil Adamson and Michael Guajardo in a Mother Road Theatre Company production of this fun, foul-mouthed ride, opening Friday, Feb. 13, at Tricklock Performance Laboratory (110 Gold SW). Con your way into some tickets at motherroad.org or by calling 243-0596 (and ponying up $15 to $22). Performances unleash at 8pm Thursdays through Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays. Not for kiddos or pearl-clutchers.

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“the buffalo dancer is granted permission to feel what he wants to feel”
“the buffalo dancer is granted permission to feel what he wants to feel”
Thomas Christopher Haag
[click to enlarge]

La noche 13

Take another look at Thomas Christopher Haag’s artwork adorning this week’s Alibi cover. Nice, right? Now imagine his recycled wood panels in person, their blues and yellows and vivid complexities of layered paper ephemera and latex house paint stretching down the long, white corridors of Downtown Contemporary Gallery (105 Fourth Street SW). Last week, the place was packed for Haag’s latest opening—sadly, though, that show’s already passed into misty history.

But hark. The gallery follows up this weekend with Twitterpated/Deflated!, a V-Day blowout that includes Haag as well as a dreamboatload of other artists. Hit the opening on Friday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 8pm for the full, riotous art experience. Twitterpated/Deflated! stays up for a month.

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Block by block

Encoded within the 22 consonants of the Hebrew alphabet could be the entire universe. The Power of the Hebrew Alphabet by Santa Fe artist Gloria Abella Ballen ($65, Gaon Books) is a mystical, thoughtful tome that delves into the aleph-bet letter by letter, lingering over the ancient stories and learning embodied in each. “Shaped as an open mouth, the letter Peh … is the symbol for speech as well as silence.”

Religious in nature, it abandons some common art-book pretensions—for example, the endless empty white space—in favor of sheer chromatic ebullience. Fervent bouts of green, orange and purple interweave with paintings, fabric textures, abstract patterns and text. Abella Ballen’s art juxtaposes color in startling ways, as though to be merely pretty would be beside the point. This volume goes deeper.

On the heels of winning a 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Abella Ballen visits Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, bkwrks.com) on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7pm.

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Santa Fe heyhey

The already-legendary artist collective Meow Wolf—psychedelic architects of immersive wonderlands—have a new interactive masterpiece in mind. And hoo boy, it’s as weird and grandiose and sublime as you could ever hope for. House of Eternal Return will be “a permanent art experience” in the form of a vast Victorian house fractured by portals in time and space. Outlandish, explorable scenarios like “Crazy Tree Houses!” and “Cactus Trailer Dream!” are already planned, as are 19 artist studios for rent, a learning center and a gift shop. George R.R. Martin bought a bowling alley in the Fe to house the House, but the collective still hopes to raise $100k via Kickstarter by March 2 to pay their artists and make it “as cool as it could be!” Check out concept drawings and wander into wonderland on meowwolf.com.