Jaque Fragua has been scouring the land for trash. Not just any trash -- old trash. His newest exhibit Rubbish, opening at CCA on Thursday, Aug. 19, investigates the relationship between raw materials and the people who once used them.
It started with a can. A young Fragua was sifting through a pile of old bottles and tin cans when he came across something interesting: an old pop-top, rusted through the top side. When he turned it over, the can revealed itself to be an old '50s era Coor’s can. The logo had survived, somehow, against the earth below.
Growing up in a reservation, where written history is limited, Fragua sees himself as a sort of archeologist for his people.
“People leave artifacts behind them all the time,” Fragua says. “That Coor’s can probably sat there, untouched, for 50 years after it was thrown down by whoever drank it originally. A good night in the desert, probably.”
Fragua’s new exhibition, Rubbish, brings together these artifacts from the past in a display of history and environmentalism. Collected from the back roads of the reservation and throughout the Jemez area, each of the rusted pieces of sheet metal, shopping carts, automobile parts, or oil cans tells its own story.
An oil drum is riddled with bullet holes. A spray can used for target practice is filled with BBs.
“Everything has its own spirit. Even raw materials or manmade things. Its energy comes from way back, from whoever made it or used it in the first place,” Fragua says. “Through my work, I can make connections to people through these materials -- you know, people I would’ve never met in my life. I want to share that feeling with everyone who comes in here.”
Be sure to check out Rubbish, and don’t miss the opening event on Aug. 19 with a DJ performance and a few surprises.
Reception 5-7 pm
Thursday, Aug. 19
Through Sept. 11
Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail