Guns N’ Radiation
Pedro Reyes morphs local nuclear history
Much like the disassembled and repurposed guns that form the body of his “Disarm Guitar” piece, Pedro Reyes’ artistic practice is constantly shapeshifting. Trained as an architect and well known for his work transforming donated firearms into shovels, the artist’s new SITE Santa Fe exhibit, DIRECT ACTION, sees him expanding his subject matter to encompass Southwest nuclear colonialism while adding video work to his extensive list of mediums. But as with the weapons he reworks and fuses, the exhibit’s varied subjects are welded together by an underlying ethos of disarmament and, as the title suggests, direct action.
In fact, the museum commissioned his new site-specific video “This is how it ends” to explicitly connect the show to ongoing work by local anti-nuclear activists.
“Thinking about New Mexico’s own nuclear legacy since the 1940s, it’s been kind of the elephant in the room,” curator Brandee Caoba explains. “And I thought, wow, Pedro’s doing this incredible work with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and I want to talk to him about that and imagine…what it might look like if we were to introduce something like that at SITE Santa Fe.”
As part of that dialogue, Caoba wanted to highlight New Mexico’s unique history with the nuclear industry.
“We laid out the show in a way where there’s kind of an anti-nuclear museum within the museum,” she notes, adding that visitors will be able to see a digital version of the famous Doomsday Clock and check out related books from inside the exhibit.
Still, Caoba emphasizes, the playfulness of Reyes’ process is central to the exhibition.
“This isn’t a show about fear; more so it’s about hope and empowerment. It’s meant to inspire and call attention to the agency we all have through direct action.”
In that spirit, SITE Santa Fe is kicking off the exhibit on Friday night with drinks from Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery, a DJ set by Luz Skylarker and a cumbia-punk guitar solo by Tropa Magica’s David Pacheco, performed on the “Disarm Guitar” itself. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Pedro Reyes: DIRECT ACTION (opening): 5-9 pm Friday, Feb. 3, free. SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 989-1199
How to Word Good
Normally we wouldn’t suggest attending an event outside city limits, but we know that so many of y’all went artsy during the pandemic, so we think the upcoming Writers Workshop at Corrales’ Circle Round Boutique is worth the short jaunt south. Take it from us—you want fresh ears and eyes evaluating your words and providing feedback. Otherwise you’re just writing in a vacuum, and that’s no way to improve at all. The workshop features a simple and doable plan, too, wherein you’ll help create a word list and then write a short piece to share with the gorup or not. Whatever you plan to do, just getting your piece onto the page is half the battle. Maybe you’ll pen the pretty OK American novel, even. (Alex De Vore)
Writers Workshop at Circle Round: 5:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 2. Suggested donation. Circle Round Boutique, 4486 Corales Road, Corrales, (505) 897-7004
The Still of the Night
Though Santa Fe is no stranger to bands that claim genres like folk, bluegrass, Americana, et al, it seems we’re always glad to welcome bands of those ilks to our fair city. We like acoustic guitars and fiddles around here, and we’re not afraid to let the world know. Enter Durango, Colorado’s Stillhouse Junkies, a three-piece genre-busting act that culls from the aforementioned styles with a bit of narrative panache and a whole lot of pretty melodies and harmonies. For those who still love The Devil Makes Three or find themselves popping on the O Brother soundtrack, Stillhouse Junkies’ 2022 release, Small Towns, might just do the trick. Live, we hear, they’re even better. Plus, you get to support concert space GiG, so there’s literally no downside as far as we can see. (ADV)
Stillhouse Junkies: 7:30 pm Friday, Feb. 3. $25. GiG Performance Space, 1808 Second St., gigsantafe.com
The Fix is In
One thing us Americans are great at is simply tossing out our belongings that break, but a longstanding movement and commitment to lessening our environmental impact while learning a thing or two might act as a remedy to our struggle with temporary ownership. As if libraries weren’t cool enough, you’ll find the upcoming FixIT Clinic at Eldorado’s Vista Grande branch. There, you can bring in your questions and/or broken devices, learn how they actually work and how, in many cases, a repair is quick, easy and effective. What’s that thing people say about doing things with your own two hands? (ADV)
FixIT Clinic: 8:15-9 am Monday, Feb. 6. Free. Vista Grande Public Library, 14 Avenida Torreon, Eldorado, (505) 466-7323