SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of Jan. 11

The trio of trios, indie gods, a new Madrid gallery and a visiting chef

Roots and Triads

A trio of notable creators embrace experimental improvisation

A long-lived and complex artistic web interweaves Raven Chacon (Diné and Chicano), Cannupa Hanska Luger (Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation) and Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache)—three multidisciplinary titans of the Indigenous experimental arts and music scene. Chacon and Luger improvised together (on instruments they made by hand, no less) as part of Luger’s Future Ancestral Technologies exhibit last February. Chacon has dedicated pieces to Ortman; and the pair collaborated in honor of Zitkála-Šá (the turn-of-the-century Yankton Dakota activist and composer) back in 2018. Plus, Luger and Ortman’s work showed side by side in the 2020 exhibit, Larger than Memory, at the Heard Museum. But the trio has never shared a stage—until now.

In fact, Friday’s performance at the Center for Contemporary Arts may well be the first time all three artists even occupy the same room. “We’ll meet up that day,” Chacon explains. “Just for us to all line up in a week is rare, but we’ll probably try to link up and just talk. I think that’s a big part of it—just talking. And trust in what the other does. We’ve come upon each other because of a willingness to collaborate.”

Partnership is perhaps the key concept underpinning the performance, which serves as the finale to a weeklong program by the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Studio Arts department exploring the theme of “Collaboration as Indigenous Art Practice.” When asked how he sees the ideas of collaboration and Indigeneity interacting, Luger laughs, saying, “I don’t have any other point of reference. But I think there’s something innate in the human experience that profoundly is built around collaboration and cooperation. We perhaps didn’t suffer the same rugged individualism, but art has been focused on the object being the emphasis, whereas process is the most beautiful, the most profound and the most difficult to monetize.”

Ortman adds, “We have a legacy of connecting on our own stories and ideas to form a more unified whole. You kind of just get thrown in and say yes.”

That spontaneous, responsive approach to creation means we can’t tell you exactly what sounds the performance might incorporate in advance. But Ortman did drop an intriguing hint before heading off to an IAIA presentation: “I’ll be playing an amplified violin. Lots of pedals.” (Siena Sofia Bergt)

Raven Chacon, Cannupa Hanska Luger and Laura Ortman: 7pm Friday, Jan. 13. $20 general admission; $15 CCA members. Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, (505) 982-1338

Good as Folk

Some years ago, around the third or fourth solo release from Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan, it became clear the aging-punk-dude-goes-folk-and-country thing was here to stay. And it’s pretty cool, too—especially when it comes in the form of Sean Bonnette and Tim Kasher. To be fair, Bonnette (of legendary folk-punk act AJJ) isn’t treading new ground per se, just expanding on the things at which he’s already amazing. Kasher, though (of a little indie band you might know called Cursive) is the real surprise here. Music fans observed his songwriting maturation over each of his main project’s most excellent records (shoutout to Happy Hollow and The Ugly Organ...OK, to all of them), and the prospect of what he might do as a singular voice feels intriguing and exciting in a way sure to emit the most harrowing siren call to elder millennials across the land. (Alex De Vore)

Sean Bonnette and Tim Kasher: 10 pm Friday, Jan. 13. $15. Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Artist Shakti Kroopkin has certainly spent enough time on the creative side of art commerce, and lessons learned from within that realm led her to launch Mad Contemporary Gallery in Madrid. A combination exhibition/class and workshop space, Kroopkin says Mad Contemporary has been in the works for years, but it wasn’t until she left a teaching position with Santa Fe Public Schools last summer that it could become a reality. “I’ve been dreaming about...creating a special place, a different kind of gallery that has the opportunity for art-making as well,” Kroopkin explains. “I’m ready to fulfill my life’s passion for art and teaching in a different way; to not rely on structures that already exist, but create my own.” Mad Contemporary opens this Saturday with work from artists Lauri Swartz, Steve Dinse, Shane Silva, Laird Hovland and Kroopkin herself. Find also music performances from Nocturne Spark, Lyra Muse and Bryan Tippens. (ADV)

Mad Contemporary Gallery Grand Opening: 5-8 pm Saturday, Jan. 14. Free. Mad Contemporary Gallery, 3 Firehouse Lane, Madrid,

Oh, Nikki, You’re So Fine

This one’s for the foodies who have a bit of a higher budget, sure, but also for those who want to experience a higher echelon of food. We speak of celebrity chef Nikki Tran, who comes to Santa Fe’s Opuntia Café for the Vietnamese Cuisine Reimagined event through the auspices of culinary education business Open Kitchen and its owner, chef Hue-Chan Karels. Across an eight-course meal, Tran will not only teach diners a thing or two about fish sauces and complex dishes like Nem Vuong (scallop spring rolls with pork and glass noodles) and Canh Bandh Da Cua (minced crab and rice paper soup), she’ll share tales from her journey to becoming a celebrated epicurean. There are options for wine and cocktail pairings, too. You must buy tickets ahead of time. (ADV)

Vietnamese Cuisine Reimagined with Chef Nikki Tran: 6:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 17. $165-$265. Opuntia Café, 1607 Alcaldesa St.,

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