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A New Mexican Burial
October 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
October–December 2022, No Name Cinema presents a photo exhibition titled A New Mexican Burial by Santa Fe-based artist JC Gonzo.
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, October 7, 6-9 pm
No Name Cinema, 2013 Pinon St., SF NM 87505
A New Mexican Burial presents a survey of cemeteries located throughout the state of New Mexico, from abandoned to active, documented in a variety of analog formats including 35mm and 120 film and, predominantly, instant film, using expired film stocks and vintage cameras. The project extends with Super-8mm footage for films juxtaposed with text derived from personal reflections on cultural identity and observations made from research and documenting the unique cemeteries of my communities and beyond.
When looking upon a New Mexican burial, one sees a landscape that is both historical and modern at once. Stories of the land are embedded in aesthetic signifiers, invisibly layered with burial reports, family trees, and personal narratives. It is a history of colonialism, harsh conditions, and common disease. It is a testament to ingenuity, cultural exchange, tradition, and religious custom. It is also not simply history, but a constantly evolving reflection of the living. When I photograph a New Mexican burial, I present both a past and a present, the living and the dead.
From outsiders, one of the most common responses to Southwestern cemeteries is shock. The cemeteries are either all too joyous in their bold colors, too primitive in their modesty, or too morbid in their frank celebration. However, I’d like the unfamiliar viewer to find the natural harmony with the landscape in their unique expressions. I also want the familiar viewer to take a moment to honor and appreciate these microcosms of community. Dirt mounds, wood, flowers, dried-out cholla crosses, uncarved stones… the most natural elements delicately reconfigured to represent our most natural event: death.
JC Gonzo is an artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His focus lies in re-contextualizing social and environmental histories as a form of meta-ecological research. His reports are depicted through a variety of media, serving both as a referential document and a celebration of chaos in the natural world. He recently received a 2022 Fulcrum Award for his zine series, Cuidado, which showcases emerging artists based in the North American Southwest and Mexico. As a writer, he’s written for The Santa Fe Reporter, Sensitive Skin Magazine, White Fungus, and other independent press, having interviewed the likes of Lydia Lunch, Ron Athey, Hanin Elias, and others. He heard his self-designed BA in ‘Sexual Liberation as Art’ at the College of Santa Fe in 2011.