SITElines is a radical rethinking of SITE Santa Fe’s signature biennial exhibition. When SITE Santa Fe opened in 1995, it launched what was then the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, and one of only a handful of biennials around the world. In the 20 years since, the landscape of the international contemporary art world has expanded, bringing a proliferation of biennials worldwide.
Looking to reinvigorate the biennial model, in 2011, SITE reimagined SITE’s biennial exhibition to focus on the Western Hemisphere, bring new perspectives to the curatorial table, and build a new infrastructure at SITE to support long-term research and new artist commissions. SITElines launched in 2014 with its first exhibition titled Unsettled Landscapes and in 2016 the second edition, much wider than a line.
SITElines is a radical rethinking of SITE Santa Fe’s signature biennial exhibition. When SITE Santa Fe opened in 1995, it launched what was then the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, and one of only a handful of biennials around the world. In the over 20 years since, the landscape of the international contemporary art world has expanded, bringing a proliferation of biennials worldwide.
Looking to reinvigorate the biennial model, in 2011, SITE reimagined SITE’s biennial exhibition to focus on the Western Hemisphere, bring new perspectives to the curatorial table, and build a new infrastructure at SITE to support long-term research and new artist commissions. Many layers of history are embedded here in New Mexico. First Native American land, then a Spanish Kingdom, a Mexican Province, and a US Territory, all before statehood, New Mexico is a microcosm of the Americas. SITE is uniquely situated to explore this territory of the Americas—it is a direction that is specific to our vision, place, and history.
SITElines launched in 2014 with its first exhibition titled Unsettled Landscapes, organized by Janet Dees, Irene Hofmann, Candice Hopkins, and Lucia Sanroman. SITElines.2016’s edition much wider than a line, was organized around ideas brought together by a team of five curators−Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli. SITElines is a dynamic part of SITE Santa Fe’s year-round exhibitions and public programming.
SITElines Programming Four years ago, SITE established SITE Center—an expanded activity of SITE’s Education Department that generates programming and special projects related to our SITElines biennial exhibitions. SITE Center programs create continuity between biennials, host artists for residencies, and develop community-based projects that create meaningful engagement with local audiences. SITE Center programming for SITElines.2018 is being planned throughout the run of the show and will include a range of public programs (lectures, performances, panels) and artist-led community engaged projects intended to expand the experience and reach of the exhibition.
About SITE Santa Fe SITE Santa Fe opened in 1995 to present what was then the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, and one of only a handful of biennials around the world. From the very beginning, SITE established a commitment to a risk-taking and visionary perspective that continues to drive its programs today. Year-round exhibitions and educational programs encourage the creative and intellectual potential of the audience and uphold the region’s tradition of fostering avant-garde art.
As an institution with a year-round contemporary art program, SITE hosts an Art & Culture series of lectures and performances, as well as an extensive education and outreach program for local schools, all of which attract over 20,000 local, national and international visitors annually. Since its launch, SITE has presented over 100 exhibitions — including ten biennials — of works by over 750 international artists.
Curators José Luis Blondet is Curator for Special Initiatives at LACMA, where he has organized Maria Nordman: FILM-ROOM Smoke, 1967-Present (2011) (with Stephanie Barron); Compass for Surveyors (2013), Various Small Fires (Working Documents) (2015); Liz Glynn: The Myth of Singularity (2016), and more recently co-curated A Universal History of Infamy, as part of the PST: LA/LA. Blondet commissions and programs performance projects at the museum (Cindy Bernard, Fallen Fruit, J. J Gurrola, Guy de Cointet, Asher Hartman, La Ribot, Rachel Mason, and Emily Mast, among others). As a guest curator, Blondet has organized the exhibitions “[SIC] Contemporary Nosography” (2016) at the CAPC-Museum, Bordeaux, France; and “Chalk Circles” (2017), with Ruth Estevez at REDCAT. Prior to LACMA, Blondet worked at the Boston Center for the Arts; the Dia Art Foundation, NY, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas. He is on the curatorial team of the MDE 19, an international quadrennial organized by the Museo de Antioquia, Colombia.
Blondet has taught at Calarts, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and at the School of Literature in the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He received a fellowship from the Patricia Cisneros Collection.
Candice Hopkins, a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation in Yukon, Canada, is an independent curator and writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was a member of the curatorial team for documenta 14, held in Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece (2017); the SITElines.2014 biennial exhibition, Unsettled Landscapes, with Janet Dees, Irene Hofmann, and Lucía Sanromán (2014); and the exhibitions Sakahàn International Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada (2013); and Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art (2011). She returned to SITE as Managing Curator of SITElines.2016, much wider than a line (2016). Hopkins has held curatorial positions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts; National Gallery of Canada; Western Front Society; and Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. Her writing has been published widely, by imprints such as MIT Press, Mousse, Black Dog Publishing, Revolver, Fillip Review, and the National Museum of the American Indian. Her essay “Outlawed Social Life” appears in a special issue of South as a State of Mind (2017), issued by documenta 14. Hopkins has co-edited the book Recipes for an Encounter (2010).
Her public lectures and presentations include Sounding the Margins: A Choir of Minor Voices, held at Small Projects, Tromsø, Norway (2016), and a keynote presentation with Hetti Perkins on the “sovereign imagination” for dOCUMENTA (13) (2012). In 2015, she received the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art.
Ruba Katrib is Curator at MoMA PS1 in New York City. From 2012 - 2017 she was Curator at SculptureCenter in New York City. At SculptureCenter, she organized the group exhibitions The Eccentrics (2015), Puddle, pothole, portal (2014) (co-curated with artist Camille Henrot), Better Homes (2013), and A Disagreeable Object (2012); and solo shows of the work of Kelly Akashi, Sam Anderson, Teresa Burga, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), Nicola L., Charlotte Prodger (all 2017), Rochelle Goldberg, Aki Sasamoto, Cosima von Bonin (all 2016), Anthea Hamilton, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Magali Reus, Gabriel Sierra, Michael E. Smith, Erika Verzutti (all 2015), David Douard, and Jumana Manna (both 2014). Katrib was co-founder of the residency and exhibition space Threewalls in Chicago, and has also held positions at the Renaissance Society and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is a research partner for the upcoming Carnegie International, which opens in the fall of 2018, and a member of the Advisory Board for Recess, a non-profit artist residency and exhibition space in New York. In 2010, Katrib was awarded a curatorial fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support research on artist-run educational platforms throughout Latin America for a project that included a symposium and publication. She regularly contributes texts to museum catalogues and to periodicals including Art in America, Cura., Kaleidoscope, Parkett, and Mousse. Katrib frequently presents lectures and participates in panel discussions at universities and other institutions.
Curatorial Advisor Naomi Beckwith is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where her exhibition and book projects focus on the impact of identity and multi-disciplinary practices for shaping contemporary culture. Prior to the MCA, Beckwith held positions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her numerous exhibitions include The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now and 30 Seconds off an Inch, both considering the persistent resonance of black cultural practices across contemporary art internationally. She has been an early champion of such rising artists as Rashid Johnson, Jimmy Robert, Keren Cytter, The Propeller Group, and Lynette Yiadom Boakye. Beckwith is a frequent contributor to numerous publications and served on the jury of the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. She is a grantee of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and was presented with the 2015 New Leadership Award by ArtTable where she is also a trustee. Beckwith holds a BA in History from Northwestern University, an MA with Distinction from the Courtauld Institute in London, and was a recent fellow with the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York.
About SITElines Team at SITE Santa Fe Working with the SITElines guest curators, the team at SITE includes Irene Hofmann, SITElines Director; Brandee Caoba, Assistant Curator; and Joanne Lefrak, SITE Center Director.
Santa Fe, NM, NOVEMBER 15, 2017—SITE Santa Fe is pleased to announce the curatorial team, concept, and first artist for the 2018 edition of SITElines, SITE’s biennial exhibition dedicated to new art from throughout the Americas. Titled Casa tomada, this iteration will be curated by a three-member team:
José Luis Blondet (b. Caracas, Venezuela; lives in Los Angeles) Curator of Special Projects, LACMA, Los Angeles.
Candice Hopkins (b. Whitehorse, Yukon; lives in Albuquerque), Independent Curator, Albuquerque.
Ruba Katrib (b. Baltimore; lives in New York), Curator, MoMA PS1, New York.
With significant experience across the Americas, the team is supported by Curatorial Advisor Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and by the curatorial team at SITE Santa Fe.
The title of SITElines.2018 references Argentine writer Julio Cortázar’s 1946 short story “Casa tomada” (House Taken Over), which follows two shut-in siblings devoted to the care of their ancestral home. As a mysterious and unnamed presence begins to occupy parts of the house, they are eventually forced out onto the street without any material possessions. The exhibition plays off the ambiguities of this story, addressing the reciprocal and complex relationship between the ones who stay and the ones who leave, and those that belong and those that are outliers.
Questioning notions of private property—of the body, mind, land, and culture––the exhibition asks how boundaries are dissolved and/or violated. Why do we create these divisions? What marks the difference between guest and trespasser? Who is the host and who is the visitor, and when are these roles reversed?
The first artist project of the exhibition is a commissioned song by Stephanie Taylor (USA), a Los Angeles-based artist who explores relationships between sound and objects, creating musical works amidst installations, which connect various subjects within newly constructed narratives. For SITElines.2018, Taylor has formulated the first press release into a song. She has enlisted a chorus of five vocalists to highlight underlying vowel sequences and repeating sounds within the text of the press release. The resulting song delivers accurate information about the biennial through an unexpected combination of institutional promotion, language play, and other communication strategies. Following Press Release #1, Taylor will record additional songs that announce aspects of the exhibition, which will be issued leading up to and throughout the run of the exhibition. At the closing event, Taylor’s songs will be performed in a live concert.
Andy Cushman, Kat Mills
The SITElines.2018 team has engaged the graphic design studio Venezia-Bronk to design a microsite that hosts information and artwork related to the biennial. Launching in fall 2017, this site is an essential component of the exhibition and will create a continuous connection of feedback between its physical location, time-based programs, and content produced specifically for the Web. This platform will provide early details about the show and ongoing information about programming and events, and will function as a digital repository for commissioned texts.