Cochiti Pueblo artist Virgil Ortiz has a new installation at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Brandon Soder)
Meow Wolf always offers a new experience.
At “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, three new permanent installations are ready for visitors.
Months of work has taken place since the Santa Fe-based arts collective announced collaborations with Cochiti Pueblo artist Virgil Ortiz, Lauren YS (Squidlicker) and Jacob Fisher.
According to Meow Wolf, the new rooms are part of Meow Wolf’s ongoing exhibition evolution program that will offer visitors new experiences annually.
Virgil Ortiz’s installation is titled “Sirens: Secret Passkeys & Portals.” (Courtesy of Atlas Media)
A piece of Virgil Ortiz’s installation at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe.
Squidlicker, aka Lauren YS, works on the installation, “The Ancestral Crypt,” at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Brandon Soder)
“The Ancestral Crypt,” by Squidlicker at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Atlas Media)
Jacob Fisher is photographed inside his installation at Meow Wolf called “until I see you again.” (Courtesy of Brandon Soder)
Jacob Fisher’s “until I see you again” is now on display at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Atlas Media)
While the ‘House of Eternal Return’ is a permanent exhibition, it is also a living, constantly changing exhibition,” said Susan Garbett, General Manager of the “House of Eternal Return.” “The new installations go beyond their respective rooms, adding the creative psyche of Virgil, Lauren and Jacob to the hundreds of works already displayed. The intention and experience of the entire space evolves with every new brushstroke, every new sculpture, every new touch of an artist’s hand.”
Ortiz’s installation is titled “Sirens: Secret Passkeys & Portals”
It features a cast of characters from his “Revolt 1680/2180” saga — an ongoing project Ortiz has been working on for the past two decades.
“Revolt 1680/2180” is the vision of a dystopian future 500 years after the Pueblo Revolt in which time-travelers return to the era to aid their ancestors. They quickly gather the survivors and search for any remaining clay artifacts from the battlefields, realizing that challenges and persecution will continue, making the preservation of their clay, culture, language, and traditions from extinction imperative.
“The freedom to touch, feel, take pictures, and explore an immersive installation opens up many possibilities,” said Ortiz. “It has challenged me to adapt to the idea of having people interact with the displays, decode patterns, listen to the soundtrack and wander around it all.”
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Squidlicker, also known as Lauren YS, is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work is influenced by dreams, mythology, death, comics, love, sex, psychedelia, animation and their Asian-American heritage.
Their installation, which will be in a two-story room accessed through a round portal from the exhibition’s central forest, is entitled “The Ancestral Crypt.”
Modeled off of Asian prayer spaces, the room is where viewers “can go with our queer ancestors on the ancestral plane,” according to the artist. The room has a sense of being underground, existing somewhere that feels both futuristic and ancient, with design centered on a neo-Asian feel mixed in with alien, futuristic, western and psychedelic influences.
“Between every plane there is a liminal space — between yin and yang, body and soul, life and death, between the sacred and the profane, reality and surreality, past and future, male and female,” said Squidlicker. “This space is meant to act as a haven for fluidity: a temple to the liminal, to bring into materiality a space for that which defies absolution. An homage to the queer, to the nonbinary, to the shifting, monstrous and in-process.”
New York-based artist Fisher’s installation is called “until I see you again” and will be located in the depths of the exhibition space shrouding Space Sphere, the giant interstellar traveling ball.
“As you enter the installation, shape, structure, color, detail, and light grasp your attention,” Fisher said. “The environment diverts your consciousness away from the comings and goings of the outside world, and towards sensation of the physical–the present moment. My hope is that, for a moment, in this odd beautiful world, you forget your efforts to order the chaos of everyday life. For a moment you are filled with tranquility.”
Gargett said the “House of Eternal Return” is the perfect venue for these three new installations; Welcoming artists that tap into the nature of infinity, dreams, ancestors and the local Native landscape and people is a wonderful representation of our mission to instill imagination and play.
“In the case of Ortiz’s work, history serves as a powerful lens for examining ourselves creatively, changing course and improving how we value art and artists,” Garbett said. “Fisher’s work brings us the opportunity to find peace in the present, and Squidlicker’s installation is a space of deep ancestral acceptance of the liminal. All of these combine to make some of the most powerful experiences we have offered yet.”