A Blogger's Nightmare
Santa Fe was not what I expected. It did not live up to last year's magic.
There were bloody sunsets and fawn-colored adobe walls. There were tourists dressed in patterned shorts and white socks. A clown-car load of realtors smiled at me from newsprint pages, their listings displayed like badges. All of it was much the same as last year.
Those we encountered, whether friend or not, seemed strained as summer and the end of tourist season blanketed them in fear. Funny, the effect of fear.
I wanted to feel open and lite. Instead I felt the weight and hope of thirty travel years dissolve into a steep, dark arroyo. I felt like one of the brilliantly fabricated animals of artist, Beth Cavener - trapped with no way out.
Stoneware with Mixed media, 21 × 37 × 22 inches
Due to a rainy summer, it was greener than in years past. The Chamisa was abundant and brilliant yellow. The air smelled of fresh earth, scented of pine. While I felt almost aroused by the natural scenery and smells, residents seemed quite unaware of them. I wondered if this were true as we wandered around the Site Santa Fe 20th anniversary exhibition, where I saw myself in the vanishing species installation by artist, Ann Hamilton. Oh, where for art thou, sensitive gentle folk? Have you been torn to shreds and completely removed from Ms. Hamilton's installation?
|Ann Hamilton, The Common Sense, Animals|
Site Santa Fe
I have always heard the call of nature in and around Santa Fe. But, this trip was different. The call of nature turned into the call of the wildly insane - the call of those, perpetually puzzled. Our attempt at finding our spot for life degenerated into a muddled, ineffectual blob of paint on the canvas of a lackluster artist.
Where are you, Jason Middlebrook, when I need you the most? Your pristine geometric abstractions painted upon naturally formed and sliced trunks of trees smile at my confusion. They allude to my inner state and no amount of seemingly organized lines and spaces will iron out these feelings of bafflement. How unpredictable our expectations!
Fortunately, the old places are still there: Garcia Street Books, Downtown Subscription, Restaurant Martin, The Georgia O'keeffe Museum and a number of other galleries and eateries. They make us feel at home. But, something was lacking on this trip. The old haunts could not bring me into excitement. Was it too many trips? Too much familiarity? Had it become old? Had it worn itself into the ground? Certainly, there are other places to visit and fall in love with. And perhaps that's it, after all - I wonder if I've fallen out of love with Santa Fe?
|Jason Middlebrook, current works from Peter's Projects|
Santa Fe, NM