Incognito: Discovering Her, an Exhibition of Found Art

Incognito: Discovering Her, an exhibition of found art curated by Andrea Cypress and Sally Blakemore

Opening in the Santa Fe Railyard shade structure by the Farmers Market

Friday, October 28, 2022, 5 to 7 pm

Axle Contemporary is pleased to present an new exhibition, curated by Santa Fe BAG members Sally Blakemore and Andrea Cypress, and drawn from a massive archive of found photographs found at an Arizona thrift store.  The curators investigate and raise up the unknown artist’s photographs in a curatorial process that drawn on the fields of Aesthetics, Anthropology, History, and American Studies.

From co-curator Sally Blakemore:

“The truth of our age can be found in  self expressive market-byproducts. In Incognito, we share a life begun with husband and friends and dogs in a house somewhere in America. We share their pasatiempos and odd distractions, insights, travel, appliances, dramas on small scales, flirtations with travel and pop-culture travel to established theme parks and Apollo history.

Once our photographer had lost her husband and was without much outside input, we see a devotion to a television box that brings new and old people into lives of shut-ins, people who create their own worlds through familiar faces and celebrities. The most intriguing part of this exhibit is when our photographer—in her final days—cut the people from inside the TV boxes, to somehow release the life into her room without framing it with Zenith or Magnovox modernity.

As a paper cutter myself, I know that each slice of paper is a signature, it is an expressive use of negative and positive space, the way the scissors meet the paper is as personal as pencil drawings by Rembrandt, collected by museums.

In our photographer’s life, the photos, the photo flashes in the screen, the out of focus plus the recording of a feed of friends could be depended on to show up daily, at scheduled times.

Accessibility to recording one’s life for posterity must be the motivation, or maybe just to photo-sketch day to day activities to ‘see’ who we are day to day, to prove our existence and our adaptation to change.

This anonymous photographer intrigued me with each strange and glorious snap shot of her world. It seems the middle classes in America during the 50s, were celebrated in the marketing of personal, accessible cameras, for profit of course, but the byproduct of Selfies, self history and frivolity can be afforded by many.

In the digital world, these byproducts are lost in the cloud, but in paper and material worlds these treasures can be collected, mostly from thrift store collections; leftovers from estates become archeology and anthropology combined.”

Axle Contemporary programming is supported by Axle Projects, Inc. Axle Projects’ operations are supported through individual donations and grants. This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Exhibitions in the Santa Fe Railyard are made possible through the support of The Railyard Art Project.  If you are interested in supporting Axle Projects, visit the website: https://www.axleart.com/