01 Feb 2020 / 01 Jan 2019

Special Projects at SITE Santa Fe


SITE Santa Fe’s Billboard Project began in 2017 with the opening of SITE’s new building. Bridging the gap between the museum and the public, the Billboard Project introduces art into public space and invites community engagement. 

NINA ELDER Adaptations from the Incomplete List series, 2018 

New Mexico-based artist and researcher Nina Elder creates work that examines geologic time, the influence of human activity on the environment, and changing cultures and ecologies. 

Elder’s Incomplete Lists are a part of her ongoing investigation into the act of bearing witness, and reflections on her personal experience of interdisciplinary research. The process begins by trying to answer questions, as exhaustively as possible, in one sitting. For example: What is fleeting? What might offer protection? What is sensitive? Elder then rearranges the words until there is no hierarchy and no pattern. These lists function both as drawings and as poems. 

An Incomplete List of Things That Are Sensitive is depicted against a photo of cracked Indiana limestone, referencing Elder’s ongoing research into quarries, mines, and human interruptions into geologic time. 

An Incomplete List of Things That Protect shows the artist’s hand covered in a fine yellow powder, a mysterious substance that speaks of toxicity. After discovering that many science museums create fake uranium specimens for display, Elder began working with synthetic uranium as well as radioactive charcoal in her visual explorations of the atomic legacy. 

An Incomplete List of Things That Are Fleeting depicts an island of the Southeastern coast of Alaska. This island, an important site for hunting, fishing and seaweed gathering for the Tlingit and Haida peoples, will soon be inaccessible due to rising oceans. 


Regina Silveira, MUNDUS ADMIRABILIS, 2007– ongoing
On view in the Sky Terrace and Courtyard

Regina Silveira’s powerful graphic interventions explore perspective, shadows, and spatial relationships. Her works are site-specific and engage both interior and exterior architectural spaces. MUNDUS ADMIRABILIS, 2007/2017, creates a sense of frenzied movement within SITE’s new building with giant digital renderings of insects swarming across windows, walls, ceilings, and outdoor spaces. These creatures that are usually hidden are now overhead and underfoot conjuring associations between biblical plagues, the ills of the modern world such as corruption and degradation, and perhaps prophesize a future when only the resilient cockroach or prehistoric centipede will survive. This work was part of Silveira’s contribution to SITE Santa Fe’s Future Shock exhibition in 2017, and is courtesy of the artist; Alexander Gray Associates, New York and Luciana Brito Galeria, São Paulo.

Nina Elder, An Incomplete List of Things that Need to Be Protected, 2019– ongoing
On view in the Marleen & Marc Olivié EDUCATION LAB

Nina Elder created this artwork in collaboration with SITE Santa Fe’s Education Department. The lists were compiled from K-12 students at the Academy for Technology & the Classics, El Camino Real Academy, Elevation Children’s Center, Girls Inc., Santa Fe County Youth Development Program, and Santa Fe Public School’s Kiva Program. This project was made possible in part by support from The Santa Fe Hestia Fund and the City of Santa Fe’s Children and Youth Commission.

Zaha Hadid, Bench, 2006
Long term loan on view on the Sky Terrace

Zaha Hadid, the British-Iraqi architect, designer, and painter who died in 2016, is well remembered for creating some of the 21st century’s most distinctive buildings, architectural marvels with swooping, expressive forms that defy both gravity and convention. She also created interiors, domestic objects, and furniture including a series of benches. This bench appears to freeze movement, as though formed from a jet of molten metal, extruded at speed and shaped by the forces of physics. Though a domestic object, its cast aluminum form draws from the material lexicon of industry, with a seamlessly smooth surface and lustrous finish that evokes the curves of a high-performance automobile. At once abstract and familiar, its biomorphic depressions and projections suggest natural places to perch or recline, yet it resists mirroring the body in a way that precludes a multiplicity of function. Such intentional ambiguity rides the line between furniture and sculpture–only when activated by a sitter does the functionality of the bench’s form emerge.

The bench was originally designed in 2003 as part of “Ice-Storm,” an experimental interior setting Hadid created for a retrospective at Vienna’s Museum für Angewandte Kunst. Created in an edition of 12 plus 2 APs, this work is on long-term loan from a private collector.

Gregory Green, Full Metal Jacket, 1997
Long term loan on view on the Sky Terrace

Stainless steel, aluminum, and electronic components courtesy of Max Protetch.  Gregory Green is internationally recognized for his challenging work and the numerous controversies it has spawned in the USA and Europe. Since the mid-1980’s, Gregory has created artworks and performances exploring systems of control and the evolution of individual and collective empowerment. Green’s work considers the use of violence, alternatives to violence, and the accessibility of information and technology as vehicles for social or political change. Referencing historical precedents and disturbingly anticipating various historical events, such as the tragedy of 9/11 and the Arab Spring, Green’s provocative works expand the parameters between art and activism, culture and social commentary.