Gabriel Martinez | Mountain War Time
16 July – 13 September 2015
Artpace, San Antonio, Texas
Mountain War Time presents a new body of work by Houston-based artist Gabriel Martinez. Responding to personal and social histories emanating from his hometown of Alamogordo, New Mexico and the legacy of the development of the atomic bomb, the exhibition presents a series of x-ray photographs, glass sculptures, and a video of Henry Herrera – a member of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders. The Downwinders are members of the communities adjacent to Trinity Site, the code name for the first nuclear detonation site in New Mexico.
The work draws on research into the first atomic detonation in Alamogordo, New Mexico and the dangers of its radioactive fallout. Martinez approached the subject matter from different frameworks and considered several facets of the history of the atomic bomb: the geologic conditions preceding the establishment of the White Sands Missile Range, the implications of class and race for the Tularosa Basin communities where the detonation occurred, and the intertwined colonial narratives which bring uranium mined in the Belgian Congo to Apache Mescalero land in southern New Mexico.
About Gabriel Martinez
Houston-based artist Gabriel Martinez creates art experiences beyond the traditional gallery setting, hinting at social and political undercurrents. Martinez has intervened in public spaces, suggesting alternate uses and interpretations for empty lots or bus stops without seating. By installing signage or benches where there previously were none, perceptions change through participation in the altered landscape. Martinez is a 2012 CORE Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as an artist in residence at Project Row Houses. He received his MFA from Columbia University.
Riley Robinson, Studio Director
Chad Dawkins, Studio Technician
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