Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge

Miriam Sagan will be opening The Poetry Yard this year, an outside space where sculpture and poetry can be fully experienced. Here is a sneak peak at the first sculpture to go up- a permanent feature of the yard. Made entirely of recycled materials, this land art project helps direct rainfall by incorporating a dry pond. The sculpture’s relationship with the land may change over time- will the wood rot when exposed to water? Or will it remain an ever present reminder of fire and drought? As our climate changes, the sculpture may reflect that change on a local level. Along with the ambiguity and anxiety of climate change, “Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge” brings up issues of human consumption and how different organisms feed. The sculpture takes inspiration from saprophytic fungi (mushrooms that consume dead wood) and the twin processes of parasitic and symbiotic growth. The plastic and dairy industries are an ambiguous two-edged sword- using unsustainable environmental practices while at the same time greatly expanding human access to food and vital resources. So the question is: how do we achieve a balance between human needs and biological destruction?

Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge

(A triangle) Between me / G-d / and the water

What We Wrote on the Water

Maternal Mitochondria has a new art show up with Vital Spaces arts organization! Located in the Midtown Annex, 1600 St. Michaels Drive, and available by appointment only (in order to ensure COVID-safe practices), What We Wrote on The Water is a video installation constructed from the poetry of borders, drumming in a dream, the scarce commodity of water in the desert, and gestures in ink. The installation will be available to experience from January 9th-February 8th, and there is no fee!

In a dark enclosed womb of space, the video projects over a large vase, filled with water. It features the Japanese art of suminagashi, spoken poetry, and percussive drums. The projection overlaps the glass, creating new shadows and reflections. This is an immersive experience, playing with materials such as ink and glass, and the metaphor of water as the unconscious mind.

What We Wrote on the Water explores the dialectical flow between creator and viewer, form and meaning, being both on the surface of the water and under it. The viewer leaves refreshed, having temporarily been elsewhere.

FOR APPOINTMENTS: From January 9th-February 8th, please call Isabel at 505-231-1922 or e-mail Miriam at msagan1035@aol.com.

installation art featuring poetry, suminagashi, water, glass, and drumming.

Maternal Mitochondria is a mother-daughter creative duo collaborating in Santa Fe. Miriam Sagan is a writer and Isabel Winson-Sagan is an interdisciplinary artist. Their bilingual video installation of suminagashi and poetry, Thresh/hold, premiered in an abandoned square grain silo at Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan in 2018. They produced a poetry and suminagashi installation in Santa Fe’s Railyard Park with more than twenty participants, aged 4 to 80. The walking path at Santa Fe Skies RV Park on Route 14 is host to their Fairy Houses installation in recycled metal, which has had numerous visitors during the pandemic. For What We Wrote on the Water, they have also collaborated with local drummer Tim Brown.

TIAMAT

The second sculpture of the summer is completed! A companion piece to Scratch– TIAMAT, ancient Near Eastern goddess of primordial creation, goddess of where fresh water meets salt. Brought to you by the Maternal Mitochondria creative team.

“who invented
the drawn outline
30,000 years ago

trees sketched by fire
stand skeletal

you change your name
as easily
as I change my clothes

one moment—City
the next—Chaos”

-Miriam Sagan

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Fairy Houses

Maternal Mitochondria

In 2017, the Maternal Mitochondria creative team went to Japan. There we saw so many kinds of spirit houses—from Shinto shrines to municipal pagodas to small portable altars. When we came home to New Mexico, we wanted to build our own.

The initial three fairy houses are open! (We hope to create a total of nine). Each is made of recycled metal. And each houses a poem that tells the tale of its denizens—the supernatural creatures who work and party in each.

The Cabin is lit up from within by the fire of the earth’s core. Brownie miners descend to seek riches in the earth.

The Cantina is a way station where fire foxes—messengers of the divine—can take a break from their delivery rounds and have a drink.

The Mushroom is a landing pad for winged pixies, even as it is part of the natural cycle of birth and decay.

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Forest Fire

Forest Fire, assemblage in a matchbox, 2020

In the aspen forests of New Mexico, fire is necessary for survival. Without forest fires the aspen trees won’t flourish. They’re a link between life and destruction, change and death. Of course, with the ramping up of climate change, fires in the Southwest are also terrifying and will probably become more frequent due to water scarcity and a hotter climate.

With the addition of photography using the readymade of a woman’s body, ideas of inside/outside, the destructive and nurturing behavior of humans, and the container of “femaleness” are all issues being raised.