Yolanda Gutiérrez: "The river whispers to us and the snake hisses". Lake of San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1999.
  3rd International SITE Santa Fe Biennial.
Curator: Rosa Martínez
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. July 10 - December 31, 1999.

Helena Almeida (Portugal)
Ghada Amer (Egypt)
Janine Antoni (Bahamas/USA)
Monica Bonvicini (Italy)
Louise Bourgeois (USA)
Tania Bruguera (Cuba)
Lygia Clark (Brazil)
Diller + Scofidio (USA)
Dr. Galentin Gatev (Bulgaria)
Yolanda Gutiérrez (México)
Mona Hatoum (Palestine/Great Britain)
Carl Michael von Hausswolff (Sweden)
Carsten Höller (Germany)
Simone Aaberg Kaern (Denmark)
Zwelethu Mthethwa (South Africa)
Nikos Navridis (Greece)
Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA)
Rivane Neuenschwander (Brazil)
Gabriel Orozco (México/USA)
Cai Guo-Qiang (China)
Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland)
Francisco Ruiz de Infante (Spain)
Bülent Sangar (Turkey)
Arsen Savadov & Georgy Senchenko (Ukraine)
Charlene Teters (USA)
Sergio Vega (Argentina)
Miwa Yanagi (Japan)

In recent decades, art has abandoned its historical isolation in favor of constructing multiple bridges to reality. Today, art is connected to science, political activism, the exploration of psychic darkness, and new ideas of beauty not necessarily determined by Western paradigms. Simultaneously, a new aesthetic is emerging as a consequence of the latest technologies.

As these technologies change our sense of place, the ways in which we are connected to the flux of information have become more relevant than where we are located. Despite our ability to interact simply and quickly with people in every part of the world, place has become one of the main sources of anxiety in our time.

Land, place, and space are essential to the definition of the relationship between human beings and the world. Contemporary approaches conceive of places as events, as scenes for human life, as crossroads for existential encounters. These approaches seem to go back to the Greek concept of topos, which refers less to a "place" than it does to a "state of being." There is no topos without movement, and "looking for a place" can also be understood as movement toward a "state."

The exhibition Looking For A Place is specifically conceived for SITE Santa Fe's third international biennial. The artists are from many generations and many nations, and they will explore the multiple meanings of place today. The biennial artists will create poetic and critical views of how the "where" is understood today.

The heart of Looking For A Place is to explore the potential and energy of places charged with meaning and to heighten the sensibilities of the spectators. Central to the concerns of the contemporary world and related to the particularity of places are a variety of issues. These range from the boundaries that separate public and private spheres, to the consideration of the space that marginalized groups occupy in society; from the way our bodies (the places of ourselves) relate to architecture and urban environments, to the ethics of how advances in techno-science modify us; from the displacements and cultural clashes linked with migrations, to the defense of identities.

Santa Fe, rich with history, tradition, and myth, is at the center of Looking For A Place. Although the exhibit is more about intensity than extension, the biennial will also have satellite locations throughout northcentral New Mexico. SITE Santa Fe's third international biennial proposes to discover rural, urban, and psychic landscapes that will provoke emotions and critical reflection about the perception of place. Looking For A Place will contribute to the reinvigoration of contemporary cultural discourse and assume a significant presence among international biennials.


Press Release.
The exhibition, LOOKING FOR A PLACE, sets out to translate the emotion of time and place and to assert that in each corner of the planet there is a universe. The project seeks to reinforce the confluence between nature, science and cultural cross-fertilization. Martínez states, "While the past was considered to be the source of all knowledge and Western reason regarded as the sole truth, today art feels the need to break out of its straitjacket, explore uncharted lands and fashion new possibilities of thought based on the synchronicity of the present."

The biennial features works by 30 artists whom Martínez views as being interpreters of a rapidly changing world. They represent many countries and thematic as well as stylistic approaches, including installation, video, interactive works, performance, scientific explorations, aesthetics/politics, travel studies, feminist art, and ecological art. In addition, SITE Santa Fe is offering intensive educational and parallel programs designed around the biennial for a variety of participants.

"I strongly believe that Santa Fe is the perfect environment to present an exhibition aimed at establishing a fruitful dialogue with contemporary international art currents," reflects Martínez. "SITE Santa Fe has stepped into the international arena and become a magnet drawing the attention of both the public and critics, and Santa Fe's geographical, sociological and cultural hallmarks make it a privileged place for tackling some of the issues facing the world today."