Photographs capture a moment in time.
They also set place.
It’s a medium that is precise, yet within the precision there’s room for discussion.
These are some of the reasons behind the “Tempo y Tiempo” exhibit at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, which is currently open to the public. It’s the first new exhibit at the NHCC since before the pandemic started.
“These artists are using photography as a mode of telling stories of experiences,” says Jadira Gurulé, NHCC curator. “Some of the common themes are family and spirituality. There’s a fair amount of working through struggle and the importance of place and how we process that.”
“Tempo y Tiempo” features photographs by four artists working in New Mexico – Frank Blazquez, Bobby Gutierrez, Pico del Hierro-Villa, and Ximena Montez.
Gurulé says collectively, the artists tell stories about what it is to live in New Mexico, illustrating a range of identities, experiences and moments.
The exhibit is being held in the art museum’s community gallery.
“The space is dedicated to showcasing New Mexican artists, “she says. “We’re excited to have something new up in the museum because the previous exhibit had been up for awhile.”
Gurulé and the Visual Arts Department staff have been working to redesign the space for “Tempo y Tiempo.”
She always wanted to curate a photography show.
“I have a personal appreciation for photography,” Gurulé says. “We have photography expertise in the Visual Arts Department and it was an opportunity to have a collaborative process.”
Gurulé has seen photography around the city and reached out to the four photographers.
“(Their work) is thought provoking and has important narratives. It was a good opportunity to showcase artists that we’ve never been able to showcase.”
The exhibit has 38 photos – 15 each for both Gutierrez and Montez, and four each for del Hierro-Villa and Blazquez.
“We have four pieces of (Pico’s) work that explores queer Chicanx identity,” she says. “There’s a well-rounded story about identity and healing.”
Blazquez is known for his street photography. He has a couple of his pieces in the NHCC permanent collection.
“He deals with a lot of portraiture,” she says. “One of his gifts is that he’s able to capture the essence or aura.”
Meanwhile, Gutierrez stays busy and Gurulé has noticed his work.
“One of the things that Bobby does is he captures moments that would otherwise be fleeting,” she says. “He captures them and makes them incredibly thought-provoking. They are snapshots in time.”
Gurulé says Montez’s work is part of a larger series called “How to Pretend to be a Matriarch.”
“She uses dichos or sayings from her family,” she says. “She incorporates old family photographs and new ones. Each one is tailored to what it means to be a matriarch.”