Video is at the heart of Marcus Zúñiga’s artistic expression and the focus of his planetarium-like installation that opens on April 8 at NO LAND, Strangers Collective’s new exhibition space.
“Ya Veo,” the name of Zúñiga’s show which means “I see” in Spanish, is an invitation for viewers to contemplate their place in the universe.
“I’ve spent the past two years doing astronomical exploration that’s reflected in this show,” explains Zúñiga, who was born in Silver City and did undergraduate study in video art at the University of New Mexico. “My work is about perception of the universe.”
Working with a Celestron telescope, Zúñiga took footage of the planet Jupiter and created a 14- layered video for one part of the installation. Fictional constellations are the subject of another multi-layered video projected on monitors. Zúñiga’s cell phone captured images of the sun and February’s full moon in a third video, which shows the two celestial bodies eclipsing.
Zúñiga also has set up a plexiglass sculptural form with magnets and electronics inside on the floor and a grid of mylar stitched into paper on the wall.
Adding to the installation’s ambiance are a NASA recording of sound waves that have been slowed down so they’re audible to the human ear and a recording of Aztec dancers taken during Easter festivities in the northern New Mexico village of Chimayo. The reason Zúñiga was drawn to the Aztec dancers is “they’re my ancestors, and they’re the birth of Mexican ideas and folklore.”
“Ya Veo” is the inaugural exhibition at NO LAND, the first space that Strangers Collective, which is co-directed by Kyle Farrell, Jordan Eddy and Alex Gill, can call its own.
Formed in 2014 with the mission to showcase work by emerging visual, performing and literary artists, Strangers Collective had presented exhibitions in a variety of spaces around town and in collaboration with galleries before finding its home at NO LAND last November.
“Our plan is to host one exhibit every two months and also feature pop-up events in the summer,” says Farrell. “We’re committed to helping artists like Marcus build their bodies of work.”
To help fund the exhibition, a selection of Zúñiga’s high quality prints will be sold at the opening.