International Artists to Visit Taos

Diné artist Bert Benally

Submitted by The PASEO – May 30, 2016

Three international artists will create art on the streets of Taos historic district on September 23 and 24, 2016. With help from the community and participation from the audience, their work will include sound, video, dance, and will combine ancient materials with modern technologies.

The first artists selected for The PASEO 2016 are diverse geographically and in discipline. Trans-disciplinary Diné artist. Contemporary dance performer. Environmental new media artist. All three are teachers and will include Taos youth in the creation of their installations.

Bert Benally
Mr. Benally is a Diné artist from the Navajo Nation now living in New York City, where he is a doctoral student at Columbia University.

Techno Sand Painting will be created in collaboration with Taos Pueblo students with imagery that will respond to the motion of the audience with LED lights and sound. Benally combines modern technology with traditional sand painting to generate an experiential artwork that combines natural and spiritual qualities. The artist will work with Delbert Standing Rock as a liaison at the Pueblo, to engage the tribe and community in this collaboration.

Benally recently collaborated with Chinese dissident artist, Ai Weiwei, on an artwork titled Pull of the Moon. It is a collaboration for Navajo TIME (Temporary Installations Made for the Environment) and is located deep in the desert of the Southwest, amidst the dramatic scenery of Coyote Canyon. “Harmony” is at the foundation of the Diné philosophy of life and plays a central role in all of Mr Benally’s work.

Bert Benally // T I M E @ Coyote Canyon from D.E. Hyde on Vimeo.

Cie. Willi Dorner, a dance company
Cie. Willi Dorner is a dance and performance group from Vienna, Austria.

“bodies in urban spaces” will be performed by members of Taos Youth Ballet and willing participants from the general public, who will rehearse with the artists in the week prior to the festival. The company describes the performance/dance piece as “a moving trail, choreographed for a group of dancers. The performers lead the audience through selected parts of public and semi-public spaces. A chain of physical ‘interventions,’ set up very quickly, existing temporarily, allows viewers to perceive the place in a new and different way — on the run.“

Mr. Dorner founded Cie. Willi Dorner, a dance company, in 1999 and since then has performed in numerous festivals and venues in Europe, Untied States, and even South Korea.

Installation by Cie. Willi Dorner in Berlin
Cie. Willi Dorner in Berlin
Perfomance by Cie. Willi Dorner in London
Cie. Willi Dorner in London
Installation by Cie, Willi Dorner in Linz
Cie. Willi Dorner in Linz



Alexandra Gelis
Ms Gelis is a Colombian-Venezuelan artist currently living in Toronto, Canada.

Raspao (Spanish slang for vendor carts used throughout Latin America to sell snow cones) is a hybrid vehicle, food cart and moving sound sculpture with electronic components that captures and reproduces sounds and video in from the surrounding environment and sounds made by the internal components of the cart. The artist will work with students from VISTA High School, using the hacked vehicle to create their own sound compositions. The piece explores local economies by engaging local entrepreneur, Cristina Portillo Borja, to operate and receive the profits from Raspao sales.

Ms. Gelis has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards from organizations including Canada Council for the Arts and the Colombian Minister of Culture. She is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Raspos by Alexandra Gellis
“Raspao” (snow cone cart in Spanish) by Alexandra Gellis

About The PASEO
The PASEO jurors will soon announce the acceptance of another 10 to 12 artists in the juried portion of the festival’s call for entries. The actual number of artworks presented, co-director Matt Thomas explains, will depend upon the success of fundraising efforts and sponsorships from the community to pay each artist an honorarium and installation and travel expenses. “This summer we’ll continue our efforts to have PASEO 2016 surpass last year’s amazing event.”

This is a New Mexico True event supported by both the Town and County of Taos and numerous corporate and business sponsors.

The 2015 event brought over 10,000 locals and visitors to the streets of Taos to view 31 art installations created by nearly 70 artists. All Taos County schools were included in the pre-event workshops, which reached over 200 students.

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