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FRENTE AGUA – (Facing Water)
“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”
__ Laura Gilpin, from The Rio Grande (1949 –)
The Frente Agua project imagines the opportunity to speak to the deep and intimate relationship New Mexicans have with water. The Navajo Creation story tells us that a great river crossed the land from north to south, and this was the Female River. At the same time there was a river flowing from east to west, and this was the Male River. This “Place where the Waters Crossed” is where life flourished for the first peoples. Today these waters continue to cross our paths. New Mexico’s rivers connect all of us with precious resources that are our lifeblood. At the same time a combination of drought, invasive species, over-allocation, toxification, and unsustainable management is placing this lifeblood in danger. The wildlife that depends on rivers is in decline. The future of many communities and economies relying on river water is uncertain. The Frente Agua (Facing Water) project seeks to put a face to the “magic, moving, living” resource that is our river water. We seek to create a conversation by lending voice to the many New Mexicans who rely on and are connected to water either by livelihood or by recreation. Our multidisciplinary project is a collaborative endeavor between Stephanie Wagner and Brack Morrow incorporating photography, sculpture, video projection, and sound for the purpose of exhibiting visual stories depicting how water impacts the lives of New Mexicans from broad walks of life around the state. We invite New Mexicans to convey stories of how our rivers and waterways impact their lives. They will be filmed, and photographed along with the body of water that is meaningful to them. We will project their stories on a 10 foot sculpture of a face. We will be exhibiting Frente Agua in Santa Fe at the FantaSe Arts Festival on June 18, 2016.