Archaeology nearly always involves the study of trash, what people have left behind and discarded. Not content to wait another century to have his trash declared historic, Jemez/San Felipe Pueblo artist Jaque Fragua makes art in his new show, Rubbish, by excavating the litter left on local reservations, from automobile parts to oil drums to used tires. “It’s giving life back to abandoned things,” Fragua stated on his website. He is also fortunate that in the desert, the sun and aridity do a lovely job of preserving a lot of scrap metal in poetic states of rusted decay. The artist says the show is designed to provoke questions about environmental degradation on Native lands. That ambition might be beyond the scope of this show. Still, it can be pleasing to play armchair archaeologist and wonder where all this detritus came from. Rubbish is displayed at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, from noon to 8 p.m. during the Native Cinema Showcase. The show runs through Sept. 11; call 982-1338 for information.
Work by Jaque Fragua