The Due Return

Saturday — finally, would've missed it if the exhibit hadn't gotten extended — to the The Due Return, a production of the local arts collective Meow Wolf at the Muñoz Waxman Gallery.

Open 'til 10:00! Madness! What's open 'til 10:00 in Santa Fe?

"An inter-dimensional ship has settled on an alien landscape. Once a seafaring vessel, it now bares [sic] the marks of its previous voyages; a hodgepodge of transport devices and retro-fitted technologies."

With a pitch that sounds like it could be a booth at Comic-Con and a having dominated a first-of-its-kind fundraiser, I was dubious. The phrase "self-indulgent" came to mind, and this is from a guy who loses money printing his own comics about flying spies.

There was due to be a performance that evening, but we weren't necessarily planning around that. Really, had no idea what to expect.

It defies easy explanation. It's boat, really. I mean, it's not whole, it can't float, but there's a two-level boat built in this space. You can walk into it, climb up and down and explore its various rooms. And it's just the backdrop for the display of all kinds of artifacts. Set in a space with adobe caves constructed around, and odd creatures surrounding.

When we arrived 'round 8:00, Round Mountain had already started their performance. The duo's music gave us a Great Big Sea meets Devotchka kind of vibe and was a great accompaniment to exploring the nooks and crannies of the ship. On the top deck, there was quite a crowd.

We hung out there for more than an hour, stopping to listen to the band, back down to wander through the ship and the rest of the installation. To take photos.

I counted well over 100 people there. Plenty of of all ages listening to the band, art patrons also not knowing what to expect, teenagers hanging out (looking to me like that's how they'd been spending their summer nights, at the gallery), kids scrambling all over the boat, high school friends catching up. The Due Return is an accomplishment, even more impressive for the crowd and the atmosphere it creates.

No comments: