FotoFest Exhibitions

Nic Nicosia


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9 ½ Hours to Santa Fe

Nic Nicosia has traveled by car between Dallas and Santa Fe many times over the years, never becoming disenchanted or bored with the beauty of the mutable scenery he passes. Nicosia’s habitual trek takes him from the manicured lawns of the Dallas suburbs to the stark, jagged edges of the desert. He also moves from the soft rolling hills of north Texas to the vast minimal landscapes of New Mexico. More than half of the drive follows Interstate 40, which parallels historic Route 66, considered one of the great American driving experiences, a symbol of America’s vibrant nomadic spirit as recorded by Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac, and the road taken to California by many families during the 1930s. 9½ hours to Santa Fe (2003-2004) documents one of Nicosia’s solitary automobile trips. The entire drive was filmed in real time with three video cameras inside the car. One was mounted facing the front, with one to the rear, and an additional handheld camera was manipulated by the artist. At least one camera was running at all times, whether Nicosia was driving, filling the car up with gas, or taking a break to stretch or change the video tapes. The result is an unnervingly monotonous yet ultimately intriguing and personal document.


Nic Nicosia has exhibited his staged photographs internationally since 1980. He has been selected for the Whitney Biennials of 1983 and 2000, The Guggenheim Exxon Show in 1983 and Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany in 1992. Nicosia has had over seventy solo exhibitions and his work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. In New York, his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art , as well as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and the Dallas Museum of Art. In 1999 a twentyyear retrospective of Nicosia’s work was shown at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and traveled to several venues. Centro de Arte de Salamanca, Spain mounted a retrospective in 2003 and both originating museums produced comprehensive catalogs.