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Ancient Beings, 2016 

site-based project

Peña Blanca cave, Las Cruces, NM

As part of Organ Monument Oratory, Ancient Beings was a temporary installation at Peña Blanca cave created by Faith Purvey and Shaunna Foster for one night in 2016. A historic site for Mogollon culture and now a popular hiking and bouldering area within the OMDP National Monument, this cave is off the beaten path but one of the Monument's great treasures. The artists set aluminum cutouts inside naturally-occurring alcoves, illuminated by battery LEDs, to enliven images of animals and petroglyph symbols found in and near the cave. Viewed at dusk and in the dark, a group of participants hiked a mile in each direction and viewed the installation by flashlight.


Ancient Beings is the second collaboration between Purvey and Foster. They hike in modular materials to wilderness spaces and practice leave-no-trace ethics. Their work temporarily animates the landscape and is removed in reverence for nature and the National Monument.

Photos: Yvette Lopez

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