BMW, Chetro Ketl Kiva, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, U.S.A.Artist(s)Patrick NagataniArtist NationalityAmerican (North American)Object Creation Date1997; printed 2001Medium & Supportgelatin silver print on paperDimensions
6 in x 8 in (15.24 cm x 20.32 cm)Credit LineGift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80Subject matter
This photograph depicts a view looking down into the ruins of the ancient Puebloan structure of Chetro Ketl Kiva, in New Mexico. Piled about the site are excavating tools like shovels, picks, hammers and wheelbarrows. Standing on a tripod is a view camera, its bellows extended and directed at the curved wall to the right of the image. There, next to a ladder, a strange form is evident within the carved out breach in the wall’s façade. Almost unrecognizable, the buried form is revealed by the work’s title to be the fender of an BMW automobile, suggesting the incredulous notion that it has been encased within these walls for a millennium.
On closer inspection however, it is evident that the scene is actually a view of a model, an elaborate dioramic reproduction of Chetro Ketl Kiva. This photograph is a part of the series, the Ryoichi/Nagatani Excavations,
in which the artist
created a narrative surrounding a fictitious Japanese archaeologist named Ryoichi. By chance, Ryoichi discovers a mysterious set of documents that lead him to various sites of ancient cultural importance around the world. Excavating this locations in secret, Ryoichi’s team discovers buried evidence of an ancient automobile culture that inexplicably parallels our own. Nagatani presents himself as the photographer for these secret excavations, claiming his photographs are the sole evidence of the project's existence. The elaborate, outlandish story reveals Nagatani’s interest in photography’s supposed verisimilitude, and explores the intersection of documented facts and contrived fictions. Physical Description
This photograph depicts a view looking down into an ancient stone structure's foundation. An excavation into one of its walls is in progress, revealing the fender of a car.Primary Object ClassificationPhotographCollection AreaPhotographyRights
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Pueblo (Native American style)
artifacts (object genre)