The Institute of Contemporary Art Santa Fe is dedicated to the exchange of ideas through contemporary art and supports artists’ practices through exhibitions, performances, research, and publications for a public audience.


An institution is born when a constraint is established. This hardness keeps the walls up. We hang art on the walls. We dance all night on the cement floors, also a hard material. All this rigidity is needed to have something to explode, and then have a place to sleep in piles of bodies on soft feathers when we are exhausted.

The image of our institution in the mirror is relentlessly decapitated, and like a medusa plant, it grows six new heads every time the sickle cuts our thinking.

For the last year, we have been building these walls, making kitchens and showers, playing music, watching films, and extending slowly into space together with a series of “Soft Openings”, allowing our form to grow organically as if time were material.

Our beginning is like a naked skeletal form waiting for its flesh to be draped and gathered by the artists who share their beauty. We will thrive on the ideas that travel through each other’s ears and sprout like seeds in our brains.

The body of this Institution, and the launch of its website, are in the process of becoming and are intentionally spacious and unformed. Like a natural history of love, we hope to become a messy accumulation of scars – the shape of consensus, the shape of understanding – things lost and gained by shaking and breaking what holds us calcified. A collection of those differences that make a difference.

– welcome text co-authored by Neil Doshi, Chiara Giovando, hana kostis, Lucia Maher Tatar, Chase Niesner