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Contemporary Art Month returns with a distance-friendly format

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Blue Star Contemporary teased the CAM Kickoff with an enigmatic photo by Kellen Stanley, who collaborated with Xavier Gilmore on "AnOriginal Drive." - KELLEN STANLEY VIA INSTAGRAM / BLUESTARART
  • Kellen Stanley via Instagram / bluestarart
  • Blue Star Contemporary teased the CAM Kickoff with an enigmatic photo by Kellen Stanley, who collaborated with Xavier Gilmore on "AnOriginal Drive."
After being interrupted by the onset of COVID-19 cancellations and closures in 2020, Contemporary Art Month is returning for 2021 with pandemic safety in mind.

On Friday, CAM hits the ground running with a drive-in event held in Artpace's parking lot. The annual CAM Kickoff will feature a screening of the 2021 CAM Perennial exhibition "Here, the rivers run both ways" and a live performance of Xavier Gilmore's "AnOriginal Drive," a multidisciplinary work created in collaboration with Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson, Anthony Francis, Kellen Stanley, Nick Long and Edwin Stephens.

Curated by Doreen A. Rios, "Here, the rivers run both ways" includes video works by artists Francis Almendarez, Hedwige Jacobs, Julia Zipporah, Hugo Santana, Hannah Spector, Betelhem Makonnen, Heather Warren-Crow, Patty Ortiz, Verónica Gaona, Karen Y. Martínez and Daniel Jackson. Centered on the idea of territories, the exhibition "expands on the notion of wandering, the intimate — yet collective — daydreaming and, of course, the cultural mythologies delineated by migration, gentrification, gender, and communication systems."

Certain to be a feast for the senses, "AnOriginal Drive" explores the spiritual "Roll, Jordan, Roll" using sound, video and scent in an improvisatory performance.

The drive-in is free, but limited to 20 vehicles, with registration available via Eventbrite. Although there is no promise of smell-o-vision, the kickoff will also stream on Blue Star Contemporary's Facebook page.

Later in the month, "Here the rivers run both ways" will be presented in two parts at outdoor screenings at Blue Star Contemporary. Each screening will feature a "chapter" of the exhibition, "Territory as body" (March 11) and "Territory as land" (March 18).

Free, 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, Artpace Parking Lot, 513 N. Flores, contemporaryartmonth.org.

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