Jun 4, 2023 - Things to Do

Virgil Ortiz brings Indigenous futurism to Denver

The "Revolt 1680/2180: Runners + Gliders" exhibit at History Colorado Center. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Pueblo artist Virgil Ortiz's latest exhibit makes you see the past and present simultaneously.

Driving the news: Called "Revolt 1680/2180: Runners + Gliders" it premiered in May at History Colorado Center, and centers around the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.

  • The uprising saw Pueblo people overthrow Spanish colonizers in present-day New Mexico.

Details: The exhibit imagines time-traveling soldiers arriving to protect their homeland, outfitted in armor and regalia created by Ortiz.

  • It's part of a larger theme of his work he calls indigenous futurism, which blends modern sci-fi with timeworn historic work like ​Cochiti Pueblo Pottery.

What they're saying: "I'm just a bead in a necklace, trying to tell this story — our history — using art," Ortiz tells us.

Zoom in: The exhibit's dark-gray atmosphere is broken by occasional bright, luminous colors, making you feel like you just walked into an episode of "Battlestar Galactica" — a show Ortiz tells us inspired him.

  • Digital prints bordered by neon frames sit next to pottery crafted with ancient Pueblo techniques used by Ortiz, creating a visual representation of the past and present.

Of note: The exhibit features augmented reality, letting you summon three-dimensional artworks next to the physical work through your phone.

  • One piece buzzes like electricity is running through it when looking through a phone.

What's next: Admission is $15 and includes access to the exhibit.

  • History Colorado Center is located at 1200 Broadway in Denver.

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