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The map below, supplied by the National Park Service, outlines the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro’s course from Mexico City to northern New Mexico. Image

The Royal Road Project Travel video is an experimental video that serves as a reflection of traveling the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

The New Mexico Arts Centennial Project Space invites you to experience The Royal Road Project, an interactive multimedia installation featuring the world premiere of new work by artists Charles Veasey, J. Craig Tompkins, and Ethan Bach with guest artist Sinte´ Jackson Torrez. The Royal Road Project calls the audience to investigate the ever-changing landscape of the El Camino Real, one of the most influential roadways in North American history. The opening reception will take place at the Centennial Project Space on Friday July 20, 5pm to 8pm.

The Royal Road Project is an installation that journeys through one of the most significant trails in North American history, the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail. This work creates visceral temporal shifts as one travels the length of the trail though landscapes comprised of panoramic images, video, and audio. A layer of text and images intersects the photos that presents diverse contemplation of historical colonial encounters, ideas of territory, and the experiences of Native Americans.

Artists Veasey, Tompkins, and Bach have focused their artistic efforts on this project for the past year by conducting research and exploring the area. In January 2012, they traveled the trail from El Paso, Texas to Taos, New Mexico stopping at least every 15 miles. The artist followed the trail through arroyos, across the “Journey of the Dead Man”, and over mountains.They traveled the trail over 10 days, working from before sunrise to after sundown, exploring the details of each location.

Artists choose to work with El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Spanish for “The Royal Road of the Interior Land”) because of its significance in the cultural landscape of where they live. The trail was originally used for trade among Native tribes from the Aztec cities to Taos Pueblo. Decades before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth rock, Cortez invaded the Aztec civilization through the port city now known as Veracruz, Mexico. The Spanish made their way up the trail where they colonized Indigenous people along the way. This eventually led to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Hundreds of years later, the area is still seasoned by the significance of these historical events.

The Royal Road Project shows at the Centennial Project Space January 20 through August 31, 2012.

The New Mexico Arts Centennial Project Space is located at 54 1/2 East San Francisco Street, Suite 2 on the Santa Fe Plaza above the popular Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop.
New Mexico Arts Centennial Project Space seeks to expand the reach of the state’s public art program through collaboration with a diverse range of New Mexico artists. In 2011 and 2012 they will celebrate New Mexico’s centennial with unique visions of the state’s history and the legacy of its people from a contemporary perspective.

For more information, please contact Eileen Braziel, braziel2@mindspring.com, 505-699-4914