Haunted by Professor Nicola López. Photo Credit: Kim Richardson

Associate Professor Nicola López’s installation ‘Haunted’

BY Brittany Nguyen, November 24, 2020

Associate Professor Nicola López put up a site-specific installation, Haunted, at the Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico. This installation is a part of the museum’s Visiting Artists Program.  


Haunted is an alternative experience of New Mexico’s natural landscape. The installation engages with the urban environment such as landscape and place that is right in-line with conversations happening in a lot of López’s works. “While the layers of color and representations of texture echo the beauty and remoteness of many places in the state, Haunted, is a site-responsive work that reveals the far-reaching impacts humans have had on landscapes that are now and forever altered,” according to the Albuquerque Museum. 


López uses printed and hand-drawn elements directly on the wall to create the hybrid landscape where geological and human-built features intertwine. “This static landscape is inhabited by moving images projected directly over the wall-mounted collage. Since sunlight pours into the lobby area through large windows adjacent to the exhibition space, the projection is visible to varying degrees as light conditions shift throughout the day and seasons.” Due to this, the project can be barely visible, ghostlike, as a phantom most palpable in dark spaces. López incorporates original documentary and constructed video footage to engage ideas of the “sublime, the surreal and the all-too-real as it explores how our landscape is now permanently haunted by human impact.”

“Alongside the forces of geology and time, human actions have touched every part of the earth’s surface and the reality of all things that inhabit it. Nature as a site untouched by humanity is a ghost that haunts us just as the future is already haunted by the trickle-down and side effects of past, present, and future technologies and the specters of the atrocities we inflict on our environment in the name of progress,” López said in an interview with the Albuquerque Museum’s Curator of Art Josie Lopez.


Born in Santa Fe, NM, López currently lives and makes art in Brooklyn, NY. Through her work in installation, drawing and printmaking, López describes and reconfigures our contemporary—primarily urban—landscape. Her focus on describing ‘place’ stems from interests in anthropology, urban planning and architecture and it has been fueled by time spent working and traveling immersed in different cultures and landscapes. 


Haunted will be on display through May 2021. Currently, the Albuquerque Museum temporarily closed in response to statewide public health restrictions. When they reopen, tickets must be reserved online