A new MExico Reliquary

2006 (unpublished)

Once in a while, Melissa Cicetti comes upon a place and an understanding occurs without her being aware. It is an intuitive response to the discovery of self through exposure to a new terrain. There is no moment of recognition, just a feeling of calm, a freedom of movement, an ease of expression. When removed from that place, the memory of it resonates. Cicetti’s attachment to such a location is a quasi-mystical experience, which can only be processed once she has uncovered through photography the source of her engagement. 

A New Mexico Reliquary records the enduring presence of two such landscapes in Cicetti’s life – the mesa grasslands east of Las Vegas and the lava beds south of Grants (El Malpais). Each landscape possesses a characteristically different sense of place, yet both hold an equal ability to etch themselves in her memory. To document each site, Cicetti photographed in both black-and-white, and color the vistas, forms and textures which defined for her what it was to live in New Mexico and be part of its land.