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Time and Time Again

History, Photography, and Preservation in the Chaco World

Photographs and commentary by Peter Goin


Text by Lucy R. Lippard


For more than a decade, Peter Goin has studied the ancient Puebloan culture at Chaco Canyon and north into Mesa Verde, conducting fieldwork, studying historical photographs, and rephotographing the Great Houses and other significant features of the upper San Juan Basin.  His process has raised questions about how history and time affect the way we see ruins, cultures ownership.  The result is Time and Time Again, with text by Lucy R. Lippard, who examines the history and concept of “ruins,” famously described by J.B Jackson as bringing a sense of time scale to the landscape.


Lippard’s detailed text draws on the vast literature and ongoing research into the so-called “mysteries” of Chaco with its conflicting narratives of the ways time in constructed and measured in different cultures—astronomically, historically, and environmentally.  The book asks, “why save things, and what should be saved”? The stories that have come down from the many Native nations that are heirs to the Chaco and Mesa Verde worlds (including Hopi, Keres, Zumi, Tewa, Navajo, and Ute) are juxtaposed, like the photographs, against the “scientific” views of those who control the sites and the literature today raising the issue of cultural ownership.  To whom does the past belong? And whose are these stories to tell? Time and Time Again offers a kaleidoscopic view, considering the multiple truths that are known and can be hypothesized about Chaco and Mesa Verde.

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