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Object TitleGrand Theft Auto
Object Number:2013-14-2
Current Location: Native American Voices
Currently On Display
Culture:Tewa (Culture)
Provenience: New Mexico
Santa Clara Pueblo
Culture Area: Southwest Culture Area
Maker: Jason Garcia
Date Made: 2012
Early Date: 2012
Late Date: 2012
Height: 30.48 cm
Length: 0 cm
Width: 22.86 cm
Thickness: 1.27 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from Jason Garcia; Sharpe Fund, 2013
Other Number:TC-2013-2-2 - Old Loan Number


Ceramic Tile - Grand Theft Auto, made by Jason Garcias, 2012. Native clay and native slip.

In the artist's own words: "The piece is inspired by the video game series Grand Theft Auto, the game is set in a fictional city named San Andreas. I appropriated the box cover art and made some minor and major changes to it. The vignettes reflect my upbringing and observations of Santa Clara Pueblo or Kha’Po Owinge’-“Rose Path village”, this is the Tewa name and refers to wild roses that grew along the water ways of the Santa Clara Creek and the Rio Grande River, when the Pueblo was settled in the 1300s after a major drought forced our ancestors to move from the Pajarito Plateau to seek closer water sources.

The back of the piece has various codes that are a specific succession of buttons that when entered can change different variables of the game play. The codes that are on the back are:


R2 X L1 L1 L2 L2 L2 X FOGGY

R2 X L1 L1 L2 L2 L2 ☐ CLOUDY

é X ç è R1 ç ê é Δ INFINITE HEALTH

The codes that entered reflect the ceremonial songs and prayers that are incantations for rain, prosperity , and long life.

Key to vignettes:

A-Puje Cliffs and Village is the Ancestral home of Santa Clara Pueblo. Puje= “where rabbits gather”, the Tewa name of our ancestral home. It refers to the ancestors who referred to themselves as P’u Towa or ‘rabbit people’. Puje is said to have been a major gathering place for many villages that were spread out among the Pajarito Plateau.

B-This vignette is directly lifted from the game cover art, in that it shows a main character of the game. The background shows a silhouette of Pueblo homes in the background and the street signs show the location of where I grew up. On the corner of Agoyo and Nava Alley. Agoyo meaning “star” and Nava meaning “field” both in the Tewa language.

C-The image of the girl is directly appropriated from the cover art.

D-The red polished carved pot represents the strong pottery traditions that have and continue to remain a part of Santa Clara Pueblo’s identity and culture. The water serpent carved is a symbol of water. This image was inspired by a pot created by the late Teresita Naranjo.

E-The table games/blackjack player represents the economic development efforts made by Santa Clara Pueblo. Currently the Pueblo, operates a casino in Espanola, the neighboring town, called the The Santa Claran Hotel and Casino. Casino and gaming enterprises offer financial security for some Tribes/Pueblos, but also offers many social problems as well.

F-The vignette shows the Jemez Mountains experiencing a catastrophic forest fire. In 1998/Oso Complex Fire and 2000/Cerro Grande Fire burned over 8,500 acres of the Santa Clara Canyon. In 2011, the Las Conchas burned 16,000+ acres of the Santa Clara Canyon which included the upper watershed of the Santa Clara Creek leading to major erosion and closure of the Santa Clara Canyon to visitation.

G-This vignette shows the Summer moiety kiva at Santa Clara Pueblo of which I belong to. The kiva is the ceremonial building in which many Pueblo ceremonies take place. This kiva was built in the mid-2000s and was part of the Pueblo’s efforts to build new kivas and renovate old kivas after the Cerro Grande Fire. This is a representation of how strong Pueblo cultural traditions are and how they will be continued into the 21st century for many generations to come.

F-The Corn Maiden holds a flip phone that is taking a photo or recording a video. This is a representation of technologies role in the continuance and destruction of a culture. Technology can be a tool to save and promote cultural ideals/languages/etc. But it can also be detrimental as well. The Corn Maiden is also a symbol in my work that represents Mother Earth and how we care for her in our actions and inactions."

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Native American Voices: The People - Here and Now (01 Mar 2014) View Objects in Exhibition

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