84 , February 23, 2007
Some of the Hows and Whys: Annette Carlozzi talks with Matthew Day Jackson
Working with Matt Jackson on Workspace 4 at the Blanton has been a total pleasure. We met about a year ago, as I was doing studio visits for my shortlist of artists for Workspace. I’d seen the work a few times before, most recently in a terrific show that Fairfax Dorn had organized in the fall of 2005 for Ballroom Marfa. Each time I responded to Matt’s intense dual engagement with political history and physical materiality—both were almost over-the-top dense with questions, considerations and suggestions. (It’s rare to encounter something so rich by someone so young. And yet, of late, it’s happened over and over again—in the art of Dario, Trent, Jeremy, Paul and Peat, to name a few. Matt and all of these guys could seemingly work a lifetime off of the ideas they corral at any given moment.) Yet, despite the given moment’s anxieties and the work’s urgent response, there is something insanely sweet, if I can borrow one of my son’s phrases, about Matt’s work as well. So, we started a conversation that led to his current show at the Blanton, and, with just a bit of artifice, we’re continuing it here in …might be good in the hopes that it will shed more light on the project and on Matt’s powerful body of work. Go see the show—it’s totally memorable, and you’ll want to reference Austin’s own early participation as Matt’s work appears around the world in the coming years. More importantly, as you’ll see in the following interview as well, he has hugely important and perceptive things to say.
ADC: So, Matt, [for this installation] you cut the wall (see cover image) out of the demolition site yourself, with help from UT crew. You drove around the 48 continental United States to shoot images of anthropomorphic landforms that are, in many cases, commercially available. You sewed the Red Cross uniform yourself (see above image) (do I remember that correctly?), wore it on your body (who would’ve guessed you and Eleanor Roosevelt were the same size?!), wrote the script for the manifesto recited in the video, performed the song, etc. You seem to have a fearless resolve to personally take on all aspects of your projects, no matter how challenging or new the skill required. Why?
MDJ: First, to be fair to myself and others, the suit was sewn by the beautiful and talented Liz Corrado, as I am not a very good with a sewing machine. I can sew structures, but clothing is another game altogether. Also, most of the images in The Lower 48 are not available commercially. Several images are available through the internet (there are websites devoted to the postcards), but many of the places I searched for that were on postcards had either eroded or become overgrown. I had to resort to my own way of looking, old ladies in small towns, chambers of commerce, state geological surveys and names on maps.
I would say the precious qualities of art are not founded in the hands of the artist but rather in ideas, and how they come together should be in the pursuit of fluency, not manual dexterity. So, if something needs to be made, like the suit, where it is more important that it directly references Joseph Beuys, rather than my inability to sew, then it will be necessary to find someone else. Urgency is extremely important—there are always new ideas and it is important to try to keep up with the ideas so as not to become creatively constipated. The different strategies and forms I use are the products of necessity; I am trying to become as fluent as possible while entertaining new ideas always.
Also, I have to stress that working with other people on art has been a part of my life for a decade. I was a "master" printer and worked with a lot of different artists on their projects. Which probably also has a lot to do with the various ways of working. I see the making of art as a pretty fluid thing, and although I do make most things on my own, I enjoy working with other people, especially Michael (Castillo) and Jonathan (Marshall) at the Blanton.
As a curator, how important to you is the artist's hand in the making of an artwork?
ADC: Interesting question. I don't think it's something I look for from the outset. Like you, I see it all as an engagement with the history of ideas, so the objectness of a work—how it’s made, who it’s made by—doesn’t fascinate me in and of itself. I do usually have a really clear "sense" of the artist, though. Not necessarily the "hand," per se, but the "brain," I guess, and something intangible that I can only call "spirit," although I don't mean that in any prescribed, religious way. And that escalates way, way up if I've met the artist. I suppose it's intelligence that I'm sensing for, but also humor and honesty (not sincerity). A certain clarity, a certain purpose. Those can be read in the "hand." But they're also apparent in other ways. What I don't really care about anymore, both because I've outgrown my schooling and because the world has changed in the time it took me to do that, is "originality." I'm interested in ambition (of the right scale, not always a big scale, but an intimate one as well) and conviction, expressed intelligently, with perspective. And I’m totally intrigued by the honest representation of doubt. But because I'm most interested in how change evolves, originality and ownership don't really factor in as primary criteria. I understand this is a philosophical position that I’ve taken as a curator, a political position, in some respects, so I hope it makes sense that "hand" is not primary for me. I'm glad it is for others. Now that said, fearlessness and facility with media can just knock me out—there is always a rush when one encounters that kind of fluency. But I don't stay interested, and I don’t make a commitment to work with someone, unless the rest of the package is present.
You know, I admire the generosity in your acknowledgements of sources and influences, and it appears to me that you draw ideas and inspiration from every aspect of your life and experience. Without limiting your response to just people, can you tell me some of your most important influences? At least as they are affecting the works that you are making right now.
MDJ: This is a very difficult question. I can't really say that I have any static influences. They change all the time. So, without just providing a list of things I am interested in, it is better to talk about the formal attributes that attract my attention. I gravitate towards things that are stuck in the middle, both alive and dead, formed and malformed, good and evil, etc. I have been consumed by trying to understand the culture I live in and how it has come to be the thing it is now. I am also interested in the notion of history being undead, in the sense that we are frequently confronted by unresolved aspects of our history. This is not just an American thing, but as I have lived my entire life here, I feel it is the thing I need to understand in order to comprehend other cultures and other histories. As I try to understand this culture, I am coming to understand myself and where I stand in reference to it. So, in short, I am influenced by everything, or rather, anything that either attracts my attention, or is necessary to understand in reference to what I am thinking about.
Artists that I am influenced by: Brancusi, Dorothy Iannone, David Hammons, Joseph Beuys, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Sophie Calle, Sarah Lucas, Goya, Velásquez, Bruegel, Bosch, Bierstadt, Fred Wilson, Tracey Emin, Yayoi Kusama, Ed Ruscha, Nancy Rubins and Chris Burden, Richard Serra and many others, each for specific reasons. This list changes all the time.
Events that seem to continue to reappear in the work: Jonestown, nuclear proliferation, Wounded Knee, Manifest Destiny, the American Civil War/Grant’s march against Lee ending in Appomattox, the Picnics at Bull Run, American and Native American mythologies, my family, modern art and architecture, the industrial revolution/environmental concerns, among others. These things all fund what some may call the creation of a new mythology.
ADC: Your work is so responsive to history and politics. Do you view your art as a form of activism? I was just reading a short description of Allison Smith's work for the Public Art Fund, and you and she have shown together a few times, I'd guess, and there are definitely shared interests, although I see clear distinctions as well. Her work was described in this press release as a form of “activism,” a contention that I found bold and surprising. Points of local comparison: last summer the Blanton showed the work of Paul Chan, whose activities tread a very specifically articulated line between artmaking and activism. And a year ago, Arthouse showed works by Dario Robleto and Jeremy Blake, works brought into dialogue as part of each artist’s investigations into currents of violence in American history. In Paradise Now!, the urgent exhortations of your work and its multiple homages to such politically astute—some might say politically prescient—artists as Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson and Beuys, and to such compelling political figures as Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt, might imply an activist sensibility. I know you've thought a lot about this, can you comment on that equation of art and activism, please?
MDJ: Well, I do not see my work as a form of activism. I am more interested in volunteering and using skills I have available to help others. I can see how other artists could see their work as activism, like Allison, whose Muster project does both art and activism quite well. As far as my own work goes, if there was any part that gets close to "activism," it would be at the point where viewers consider their own creativity and see possibilities for expressing themselves. In a way, the different ways in which I express my ideas could be seen as permission for others to express themselves in any form and in any material. In that notion, all art bears a level of activism. The answer is this: I see one aspect of my work as a celebration of creativity, as the interface of vision. If this helps others locate their own vision and helps free creativity, then I guess that could be considered activism. But I am not trying to do this, I am just trying to express my ideas.
The first art show I saw in person was Lari Pittman at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and it blew my mind! I had no idea that a painting could be made that way. It gave me permission to do whatever I wanted to do. It was profound and powerful. I want to be able to transfer some of that energy to someone else through making art.
The many references are a way of populating a world of ideas where each of the aforementioned can exist together. Harriet Tubman, Joseph Beuys, Eleanor Roosevelt, Carl Sagan, Buckminster Fuller, the 900+ utopianists from Jonestown (minus Jones, he gets to hang out with Ronald Reagan!), Chief Bigfoot, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are all hanging out, enjoying each other’s company at Gordon Matta-Clark's new restaurant called "Ideas." I am interested in the synergy that exists between these figures and the other ideas that are pulled together in the work. Unfortunately, the only place this can happen is in my head and then my studio and in art venues where my work can be shown and shared with others.
This is generally the point in which to consider "legacy." Do you think about the legacy of your ideas beyond your son?
ADC: Omigosh, do I think about legacy? Well, for a curator I suppose “legacy” is the collection built, and I definitely try to be thoughtful and deliberate about that. At a university museum there's an opportunity to contribute to the narrative of history, so most of my work is about opening that lens and considering alternate perspectives, making room for a range of voices and proposing recontextualizations of various kinds. The Blanton’s is the first permanent collection I've ever had sustained time and authority to work with, and I've been really pleased to reevaluate its idiosyncracies, while hopefully taking it beyond a hegemonic white male perspective, moving it beyond a chauvinistic geographic reading. And writing factors into a curatorial legacy as well; there I could kick myself, because I didn't realize how important publications are until well into my career. So many shows and projects went unpublished, many that arguably broke some kind of new ground, but they exist in local memories only. And then there's the modeling, which for a woman, even in a predominantly female field, is important. I've worked throughout my career with younger women, and one tries to pass on lessons learned—indeed, the process is always a two-way street. I remember in one position I held, as executive director of a large, complicated and diverse arts organization, several of the younger women staff came to me in my first week and told me how inspired they were to be working under a woman director who had a family. I was stunned at their honesty and at my own surprise that they had named it, had brought it up, when I had been feverishly trying to perform the role as if it were nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary. (Which of course, in those days, it was.) My son was an infant then, and, believe me, I struggled to balance it all every day. (Once, due to a childcare glitch, I had to bring him with me to an Executive Committee meeting and unfortunately he threw up in the midst of my presentation; serenity is sometimes hard to achieve…). But their need to see that (attempted) balance be modeled gave me encouragement and told me that it went beyond my own ambitions and efforts. So maybe legacy, in many senses of that word, has become a motivation, yes. A few months ago my now-grown (and intestinally stable) son told me he hoped that he could find a partner someday who subscribed to "this whole independent woman thing." At moments like that, it all comes together.
Speaking of, I’ve been so impressed, just on a human level, with the balance of references in your work. Obviously, we both care passionately about empowering what have heretofore functioned as alternate histories in the mainstream narratives. To put it simply, I just think one gets closer to “the truth” when multiple perspectives are visible. But I am very much the product of my generation’s philosophies and secular beliefs—I grew up during the Civil Rights Movement and am among that first generation of women who could choose our life’s paths. Not to sound trite, but I do recall that, despite Vietnam and Watergate, we felt we owned a viable future. We had hope, even though in retrospect we often wonder why. In your work as an artist, your truths would seem to be constructed and imagined in a climate where hope is so elusive, where the future is so contested. Would you agree that this is why art needs to be so urgent now?
MDJ: I don't have any "truths,” I only have beliefs (which change all the time), and require hope to stay alive. Hope is an internal thing that is omnipresent, but is elusive in the sense that it is hard to locate within myself; it isn't something that is outside. This is a constant search and struggle. As far as the contemporary political, environmental and social climate is concerned, there will always be things that will seem insurmountable, but things do change. Part of the secret for finding hope is being able to see positive change, no matter how minute.
As far as urgency is concerned, I believe that creativity is never in such a place where you can afford to not move forward with urgency. It is the essence of new ideas and the center of change. It is also a power that everyone that has ever lived beholds; everyone and no one is special. This makes me think of Boogie Chillen, sung by John Lee Hooker. "You've got to Boogie-Woogie." That is the simplest way I can say it.
ADC: Matt, I know you've been hellaciously busy, so I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me for …mbg. What projects can we look forward to seeing somewhere in the coming months?
MDJ: Right now I am working on a print project with the Lower East Side Printshop, and it is the first print project I’ve worked on where I have not been the printer. It is similar to the drawings I make with found images and is printed on different materials. I am getting a book together about the Paradise Now! and The Lower 48 projects, and am working on a photo project based on the Periodic Table where each of the elements comes from within the United States. I am also working on a show of paintings based on three Goya works from the Disasters of War series, which is a continuation of the narrative structure behind Paradise Now!, of which the Blanton show is a key part.
Caitlin Haskell: Not Knowing What I'll Find
The object of this week’s column is a sign on the grounds of Austin Bergstrom International Airport. I’d like to consider both the sign and its surroundings—a small configuration of limestone rocks and leafy plants with a lone spindly tree, just outside the ABIA lower-level baggage claim. The sign I’ve selected does not direct travelers to a baggage carrousel, nor does it lead the way to rental cars or lost luggage. Instead, it marks a raised bed of plants and rocks that seems to have contained a small water feature at an earlier point in its history. Something about this sign strikes me as quite funny, and I think it reveals a good deal about how people tend to engage with things that they believe are real as opposed to representations. I’d love to be able to present a photograph of my sign, but the airport policemen deterred me from taking out my camera. My description, and the sketch below, will have to suffice.
As you approach the airport building from the parking deck, you’ll find my sign on the extreme right. The raised bed that contains it measures no more that 10 by 15 feet, and its back abuts the building. The big limestone blocks inside the bed are positioned at deliberate angles on top of smaller, regularly-shaped rocks that a person could hold in one hand. These stones occupy the foreground of the bed with plant-life dominating the rear. My sign, which is made of blue painted metal, sits in the front corner of this garden space. It has white letters and its surface has been doused with bird droppings. The top register contains symbols—a dog, a man littering, a cigarette, and another man, this time not littering, just standing. All of these symbols have been struck through on the diagonal, like a “No Smoking” sign. Below the symbols, three words appear: ALLOWED IN LANDSCAPE.
The sign, despite its screen of bird shit, is easy enough to decipher. ABIA doesn’t want any dogs, any litter, any cigarette butts, or any people standing in their garden. But to refer to this raised bed as a “landscape” drastically altered my experience of the rocks and plants. I was no longer looking at rocks, but at rocks that represented other rocks, bigger rocks, rocks that were part of a real landscape somewhere else. This little garden before me wasn’t a thing in itself, but a representation of another space. I started to read the garden as a vacant diorama, as something one would find in only the most pathetic natural history museum.
As I considered how my perception of the garden changed due to the presence of the sign, I thought about the acts that the sign prohibited. Littering is bad enough, but to litter in this space when it was a landscape was even worse. Without the sign, littering happened to a lesser degree. With the sign, actions taken upon the representation affected both the airport garden and its referent, a land that I imagined was far away in the pristine territories of the American southwest. Since this sign could change real things into representations, I thought it a worthy addition to my collection.
How I Found This Object: I found this sign on Sunday, February 18, as I was on my way to Charlotte, NC.
Beers, Queers and Steers?: Anjali Gupta's essay from the Texas Biennial Catalogue
A few years ago, I wrote a short piece on the subject of regionalism vs. globalism, presenting this debate as a “nature/nurture” examination of the contemporary art world. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that while regionalism may reflect, in certain cases, the empowering and valuable spirit of autonomy, it also carries with it the inescapable pejorative connotations of provincialism. This conclusion was, in retrospect, a gross oversimplification on my part, but it nonetheless distilled a major issue still at play in Texas. Almost a decade into the new millennium, where do we as artists, critics, curators, editors, gallerists, publishers, etc. locate ourselves within the intertwined hierarchical structures of critical discourse and the art market?
This very basic question remains, to this day, unresolved but ultimately moot. Though we in Texas are physically located well outside the geographically defined centers of the contemporary art world, we do not labor in a vacuum. Artists produce artwork because they are compelled to do so. But when that compulsion is cultivated in an academic environment, the concepts and pressures that inform the work stem from certain commonalities, oftentimes an overt conceptual or aesthetic consensus. Likewise, curators and critics look to the international horizon for guidance, inspiration and affirmation. So, if we are all citing the same texts, looking at the work of the same artists and propagating uniform critical and curatorial aphorisms, is this not a form—albeit a vastly extended, educated and opportune tributary of—provincialism? Parallelism, in terms of contemporary art, is not a manifestation of simultaneous evolution; it can become a sort of cultural bottleneck theory in action.
For the second installment of the Texas Biennial, Ursula Davila, Assistant Curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum in Austin; Fairfax Dorn, Executive Director of Ballroom Marfa; Kate Green, Curator of Education and Exhibitions at Artpace, San Antonio; Valerie Cassel Oliver, Associate Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and John Pomara, artist & Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, were chosen as jurors, bridled with the not-so-simple task of narrowing down scores of entries from all over the state to specific works by the thirty-six artists included in this exhibition.
The Texas Biennial is a grassroots, DIY effort from every possible angle—from impetus to process to execution. Additionally, we are seeking affirmation from within rather than without. What does this do to combat the not-so-old adage, “Make it in somewhere, Texas (please insert Austin, DFW, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, etc. accordingly) and sell it in New York?” In response, the 2007 Biennial jurors themselves represent current and egalitarian geographic placement, as well as the eternal flux—and influx—of arts professionals living and working in Texas. In other words, they reflect a sense of plurality not typically discussed in reference to our extended community. Their selections probe wide-ranging interests with metered volume.
The formal, the political and the purely aesthetic are all represented here. Each, in its own way, contributes to the notion that although this particular grouping of artists may reside in Texas, we must locate their work elsewhere. To view this work with a critical eye, context must give way to content, be that visual pleasure of three-dimensional works that riff on formalist concerns, the deconstruction of the Minimalist aesthetic to dystopic ends, the rarified usage of photographic and digital media or the sweet and simple joy of markmaking.
It is said that internationally, the number of biennials currently in operation equals the days of the year. What separates the Texas Biennial from the spate of similarly titled exhibitions world over? Why here? Why now? The easy answer is, of course, why not, but the praxis—the totality and implications of the truly monumental effort at hand—must be addressed critically and not just in the back slapping affirmation of actually “pulling it off.” In conclusion, with the mechanisms in place, the infrastructure sketched and solidified, the desire of the community to participate and logistical hurdles surmounted, now is the time to discuss, formally or informally, the valence of this collective endeavor. Only then will we come to an understanding of our place in the grand design—or attain a position from which we can angle for a complete redesign.
William Eggleston: Cadillac at Lora Reynolds
On view through March 24, 2007
The first thing you notice when you enter Lora Reynolds Gallery, or any room full of William Eggleston’s prints, is color. Not necessarily the color of the photographs themselves, but color as a subject. Eggleston is a pioneer in this regard; transforming color photography, once the domain of the commercial and hobby photographer, into a new and viable medium for art photography. The prints themselves are large dye transfers (another technique stolen from advertising), made from 2 ¼ inch negatives (atypical for Eggleston, who generally shoots with a 35mm Leica), and they seem nearly to vibrate with saturation.
This particular portfolio, which was only recently printed from negatives made between 1966 and 1971, is entitled Cadillac, after one of the less striking images in the group, a rusted sign which must be a relic from a car dealership. One is tempted to connect the images under this sign: is every photograph connected somehow to Cadillacs? Or to Detroit? Why Eggleston chose to print these images after 25 years is also a mystery-no real explanation is given for why they were “overlooked” in his studio for such a long period of time. Perhaps they were just second round picks, or an attempt to re-examine a particular period in the work. Eggleston makes no claims in either regard, leaving that conclusion up to the viewer, which in this case, may just leave the viewer a bit confused.
At least one commonality to these images is Eggleston’s eye for detail, which has been a major influence on many contemporary photographers (it is difficult not to think of Wolfgang Tillman’s If One Thing Matters, Everything Matters when viewing any Bill Eggleston image). These details also endow the images with some amount of tenderness while showing the human touch, which is something I find lacking in much current photography: the graffiti on the wall behind a glowing water tank is simply names, evidence that someone had been there. The paper bag on the ground behind an Oldsmobile serves the same purpose, to populate an unpopulated space and show the human hand. They are not puns, but rather, subtle hints at human presence. His portraits in this series have a similarly humane bent: no one is photographed in a way that qualifies them as somehow “less than” the photographer, although in many cases the subjects may be of a different class than Eggleston. They are photographed almost as a part of the scene, necessary as part of a greater whole.
Eggleston’s sympathy for his subjects is far-reaching. A rose growing through a chain link fence and a grandmother and grandson are photographed with equal care. Even some of the seemingly empty images still end up feeling like portraits. The kudzu-covered tree, bathed in golden-hour light, is one of these, but instead of a person, it is a portrait of a moment, a place, and in the end, a feeling.
While these images may not be the strongest grouping of Eggleston’s work, they are a good overall representation for those new to the artist. They also offer a strong antidote to the current state of much contemporary photography, which, while often making valid commentary, can be a little heartless. In her introduction to one of Eggleston’s landmark works, The Democratic Forest, Eudora Welty may have put it best: “Our own way of seeing may have recently been in trouble. These days, not only the world that we look out upon but the human eye itself seems at times occluded, as if a cataract had thickened over it from within. We have become used to what we live with, calloused (perhaps in self-protection) to what's happened to the world outside our door, and we now accept its worsening. But the Eggleston vision of his world is clear, and clarifying to our own.”
Jesse Amado at Artpace's Hudson (Show)Room
According to the gallery notes, the exhibition Jesse Amado, currently on view in Artpace’s Hudson (Show)Room “traces the artist’s consideration of text, repetition and communication” in “conceptually driven works from the past and present.” Jesse Amado’s artistic output is an embarrassment of riches but Jesse Amado is a mediocre and wimpy show that falls prey to the curatorial status quo and a distressing case of tunnel vision. It isn’t bad, but it definitely isn’t great.
His intensely formal sculptures are the big hit here, displaying Amado’s commitment to emotional reactions through Minimalist aesthetics. to circumscribe (1991), six concentric dark blue felt cones vertically bisected by brass zippers, and Me, We (1999), two shipping pallets—one made out of granite, the other of marble—that mirror each other, are interesting because of the mental and emotional emptiness they at first inspire. The sublime, mathematically precise shapes encourage meditation and often frustration as well by denying answers and requiring a certain amount of dedication to the pursuit of meaning and personal relevance. These two sculptures perfectly manage to encapsulate Amado’s strengths as an artist without falling into caricature, a fate the rest of the work unfortunately doesn’t avoid so gracefully.
A very narrow definition of what constitutes “conceptually driven work” and a “consideration of text, repetition, and communication” might just be the pea under the mattresses here. The pieces chosen to represent current work, such as the unimaginatively titled untitled (beauty) (2006)—where the word “beauty” is spelled out in relief cellulose sponge on wood—or untitled (morse code in white sponger lower case) #1 (2006)—in which borrowed text is shrouded behind spelled out Morse code (dot-dash-dash dash dot-dot-dash-dot), also cellulose sponge on wood—come off as office politics, instead of bold curatorial practice. Choosing these pieces instead of Amado’s newer and frankly much more interesting work (like the work in Two or Three Things I Know, currently on view at Finesilver Gallery), transparently alludes to the work he created during his Artpace residency, an installation in which water and soap were two of the main ingredients. To quote Green’s gallery notes, this sponge series “capitalizes upon the material’s skin-like qualities and its associations with washing and cleaning—with beautifying.”
Such validated curatorial choices are intensely ironic for a Jesse Amado exhibition at Artpace. In an interview with Frances Colpitt on the occasion of his residency, Amado insisted on his desire to “change [his] work, to reevaluate it, to see what was wrong with it and what was strong about it.” His soap and water installation became for him “the perfect metaphor for (…) wash[ing] away everything that had ever been accumulated in [his] work.” The inspired choice would be to include Amado’s current interest in tracing drawings off of TV screens or re-editing classic art cinema to represent Amado’s explorations of text, repetition and communication. Instead, Jesse Amado, the conceptualist persona with a Peter Pan complex, holds undistinguished court over the Hudson (Show)Room in an embarrassment of accumulation, the soapy sediment of an often brilliant career.
Jasmyne Graybill: Host at Cactus Bra and Georgia Tambasis: Voyage at Blue Star Art Space
Host closed February 18
Voyage on view through February 25
Two shows, Jasmyne Graybill’s Host at Cactus Bra, and Georgia Tambasis’s Voyage at Blue Star Art Space, exhibit an intense focus on process. Though the work of these two artists is completely different formally and conceptually, both artists successfully hold the tension between attraction and repulsion. The work’s qualities result from this tension, as well as the artists’ meticulously crafted productions. Graybill painstakingly sculpts polystyrene foam to create bumpy, organic growth shapes. Tambasis uses archival markers to make fantastical, colorful drawings with an infinite amount of markings. Though the exhibits hold hours and hours of the artists’ touch, the finished products don’t immediately reveal the artist’s labor. Instead, the effect is subtle and comes over the viewer slowly and with wonder.
In HOST, Jasymne Graybill’s own invented combination of mold and fungus appears to grow out of the gallery’s corners and down the sides of its walls. The gallery, Cactus Bra, has become a “host” for Graybill’s parasitic invention. Graybill’s sculpture mimics some aspects of the natural forms that the artist has observed in suburbia and calls to mind the sexuality of plants and the dispersion of spores. Using the viewer’s ambivalence towards such growths, Graybill plays with notions of beauty and ugliness. She teases the viewer with a subtle and alluring use of color and texture. An almost iridescent light blue fuzz covers fleshy tan-colored sculptural growths. The forms make the space unusually quiet, as if the viewer has walked in upon a process of a phenomenal and potentially toxic growth.
Using a hot wire, Graybill radically transforms eight-foot sheets of polystyrene foam, a material normally used in housing insulation, into lumpy, uneven organic shapes. The foam is covered with a latex compound that dries as a pale fleshy color. From this compound, Graybill sculpts tube-shaped extensions that protrude from the growths and bend at irregular angles. Finally, she flocks the entire surface. The installation references a weird netherworld that lies beneath our radar.
In the next building, Georgia Tambasis’s show, Voyage, in the Gallery 4 space at Blue Star, consists of nine gorgeously executed drawings on vellum mounted on museum board and wood. These mediums presents a change for Tambasis, who also works in ceramics, creating delightfully quirky and odd-shaped installations with intense and unusual colors.
Though the tabloid-sized panels may at first appear to be paintings because of their lush, richly colored surfaces, Tambasis uses only archival markers to create the compositions in which patterns, textures and colors play against one another in a fantastical, organic setting. However, like Graybill, Tambasis resists prettiness, opting instead for a variety of bold, sometimes garish, craft store palettes. Despite the commonplace references that paint pens and puffy paints force upon the viewer, Tambasis’ careful but dreamy manipulations of the material transcend the mundane.
In Love Knot, Miró-like blobs of bright yellow and orange, contained in black lines, reference automatism, but the similarity extends beyond visual references. Tambasis, who dreams in color, explained that, to compose her drawings, she uses colors that she first sees in her mind. Because her process is intuitive, she begins without a plan and lets the drawings evolve without the restrictive censoring of reason. The panels appear flooded with color, yet the whole is made from many markings, like pointillism. However, unlike pointillism, the points do not always create the illusion of color created from various combinations of color. Instead, Tambasis’ marks and cellular blobs exist as pattern for pattern’s sake. Both artists contrived the organic forms in their work with difficult processes, yet the results are fluid and surprising.
Cowboys and Artists Should Be Friends at UNT artspace FW
On view through February 28
Behind its friendly demeanor, Baseera Khan and Edward Sentina's Artists and Cowboys Should Be Friends demands a great bit more than it supplies. Being that a great majority of the eleven artists in the show live in Texas (and mostly in Austin), there is an implied regionalism and a soft insistence behind its title, which imposes that Texans can be artists, or perhaps more resoundingly that artists can be Texans. This insistence comes off as a bit odd in the Fort Worth museum district.
The postcard features an image of Khan arm-wrestling a burly cowboy. The title is cute, but rather forward, bluntly commanding the viewer to support an unsteady union. It becomes clear before ever stepping foot in the gallery that this is a curator's show. Below the title, one is confronted with an equally unsteady lexicon (”obsolescence'” ”stereotype,” ”gentrification,” ”showmanship,” “linguistic drift”) that forcibly attempts to codify the artist and cowboy into a binary relationship.
The dream is admittedly beautiful (as if Donald Judd had actually pleased his Marfa neighbors). The concept, however, has been rushed; visually, it tells an incoherent story. I figure the ambitions Khan and Sentina started with were pure—perhaps the truest they could muster—but the execution is all wrong; sped through, certainly, but with a particular neglect that denies not only visual, but logical, efficacy.
I determined the gallery to be split (in a nasty Greenbergian way) in two directions—high and low. The high road, to the right, begins with Paul Giggo's Paul (For Peter and Luke) (2006). A vast projection of Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy is the most noticeable piece here. Its soundtrack rumbles loudly through subwoofers, casting the exhibition in a sort of uncalculated eeriness that profoundly affects its neighbors—particularly Mike Egan's Indians Go Home (2007). Tucked in an unfortunate corner behind the video, Egan’s cowboys and artists meet in schizophrenic protest delineated in a map of the University of Texas as a sensational intersection of music-industry commerce and inborn racism. It is a dirt-bomb of emotion, tainted by its severity: rudely scrawled text at bottom, cowboy boots infected with heels. And poor Ed Blackburn. His rather wonderful Moses and the Burning Bush (1992)—a necessary point of poignancy amid dreadful misfires—appears in embarrassingly close proximity to Giggo’s overburdened biblical reference and a ruthlessly laconic papier-mâché Bonnie and Clyde (2006) by Baltimore artist Alan Reid.
The left side fares better, though some of the work is noticeably out of place. Jacqueline Klempay’s photo album is full of good pictures but requires an embarrassing set of 3-D glasses to function. The most problematic is Ali Fitzgerald’s Heyra Hankshaw, Tammy-Faye Buffalo and the Cowering Cowboy Castrati (2006): beyond its latent cowboy commentary, I cannot justify its presence here. Its visual noise, much like the video it echoes in the opposite wing, crushes its surroundings. (It should be noted that if correctly compartmentalized, Fitzgerald’s work breathes a great deal better—like in the first Donkey Show exhibition in Austin last April.) Margit Raczkowski's case study in trailer park interior decorating—a bit of darling westernized kawaii—is one of several unfortunate casualties of Fitzgerald’s painting. Its subdued diplomacy between artist and cowboy works, although far too quietly to gain any attention. Ryan Hennessee's comic book, replete with rural caricatures, is another silent success. Its gross, inevitable momentum plays out like a contemptuous Hogarth cycle, terminating with a bit of punctuation that would have helped half a dozen artists here.
It is not curatorial naïveté that ruins this exhibition single-handedly, but an almost jocular, reckless insistence on handling a rather tired motif, one better left to the cowboy-boutiques over on Main Street. Artists and Cowboys Should Be Friends is a grouping of potentially successful works being squeezed uncooperatively, with rowdy others, into a nonfunctional theme. We are left cowering in a gallery gunfight—a war of platitudes—with few survivors.
Jessica Halonen and Emily Joyce: PLOT at Park Projects
On view through March 2
The most striking feature of PLOT, an exhibition of work by Jessica Halonen and Emily Joyce at Park Projects in Los Angeles, is an invisible one. On walking through the door you, a person, is immediately surrounded by a thick earthy smell that is more commonly associated with rural and rugged outdoor landscapes. The source of the odor is the rammed earth that has been compressed to form Halonen’s pedestal-like objects in the installation, Withersoever I roam... (2007). The installation consists of a series of columns of various heights rising from the floor. Each stack of earth is topped with a white-painted concrete. About half feature a small pine tree growing from the earth stack. The shape of the objects in this context most directly references the gallery pedestal. But the materials, the smell and the landscape created by their multiplicity reference an outdoor and unpristine world of work and dirt distant from the gallery space. The work's title reads like an uncompleted phrase that longed to be completed - Withersoever. The tension between indoor and outdoor, urban and rural, a tree growing out of a gallery pedestal feels urgent and personal. For now, the perfect right angles and white tops of the columns make the gallery appear dominant. But the impending conflict between the trees and their man-made containers looms and the transformation of these currently pristine objects into a pile of sprawling roots and cracked concrete is almost visible.
A wonderful drawing by Halonen of a plant connected via a test tube to a cluster of purple pills comments on the transformation from the organic to the inorganic. We, humans, are the test tube in the middle. We facilitate these transformations. A concern with the confrontation between the organic and inorganic and the human role in this confrontation links the two artists’ works together.
In For What Seemed Like a Long Time (2007), Emily Joyce’s use of pieces of colorful cut vinyl create a somewhat sprawling world that nicely sets up a relationship between the micro and the macro. One part of the installation, a flock of birds, hits the top of the wall and another part hits the bottom, establishing sky and ground. It is not quite clear why the installation takes up the specific amount of space that it does as opposed to enhancing the micro/macro relationship even further by pushing out to one, if not both edges of the wall. Why is it on the wall if not to confront the wall? But even as is, the piece simultaneously demands that the viewer stand back to take in the pieces as a whole and move in close to inspect the many small individual parts. The dominant shapes are those of several types of warplanes of various colors and explosions around them. The planes seem to reference our current state of war and perhaps even the particular event that catalyzed this war. But amid the bright colors and small and large organic shapes it is difficult to discern how any intended political commentary plays out. The strongest aspect of the piece is the attention it draws to the simple but foundational relationship between parts and wholes that begins with atoms and ends somewhere beyond universes.
Christian Marclay at White Cube
On view through March 10
Christian Marclay’s Crossfire at White Cube’s old Hoxton Square space recalls the pulsing immediacy that first drew the kids (and the artworld) to London’s East End. The show is about sound—the arresting rhythm of music and noise that locks you into the very moment of its encounter.
Installed on the ground floor of the exhibition space, sound, or its bubble-lettered comic book equivalent, ricochets throughout a selection of Marclay’s latest series of prints. He rips the corners off of comic book pages where he finds onomatopoetic outbursts. Stretched at the vowels and loaded with exclamation marks, Marclay makes simple collages from the pages that he then scans and enlarges. The over-amplified edge of each tear contains the implicit sound of appropriation, while each textual gasp or crash echoes its sonic parallel.
In Schtoom (2006), Marclay collects descriptors of an audible action, and yet, as with all of these images, the cause (and the result) of the sudden “Schtoom”, “Sproingg” and “Ka-blam” has been completely lost. By snatching one of the choice exclamations for this piece, Marclay has severed a blue-sleeved arm from a superhero’s body, denying identity or an ongoing narrative. Attention is focused on the very moment of impact.
Anticipated by the gallery’s slightly ironic posted warnings of “loud or sudden noises,” the four channel video installation of the show’s title work is a mesmerizing orchestration of guns being loaded, cocked and fired. The video collages films ranging from Bonnie and Clyde (1967) to Boyz in the Hood (1991) and begins in a slow and pregnant darkness, as revolvers are slipped out of holsters and cartridges are dropped into barrels. Sounds become richer and a rhythm begins to take shape as clips of firearms being switched out of safety and levelled at the viewer are repeated with increasing frequency. At the audio climax of the videos, automatic weapons replace the single shot equipment, thrusting any resemblance of separate beats into a solid wall of sound. This arresting blast of entertainment and violence could almost be Hollywood distilled.
Tom Morton, who seems to be writing catalogue texts for almost every commercial gallery in London right now, describes Crossfire (2007) as “balletic.” However, the visual spectacle of choreographed movement and physical gloss that Morton is alluding to does not quite recognize the essence of this work. When Anton Chekhov wrote, “If there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last.,” he most certainly was thinking of the power that a cracking sound has to shatter any visual illusions.
I Am Baby Cakes!
Was JFK a robot? What’s the true scoop on Sodom and Gomorrah? Brad Neely’s completely irreverent and totally engrossing animations (some of which feature amazing songs by Neely) dare to ask such questions and offer up hilarious answers. His animations on superdeluxe.com are just so generally punchy that they provide a welcome respite from the rigors (or lack thereof) of the work day. In tribute to Brad Neely, …might be good is offering up a couple of art world-themed suggestions on how to create some animations of your own.
Arthouse announces 2007 Texas Prize Finalists
Arthouse recently announced that the five finalists for the second biennial 2007 Arthouse Texas Prize are Dawolu Jabori Anderson (Houston), Justin Boyd (San Antonio), Margarita Cabrera (El Paso), Bill Davenport (Houston) and Katrina Moorhead (Houston). These artists were chosen from 136 nominations offered by a select group of art world professionals. The five finalists’ work will be included in an exhibition at Arthouse, on view September 7–November 11, 2007 and curated by Arthouse Curator, Elizabeth Dunbar.
Blanton Curator Annette Dimeo Carlozzi appointed Director of Curatorial Affairs
Jessie Otto Hite, Director of the Blanton Museum of Art, announced that Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, the Blanton's Curator of American and Contemporary Art, has been appointed to additional duties as Director of Curatorial Affairs for a two-year period. The new position was instituted just in advance of the first anniversary of the Blanton's newly expanded facility and program. The Director of Curatorial Affairs will provide leadership in establishing a unified and consistent curatorial position with regard to collections and exhibitions. The Blanton has six curators on its staff.
Contemporary Arts Museum announces the departure of Director Marti Mayo
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston announced that Marti Mayo will leave the position of Director of the Museum, effective June 30, 2007. The Museum shortly will announce the appointment of an interim director. Mayo will continue in a consulting role to the Museum during this transition. During Mayo’s tenure as the Director, CAM presented numerous important exhibitions including: Matthew Ritchie: Proposition Player; Splat Boom Pow!: The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art; Andrea Zittel: Critical Space; and Wishing for Synchronicity: Works by Pipilotti Rist.
Exhibitions of New Works
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Reception, Friday March 9, 6:30-8:30 PM; artists’ talks begin at 6:00
A bevy of exhibitions spanning four galleries and one hallway of Lawndale Art Center.
Not to be missed is Working It Out, which features new work by Lawndale Art Center Studio Program Residents, including Donna Huanca known for her highly charged installations and compositions from felt and clothing (including a portrait of the infamous Beyonce). Also on view is tape 10, a new installation by the Austin-based artist Rebecca Ward whose work is both cerebral and visually pleasing.
Can you draw hipsters in straight-legged jeans drinking a plastic cup full of questionable wine? Then you can make an animation about the following openings...
Liz and Maurice Trevino: Sighs Matters
Opening Reception: Friday, February 24, 8-10:00 PM
How to make an orgy more indulgent? (Oh, that eternal question). Adding glitter, of course. Perhaps a growling tiger or two to flank the scene. In Sighs Matters, collaborative duo Liz and Maurice Trevino offers scenes of decadence that disintegrate into depravity, isolation and shame. Psychedelic patterning and bold color palettes heighten the anxious tension in the central tableaus of the Trevino's triptychs.
People’s Gallery Austin City Hall Exhibition
Opening Reception: Friday, February 23, 5:30-7:30
Join the artists to view the 2007 exhibition featuring over 100 artworks on loan from Austin artists, galleries and museums, selected from more than 1,500 entries by 400 artists.
TEXAS Biennial 2007
March 1st - April 15th
The second Texas Biennial opens March 1st in a bevy of spaces throughout Austin. Go check out work by the next generation of art world superstars.
The llamerret show
Darkroom gallery (301 Chicon, Unit E)
Opening reception Friday, March 2, 7:00 PM
The llamerret show is a group exhibition and installation, under the direction of Andy Rihn; in honor of the beloved Incan folkloric animal of the exhibition's title. Andy Rihn, esteemed performance artist and celebrated muse among contemporaries, has chosen this celebration of his favorite legend as the focus of his first Austin exhibition, featuring his unique, sometimes unsettling and playfully absurd, work with image and performance. Showcasing the work of supporters Mike Aho, Mike Sieben, Josh Rios, Adam Young, Aubrey Edwards, Stiner Kierce, Mike Parsons, Ryan Hennesse, Francesca Russo, silky and Sam de la Rosa, as well as other artists of note; local and of both coasts.
Senior Studio 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 6-9:00 pm
Curated by the Dallas-based artist and writer, Noah Simblist, this group exhibition presents work from graduating students in The University of Texas’s B.A and B.FA Studio Art programs.
Shady Tree Studios’ Pump Project Gallery
Reception: Saturday, March 3, 2007, 7–10 pm
Up the stairs, on the second floor of a converted warehouse, these artists are literally elevated above the rest of the artist studios and the auto shop next door. Now they’re coming down to show some of their latest work. Elevated includes: Dara Chambers, Rachelle Diaz, David de Lara, Joelle Geisler, Alicia Hartzell, Senalka McDonald and Catherine Small.
Opening Reception, Friday March 9, 7-10:00 pm
The inaugural exhibition in Gallery Lombardi’s new space, this traveling group show is making its final stop in the U.S.A. before going to London & Japan. Draw is a tribute to the often underrated but fundamental building-block of visual and graphic art: the drawing. This exhibit features original drawings from over 150 artists (including the inexplicably popular Barry McGee) in the urban, tattoo, design, illustration, skateboard and music worlds.
Elaine Bradford: Freaks of Nurture
Women & Their Work
Through March 31, 2007
With colorful crocheted sweaters, Houston artist Elaine Bradford transforms taxidermy animals into sculptures infused with warmth and comfort. Using yarn, Bradford reincarnates animals into a life of bizarre coziness. Like a circus sideshow, Bradford’s sculptures are both sad and amusing, straddling the line between strange reality and comfortable, warm nonsense.
Pedro Velez: Epilepsy, Pegatina and Adult Porn
Winterfresh: Eric Doeringer, Robert Moore, Polly Perez, Jason Villegas
Music from The Sound and the Fury
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 6-9:00 pm
Plush presents a comprehensive selection of recent collage work by Pedro Velez. Titled after biographical facts and the Latin American slang equivalent to "wheat-pasting", the show will consist of 3 dozen works in his signature style of cut-and-paste misspelled graffiti-architectural marker cut-outs and acrylic paint splotches on pre-printed pages and his own photos of "bruised" models. The front room will feature a selection of new bootleg paintings from Brooklyn artist Eric Doeringer, oil paintings of joyfully inebriated party face by Robert Moore, fuzzy sewing machine drawings by Polly Perez, and a rainbow Lacoste alligator installation by Jason Villegas. Irving-based guitar and bass punk duo The Sound and the Fury will round out the evening with a set of newly penned thrash.
Reality Bytes: narrative videos
The Dallas Contemporary
Co-curated by John Pomara, Dean Terry & Joan Davidow
Friday, February 23, 7-10 pm
Admission: $10 / $5 students; members’ free
The video exhibition, Reality Bytes: narrative videos is a continuum to the Dallas Contemporary's Moving Pictures: digitized paintings exhibited in 2005. Reality Bytes: narrative videos features nine artists who use videography to deal with performance and storytelling. The international and national artists dealing with computerized narratives include: Marc Aschenbrenner, SUE.C [Sue Costabile], Brian Edwards, Sara Ishii, Mary Magsamen & Stephan Hillerbrand, Christi Nielsen, Corinna Schnitt, Noah Simblist and Michael Bell Smith.
Opening Receptions: Thursday and Friday, March 1st and 2nd, 6-9 pm
Harvesting Water, an interactive artwork created and curated by local artist Stacy Berlfein, is a project merging art and activism. The public is invited to buy works and create their own to sell, with proceeds going to the building of a water-harvesting structure in an Indian village. The work is produced in collaboration with the nongovernmental organization Seva Mandir which is dedicated to providing social justice through sustainability. Harvesting Water involves art viewers, art collectors and art makers as integral to the project’s response to landscape as it affects present-day human capacities.
New Works: 07.1
Curated by Debra Singer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 8, 6:00-8:30 pm
The latest round of works created by artists during Artpace’s artist in residence program. This installment’s participants include: Katja Strunz (Berlin, Germany), whose installations and sculptures mine the tricky relationship between past and present; Glenn Kaino (Los Angeles, California), known for his kinetic sculptures that transform pop culture icons into thought provoking objects; Robert Pruitt, whose installations, drawings, sculptures and video use found objects—Norman Rockwell prints, crack vials, hair extensions—to question stereotypes of African-Americans, adornment, black aesthetics and black visual traditions.
Zeitgeist, February - March 31, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24th 6pm-8pm
Honoring the famous 1982 Norman Rosenthal show in Berlin by the same name, Zeitgeist will showcase works by an international group of gallery artists working in different media. This exhibition explores deconstruction, architecture and minimalism through Alexandre Ponomarev’s work (representing Russia at the Venice Biennale) in which the form of an island transitions from a video to drawing; and a large-format installation by Brooklyn artist Fritz Welch. The multi-generational selection of artists, both emerging and established includes minimalist paintings by Roman Opalka juxtaposed to an over-the-top ping-pong video installation by Egill Sæbjörnsson. Artist Marko Velk presents large, dark charcoal and black pastel on paper and Vuk Vidor¹s work uses an explosion of color in his giant pop-political super-hero canvases. Chris Sauter, who is based in San Antonio, cuts out and sculpts the American Flag into a direct political association and brings history back to its literal roots, connecting agrarian society to the development of human culture.
New Misunderstandings: Return of the Same
Moti Hasson Gallery
On view through March 24, 2007
Organized by Roy Stanfield (formerly of Texas), this exhibition includes his work as well as the work of Jason Singleton, Jeremy Eilers and others.
For your reading pleasure…
Late February seems to be the time to publish sexy contemporary art books. Here are a few of our favorites.
Michael Smith: Drawings: Simple, Obscure and Obtuse and Limited Edition Print
Performance, video, and installation artist Michael Smith presents Drawings: Simple, Obscure and Obtuse, his first artist’s book focused on works on paper, now available from Regency Arts Press, Ltd. The book chronicles a lifetime of drawings by Smith and gives a keyhole view into his production and process. It is a project overflowing with manic energy and stream-of-consciousness connections including sketches, notations, diagrams, storyboards, and even childhood drawings. Most of the material has been culled from private notebooks and other sources that have never before been exhibited or published.
All proceeds from the purchase of the in the greatest country in the world, why do you have to be such an asshole!?!, 2007 by Michael Smith will benefit Regency Arts Press, a new nonprofit based in New York. It’s a good cause, and an amazing print people, so pony up.
Allison Smith: The Muster
On May the 14th, 2005, New York based artist Allison Smith (last seen at Artpace) transformed Governors Island–the former U.S. military base located only minutes by ferry from the southern shore of Manhattan–into a stage for an unforgettable work of public art, commissioned by the Public Art Fund. Inspired by American Civil War battle reenactments, The Muster invited artists and non-artists alike to declare a cause and create a campsite-installation in response to her question: “What are you fighting for?” Combining celebration, art, craft, history and activism, this earnest and jubilant event embodied the complexities of its political, aesthetic and cultural moment. This book, in essays and more than 140 photographs, documents The Muster and places it within the broader context of Allison Smith’s engaging art.
The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style
What is the best way to flatter a famous artist, international curator or powerful collector? Why is arrogance a virtue in a dealer? How can you sustain a high-brow conversation about conceptual art without any knowledge whatsoever about it? How can you write any exhibition press release using the same three sentences? Can one truly become friends with an artist? All these questions—and much more—are answered in the Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, the ultimate, most authoritative, and absolutely essential etiquette manual for the contemporary art world.
Stephen L. Clark Gallery to present Russell Lee and Friends:
Opening Reception: February 24, 6 – 9pm
In celebration of the publication of the University of Texas Press Book, Russell Lee Photographs, Images from the Russell Lee Photograph Collection at the Center for American History, Stephen L. Clark Gallery is presenting photographs by many of the students and friends whom he influenced including: Frank Armstrong, Carl Bergquist, Nan Blake, Ave Bonar, Jim Bones, Carol Cohen Burton, Steve Clark, J.B. Colson, Mary Lee Edwards, Roy Flukinger, Larry Schaaf, Phyllis Frede, Jimmy Jalapeeno, Mike Murphy, Will Van Overbeek, Julie Newton, Rick Patrick, Alan Pogue, Maggie Steber, Rick Williams and Bill Wittliff. Also featuring rare prints made by Russell Lee.
Create some animated talking heads (with the right animation, even words like “postmodernity” can be funny) after attending the following events…
Lecture: Art Historian Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
ART 1.120—The University of Texas at Austin
Tuesday, March 6, 4:00 PM
Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw is Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and her publications include Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker (Duke, 2004) and Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century (UWashington Press, 2005) which accompanied an exhibition of the same name.
The Voice Extending: the experimental potentials
A public workshop with avant-vocalist Liz Tonne
Austin Massage Clinic (1426 Toomy Road)
Saturday, February 24, 1-3 PM
$20 - $35 sliding scale
Explore extended vocal technique with experimental vocal artist Liz Tonne. The workshop will focus on building voice, body and mind awareness in preparation for exploiting the natural breaks in the voice, creating overtones and developing a new repertoire of vocal sounds. For anyone interested in the use of the voice in 20th/21st century music, ethnic music traditions, sound art and/or the spiritual dimension of vocalization. Space is limited to 10 participants—advanced registration encouraged. (Please contact Mri Akita at email@example.com)
Site 1808 (1808 E. Cesar Chavez)
March 2, 8:30
For information, call (512) 576-7395
Come hear the infamous Bad Trucker at one of the Texas Biennial 2007 venues.
Performance by Matthew Day Jackson
Blanton Museum of Art
Thursday, March 8, 6pm
Artist Matthew Day Jackson, whose work is currently featured in Workspace, will return to present a performance related to his exhibition, Paradise Now! (The Salvage).
Steel Lounge Underground
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Friday, February 23, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
CAM kicks off the 2007 Steel Lounge series with a free three-hour shindig co-hosted by KTRU 91.7 Rice University Radio on the Museum’s Mary and Herb Kempner Terrace.
In the House of Ethel
Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Atrium, University of Houston
Saturday, March 3, 8:00 p.m.
New York contemporary string quartet ETHEL performs a site-specific concert that fuses music and architecture. In the House of ETHEL invites the audience to experience this Philip Johnson-designed space mediated through live performance. Free reception to follow.
Grizzly Bear with the Papercuts
February 24, 7:00 pm
A group that coalesced after founder Edward Droste's homemade recordings became an underground sensation, Grizzly Bear layers their sophisticated lyrical tableaux with harmonies, autoharps, organs, acoustic guitars, bells and scraps of electronics. Grizzly Bear are joined for the evening by San Francisco's Papercuts, touring here in support of their much-anticipated sophomore release Can't Go Back. The Papercuts are the brainchild of Jason Quever—multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and an integral force in the Bay Area's thriving electronic pop scene.
Artlies and Glasstire Armory Happy Hour
Friday, February 23, 6:00-8:00 pm
Further Information: 713.850.0939
If you happen to be reading this in New York City, go join a group of inevitably rowdy Texans as they drink and discuss the dog and pony show that is the Armory.
Finesilver Gallery at Pulse New York, booth 106.
69th Regiment Armory
68 Lexington Ave @ 26th Street
Thursday, February 22 - Sunday, February 25, 2007
Also on your Armory to-do list: go check out Finesilver Gallery’s booth at Pulse New York.
Even Baby Cakes needs to eat—create an earnest, getting-it done sequence where he applies for the following opportunities…
Summer 2007 Residencies at Eyebeam
Eyebeam is now accepting applications for six-month Residency opportunities. Artists, hackers, designers, engineers and creative technologists are invited to apply to be Residents at Eyebeam, to work for six months on projects or research of artistic endeavor or creative expression. The ideal Resident has experience working with and generating innovative technological art and/or creative technology projects and has a passion for interdisciplinary exchange. Residents will be selected from an open call, based on the work/research being proposed, the availability of the necessary tools and skills to support them and in consideration of the overarching research themes and activities of the organization. The application deadline is February 26, 2007 at 12pm EST. Please visit website for further information.
City of Pasadena, CA Public Art Program: Up to five artworks will be commissioned for the renovation of The Pasadena Center, comprised of the historic Civic Auditorium, two convention and meeting buildings on each side of the Auditorium and a sequence of large open spaces. Budget range: $75,000 - $750,000. Deadline to submit: March 6, 2007. For information on the project: Marc Pally, Project Consultant, Tel: 310-838-3238 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Calgary Public Art Program is seeking qualifications from experienced artists or artist teams with a demonstrated ability to produce integrated public art within environmental and/or ecological projects relating to water. Relevant experience working on a park wetlands compensation (restoration) project will be considered an asset. The total budget for this public art project is $180,000 CDN. Submissions must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2007. All submission-related inquiries should be directed to Donna Chaytors, Senior Buyer, City of Calgary at 403- 268-5559 or email@example.com prior to March 1, 2007.
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