From the Editor

by Claire Ruud

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      Lee Baxter Davis
      Sister DeeBee (detail), 2007
      Ink wash, watercolor and collage on paper
      28 x 20 inches
      Courtesy the artist and the Texas Biennial

      Austin’s got its fair share of round-up exhibitions these days: Arthouse’s annual New American Talent, AMOA’s triennial New Art in Austin and the Texas Biennial. Do we really need them all? I’m beginning to wonder whether we could pool our resources and develop one single biennial (or triennial) instead—something both broader and deeper than any one of us could orchestrate alone. We need a coalition—a temporary alliance—that works across our various organizational structures and purposes. Together, we could support a larger, city-wide exhibition of public art and solo shows at a variety of venues, from Arthouse to Big Medium to testsite.

      Coalition isn’t easy. To build an event like this, TXB and AMOA might have to give up their regional parameters. Arthouse might have to make the inclusion of Texas-based artists a larger priority. Art in Public Places might have to convince the city to fund wilder, less conventional public art. It would be hard, but think what we might do.

      Discussing TXB in this issue, Russell Etchen of Domy Books mentions New Orleans’s Prospect.1 as a possible model for the future—an art event structured less around region and more around shared concerns. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Dunbar of Arthouse makes a powerful argument for showing more work by fewer artists next time. Also in this issue, Gavin Morrison’s proposal for a Texan Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale seems intimately related to the discussion of a Biennial within the state. Morrison’s piece investigates the idea of Texas in the public imagination; he conceptualizes Texas not as a geo-political state with fixed borders, but as an ever-changing entity that is constantly being renegotiated within cultural, political and economic spheres.

      In our upcoming issue, I’m particularly looking forward to reviews of Kehinde Wiley at Artpace San Antonio and Phantom Sightings at Museo Alameda. We’ll also check in with former CORE resident Mequitta Ahuja to talk about her recent work and sit down with UT art history professor Roberto Tejada to talk about his new book, National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment—with its transnational theoretical framework, a great follow up to Morrison's discussion of Texas this week.

      Claire Ruud is Editor of ...might be good and Associate Coordinator of testsite.


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