From the Editor

by Wendy Vogel

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      Ryan Hennessee
      The Specious Present at 700 Congress
      2010
      Video animation commissioned by Arthouse
      Courtesy of the artist

      By the time this issue goes live, many of you in Austin will have already visited Arthouse at the Jones Center. After a long and suspenseful wait, the building, transformed by the New York-based architectural firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, reopened its doors last weekend in style. Thousands clamored to see the architectural trio's tour de force, a game-changer for museum spaces in Austin. Incorporating the history of the site with expanded gallery square footage, clean lines and unexpected architectural details, the building served as a conversation piece along with the art it showcased. Events included three evenings of requisite dinners and member receptions. And in true Austin spirit, those with some extra pocket change could come to the Friday night afterparty to enjoy a rooftop performance by Brooklyn-based band and art collective MEN. The weekend finished off with a host of public programs on Sunday such as workshops, performances, talks and an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

      This issue of …mbg celebrates Arthouse and its new programming through an artist-centered approach. While gathering material for this issue, I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss working in the new Arthouse with three artists whose works are currently on view. Commissions by two New York-based artists, Tony Feher and Jason Middlebrook, occupy the second-floor Sue Graze Gallery. My interviews with them illuminate differences in their approach but a similar sensibility: to create work that will activate a public and activate a space. Mequitta Ahuja, the sole painter whose work is currently on display, created a series that extends her inquiry into identity construction and interior and exterior spaces. The works in Automythography II are being shown for the first time at Arthouse, providing a visual and material contrast to both the video works on view and the reclaimed objects that occupy the second-floor space. Also in this issue, I’ll contribute notes about Arthouse’s history and innovations in the review section, and the Artist's Space will feature stunning photographs of the building.

      Speaking of new notions about site and practice, I’ll leave you with a few teasers about our November 12th issue. In the reviews section, we’ll feature a collaborative response to the recent Creative Time Summit in New York. Sasha Dela, co-founder of the artist-run space Skydive in Houston, will interview the founders of PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program in Taos, NM. And also looking southwest, Jennie Lamensdorf will contribute part two of her project, The Third Site of Land Art, on reconsidering iconic land art works. Look forward to this and much more!

      Editor’s Note: For the record, Fluent~Collaborative’s co-founder Laurence Miller and one of the organization’s principal funders are members of the Board of Directors at Arthouse.

      Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.

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