From the Editor
by Wendy Vogel
This issue of …might be good, the first after the midterm elections, revolves around reconceptions of the artwork and the art world. Dropping out, getting off the grid and appropriating space for radical purposes—whether in the pages of a magazine, out in the desert, or in your parents’ apartment—are some of the strategies recounted in these virtual pages. This spirit hearkens back to the legacy of the Art Workers’ Coalition, a loose collective of creative practitioners called to action in 1969. Embracing concerns as varied as artists’ rights to assert control over where their work was exhibited, sexism, racism and the Vietnam war, the A.W.C. encouraged direct action and led to the formation of splinter groups such as the Guerrilla Art Action Group (G.A.A.G.) and Women Artists in Revolution.
Of course, we know that these groups did not topple the prevailing order of the artworld. But the questions that they provoked about the role and ethics of art practice continue to be played in politicized ways. In our Reviews section, Rachel Cook provides an account of such practices from last month’s Creative Time’s Summit in New York. Sasha Dela, founder of Skydive, conducts an interview with PLAND, a Taos, NM-based off-the-grid residency program that seeks to “reclaim and reframe a land-based notion of the American Dream.” And in our project space, Jennie Lamensdorf considers Cabinetlandia’s annexation of textual and geographical space in her second installment of The Third Site of Land Art.
Today, the institution can act not only as a foil, but a catalyst for reconsidering art practice. I spoke with Peter Doroshenko about his provocative past exhibitions and future plans as Executive Director of Dallas Contemporary. Also in this issue, I interview Josef Helfenstein about the Kurt Schwitters exhibition at the Menil, a dazzling survey of an enigmatic and engaged artist who struggled to produce work under repressive political conditions. And finally, Lisa Pon sheds light on José Manuel Ballester’s eerie depopulation of The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Meadows Museum, while Wendy Atwell considers Matthew Ronay’s mysterial, ritualistic installation at Artpace.
For those in Houston this weekend who want to continue the conversation about sustainable living, come meet Sasha Dela and the founders of PLAND at Skydive’s new home. The artists will be hosting a potluck and Houston re-use tour, respectively, on Saturday the 13th and Monday the 15th. Austinites out and about this weekend and next shouldn’t miss the events at the East Austin Studio Tour. And on Sunday night, don’t forget to stop by our sister project, testsite for an opening of work by Rob Verf and Roberto Tejada.
As for next weekend, if you’re hankering for a pre-Thanksgiving feast, pop on over to Jason Middlebrook’s potluck at Arthouse. …might be good will be celebrating Turkey Day by taking a one-week vacation, but once those leftovers have been cleared from your fridge, check back on December 3rd for an issue chock full of new content.
Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.