From the Editor
by Claire Ruud
At Art Palace, where Eric Zimmerman’s solo show Atlas is installed this month, a graphite rendering of Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International—a monument never built—hangs in the entryway. For me, Eric’s drawing of the Monument captured the self-aware and alternately optimistic and melancholy idealism of his project. In the Atlas series, Eric places himself among myriad utopian architectural movements, begging the formidable question: To what end have utopian artistic movements attempted to restructure space and express an understanding of the world through this restructuring? In this issue,Eric and Michelle White, Assistant Curator at The Menil Collection, discuss Eric’s engagement with architectural history, real and imaginary space, optimism and melancholy.
Also in this issue, Fluent~Collaborative Associate Director Caitlin Haskell talks to Barry Schwabsky critic at Artforum and The Nation, Amanda Douberly discusses Fritz Haeg: Attack on the Front Lawn at Arthouse, and Matthew Levy offers a succinct review of Richard Shiff’s most recent book, Doubt.
Two weeks ago, in Issue #94, …might be good published my critique of New Art in Austin at the Austin Museum of Art. In response, reader (and artist) Christopher St. Leger wrote:
It seems predictable that by the third time around, AMOA’s triennial would be up against a more demanding audience. You critique the show’s poor installation, but AMOA is known most of all for its not-quite adequate space, and the plans to build a new museum address that critique. In addition, contemporary art exhibitions are obligated to present works that break the mold and are, in some cases, difficult to house. Given these factors, I wonder if you are being reasonable. It’s the museums duty to squeeze all they can into this type of show, and I wonder if it isn’t our duty to accept the show’s shortcomings and try a little harder to focus on the artists.
Accepting shortcomings is rarely sound advice, yet Christopher’s criticism of my review points out the pitfall of critiquing AMoA as an institution: I forwent the opportunity of carefully discussing the art itself—an opportunity that might have contributed to an equally productive discussion. Acknowledging this drawback to my approach, I hope the review and the conversation surrounding it serves Austin’s arts community in a different way. By demonstrating that the community is invested in how we show Austin artists, perhaps the conversation will encourage AMOA to strengthen its commitment to our city’s emerging artists through more frequent and more focused exhibitions of their work.
In our upcoming Issue #96, …might be good will commemorate the five years Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, Curator of Latin American Art at The Blanton, and Regine Basha, former Adjunct Curator at Arthouse, have spent in Austin. In two interviews, we’ll hear about what they’ve learned in Austin and where they’re headed next. (Thankfully, Gabriel and Regine both have ongoing projects in Austin, so this won’t be the last we see of them.) Issue #96 will also include an Artist's Space with former testsite artist Riiko Sakkinnen and a review of New Works: 08.1 at Artpace, which features work by Regina Jose Galindo, Rodney McMillan and Margarita Cabrera.
As always, we welcome responses to us or any of our writers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Ruud is Managing Editor of …might be good.