testsite 18.3 ~ SELF STORAGE

Dave Bryant & Rebecca Bengal

On view through October 28

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      Dave Bryant, Mailbox made for my Mother on Rural Route 5, 1992. Photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.

      Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present SELF STORAGE, a collaboration with writer Rebecca Bengal and visual artist Dave Bryant. The project opens on Sunday, September 16 with a public reception from 4 to 6 PM, and a conversation between the artists at 4:30 PM.

      Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

      —Jimmy Carter, “Crisis of Confidence” speech, 1979

      A conversation about the process of accumulation, the things we choose to keep, and the ways in which they form and inform our sense of self.

      Bengal will present short fiction, inspired, in part, by two devastating house fires on her family’s farm, and the ways in which land forgets and remembers.

      Bryant will show a group of images reclaimed and upcycled from his storage lockers in Brooklyn and Austin. Works-in-progress, abandoned projects, and objects which have lost their meaning are reappraised here.


      Rebecca Bengal is from western North Carolina and lives in New York City where she writes fiction and longform nonfiction and makes photographs. A former resident of Austin, she holds an MFA in creative writing from the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has been published by The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Aperture, Vogue, Oxford American, Southwest Review, Criterion Collection, The Believer, Guernica, Bookforum, Best New Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. Among her recent projects are story collaborations with artists Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth, and Mitch Epstein. She has received fellowships in fiction from the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Center for the Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and she is a past editor at, among others, American Short Fiction and DoubleTake.

      Dave Bryant was raised in Canton, Texas and currently resides in Austin. For 25 years, he has worked with lo-fi sound recordings, film, and video. He has made art for the television shows The Heart-She Holler, Wonder Showzen and Jon Glaser Loves Gear for the collective PFFR and has produced music videos for Bill Callahan, The Flaming Lips, Spray Paint, Knife in the Water and others. His most recent project, the feature length movie Son of Sid, co-written and directed with Peat Duggins, was funded in part by an Art Matters Grant. With Duggins, he was the organizer of the Fresh Up Club, a gallery and performance venue. His most recent gallery exhibition was at Sala Diaz.


      Opening reception at testsite: Sunday, September 16, 4-6pm with a conversation between the collaborators at 4:30pm. Exhibition on view through October 28. A publication associated with the exhibition is forthcoming.
      : Sundays 4-6 PM and by appointment.
      502 W. 33rd Street
      Austin, TX 78705
      : LKarazija@fluentcollab.org, 512.453.3199 x2