MBG Issue #181: Flux Capacitors Are So 1985

Issue # 181

Flux Capacitors Are So 1985

January 13, 2012

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Installation view from “Identity,” Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez. (detail)

from the editor

Welcome to the future! The beginning of any new year is a time for speculating on what the next 365—make that 352—days will hold. Resolutions, those time-honored and often unfulfilled declarations of self-improvement jotted on Post-its, journal pages, and computer screens are all too familiar this time of year. After-all, who doesn’t need a little mental cleanse now and again? Really it doesn’t much matter if resolutions are fulfilled or not—the very act of writing them is a form of catharsis that embraces the potential that they represent. This shouldn’t stop us from looking ahead. We need simply to keep in mind the nature of such visions—speculative and discursive—and not be too hard on ourselves when our gym membership goes unused. Quantifiable results are measuring sticks better suited to corporate boardrooms than ones list of aspirations for the days that lie ahead, to say nothing of the work that makes up the subject and backbone of our journal.

Let's just take a brief glimpse into the crystal ball. In the future that’s already past, Houston’s Diverseworks announced that former Arthouse curator Elizabeth Dunbar will be taking up the helm. Only time will tell what sort of fruit one of Houston’s most venerable trees will bear under new leadership, but on the surface the fit seems to be a positive one. Let's hope Dunbar will continue to bring difficult and rigorous work to Texas, albeit with a warmer reception from the Bayou City. In Austin, AMOA + Arthouse is leaping into the new year as a single entity, with a hybrid name that is screaming for reconsideration, but whose upcoming programming looks to be a solid presence in the capital city–long overdue for a little stability this year. Only the ether is privy to the form and leadership the institution will end up adopting, but hopefully the opportunity to do something risky and dynamic is not wasted.

Our first issue of the new year presents a little slice of what makes ...might be good what it is. University of Dallas Assistant Professor Catherine Caesar dives into the D.F.W. airport and its long history as a locale for public art proposals and realized projects from a broad swathe of artists. From Tokyo, curator Mayumi Hirano brings us a review of Nobuko Tsuchiya’s exhibition We are living in a time machine at SACAI THE BATHHOUSE. Former ...mbg editor and Yale M.B.A. candidate Claire Ruud’s consummate look into Dexter Sinister’s exhibition “Identity” at Artists Space in N.Y.C. is particularly prescient in light of the increasing rights of corporations to act as people in this election year. Artists MaryWalling Blackburn and Roger White offer up a wide-ranging conversation that uses a shared listening experience of early 90‘s California band Dark Horse Candidate to talk about regionalism, empire, geophagy and the lessons artists and curators might glean from them. Back in Dallas U.T. Arlington Assistant Professor Benjamin Lima looks into painter Nigel Cooke’s exhibition at the Goss-Michael Foundation. Finally, our Project Space features Los Angeles artist Jed Lind.

The cards have great things in store for ...might be good this year. When October rolls around our journal will celebrate its 200th issue. No small feat and one that we’re incredibly proud to be able to share with you. If there is one part of the future we can predict its that we’ll continue to bring you thoughtful reviews, interviews, recommendations, and long reads from Texas and beyond on a broad range of contemporary art related topics. We’ll also look to capitalize on our unique role as a small digital publication and the freedom that entails by continuing to experiment with Twitter, artist project spaces, and texts that push against the edges of the typical forms our content takes. We hope you’ll continue to support us through your readership, donations and much appreciated feedback, now via askus@fluentcollab.org, throughout the year.

Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.

long read

The Cultural Politics of Air Travel: Art at Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Then and Now

By Catherine Caesar

Tom Orr, Untitled, 2005, 20 x 40 feet. Courtesy of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. I live in its shadow, flinching each time a low-flying plane crosses my path on the highway, and arising mornings to the sound of air traffic. I also happen to be oddly knowledgeable about the architectural and political background of the airport, thanks to my work on Robert Smithson’s 1966-1967 proposals for sculptures to cover the ground of the initial DFW site. I have been considering the unique temporal and geographical space that an airport inhabits for years, inspired by Martha Rosler’s In Place of the Public: Airport Series, a body of photographs documenting the artist’s travel from the ‘80s on. These interests have culminated in my recent tour of the artworks in Terminal D, the newest part of the DFW airport. I am fascinated by these intersections between art and air travel, and how artists have used their work to reveal the airport as a contested, politically-charged site, one that resonates in some of our most vivid collective memories, and has helped to form our modern, itinerant identities.

In June of 1966, Robert Smithson was approached by Manhattan-based architectural firm Tippets-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton (TAMS) about participating in their design of the Dallas Fort Worth Regional Airport. Smithson’s interest in crystalline structures seemed to correlate with TAMS’s conception of the DFW terminals as modular or molecular units. Various phases of this plan for DFW and the broader relationship between art and the aerial are laid out in at least fifteen drawings (here's one of them) and two essays produced during his year-long tenure as artist consultant. Immediately, Smithson planned to locate his sculptures in the clear zones, or the areas surrounding the runways with the greatest accident potential. The artist was beginning to conceive of a notion of aerial art, or works visible from airplanes ascending from and descending into the terminal. Working solely in the expanded field of the runways would allow Smithson to embrace the new scale necessitated by the increase in air travel. Indeed he would only include the viewers within the terminal by supplying interior monitors to provide images of the outdoor sculptures. For this project, Smithson designed sculptures in various materials, including mirrors, gravel, colored sand, water and earth arranged in various geometric configurations. Moreover, toward the end of his consultancy, Smithson had begun to view the project collaboratively, enlisting Carl Andre, Sol Lewitt, and Robert Morris to design artworks for the site.1

Ultimately neither the TAMS design nor any of the proposed artworks were ever constructed: TAMS lost the contract for the terminals and Smithson’s position was eliminated. Although never realized, Smithson’s designs mark a turning point in his career. The DFW project is the origin of two key concepts in his oeuvre: nonsites and earthworks, and the TAMS commission literally propelled him into the landscape.2 Smithson began to rethink sculptural scale, to conceive of the monumental earthworks for which he is best known like Spiral Jetty, whose iconic form actually found an initial inspiration in the airport project.

For Smithson, the airport and the air travel it supports broke from rationalist views of the earth, time and space. The traveler grasps at the irrational and infinite from the height and speed of the airplane, as he argues his 1969 “Aerial Art:” “Aerial photography and air transportation bring into view the surface features of this shifting world of perspectives. The rational structures of buildings disappear into irrational disguises and are pitched into optical illusions. The world seen from the air is abstract and illusive.”3 Despite its inherent abstractness, Smithson argues scientists and engineers have tried to rationalize flight:

"The meaning of airflight has for the most part been conditioned by a rationalism that supposes truths—such as nature, progress, and speed.  Such meanings are merely ‘categorical’ and have no basis in actual fact.  The same condition exists in art, if one sees through the rational categories of ‘painting, sculpture and architecture.’  The rationalist sees only the details and never the whole."4

Smithson was not only fascinated with air travel, but also with the terminal itself. In 1966, Smithson created a sculpture titled Terminal consisting of a series of concentric hexagonal forms bounded by a central core. Influenced by his concurrent work on the DFW designs, the title references myriad interpretations of the term “terminal” and the site it designates. “Terminal” signifies an end—of a journey or a life, as Ann Reynolds discusses in her 2003 book on Smithson. I want to propose another, paradoxical, play on the term: a airport terminal is simultaneously a temporal and geographical conclusion and an endless continuum of motion, a nexus of infinite streams through which bodies and information are transported, a site that exists outside of linear time. For Smithson, the terminal is a massive receiver of infinite numbers, a universal hub. Indeed Smithson likens the airport to the Universe, awed by the vastness of the DFW site, its 18,000 acres of land, runways in excess of 14,000’, and the seemingly boundless views allowed by the flatness of the North Texas landscape, anathema to residents of the Northeast U.S, like Smithson.

If the DFW project made Smithson rethink sculptural scale and conceive of the earthwork, it also helped form his notion of the ideal earthwork location—one marked by entropy and denoting layers of time. For example, at Rozel Point, the site of Spiral Jetty (1970), Smithson was drawn to the red water created by the algae of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, but he was also inspired by the signs of time’s entropic passing. He chose the spiral, in part, to reference the Native American legend locating a whirlpool deep within the Great Salt Lake. Smithson also credited the site with a layering of thousands of centuries of time, referencing the Jurassic to the present, relishing equally the ancient whirlpool and the rusting oil rig. For Smithson, the immensity and the infinite spiral of the Spiral Jetty and its surroundings, the allusions to strata of time, the evidence of entropic processes, all create a paradoxical site that revels in the irrationality he celebrates throughout his writings. It is the notion of aerial art and the awesomeness of flight that would inspire Smithson’s earthwork sites: indeed it is only through flight—the dizzying helicopter ride charted in the Spiral Jetty film—that this dislocation and indeterminacy is truly experienced.

Finally, I would suggest that Smithson’s fascination with decay, erasure, and the irrational underside of progress was fueled by both the airport project and the political context of the North Texas community that commissioned it. Historically, building an airport between Dallas and Fort Worth was a hotly contested topic. Since 1927, these rivaling cities, separated by only 30 miles, fought all propositions for a consolidated airport. Dallas and Fort Worth each had their own airport and could never agree on plans—the most extreme example of contention occurring in the 1940s, when the Dallas mayor refused airport designs because the main terminal doors faced Fort Worth, turning their back on Dallas. It was only in the mid-60s that the concept was accepted by both cities, in part, because of Dallas’s desire to disassociate itself with its main (and still extant) airport of Love Field and the charge of right-wing extremism in the days and months following JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963. DFW airport was meant not only to serve as a novel and distinct entrance to the area, but also was part of a city-wide initiative of progress and commercial growth to counter its critics and to show, in the words of Dallas entrepreneur Stanley Marcus, what’s “right about Dallas.“5 Mayor Erik Jonsson, appointed immediately after the assassination, argued that the key to Dallas’s growth was the creation of a new port. Not situated on any major railroads or rivers, the future of Dallas “was in the air.” And it was via the air that the city could transcend its violent past.6

Although Smithson did not choose the DFW site—it chose him through the TAMS commission—the paradoxical context of the airport proposal would not be lost on him, and I suggest that it helped shape his non-sites and his future selection of earthworks. The construction of the airport and the era of growth of which it was part are entrenched in entropic processes—progress is fostered out of destruction. Moreover, beneath the rationality associated with technology and travel lies the irrationality of a violent act, a dichotomy that parallels Smithson’s desire to transcend the rationalism associated with flight. Indeed, one might view Smithson’s whole notion of monumentality, which is based in entropy, as a counter to the traditional monument. Does DFW airport then, even in its effort to move past the events of November 1963, create an anti-monument to the assassinated president? Should Smithson’s investigations of the multiple meanings of the concept of the “terminal” be understood in the context of JFK’s assassination?

It is with these questions in mind that I began my tour of the artworks in DFW Airport. Designed primarily by Dallas firm HKS, the International D Terminal opened in July 2005. The project included the implementation of the Skylink system, a train connecting all terminals, and a public art program. From inception, the architects’ plans incorporated large-scale art projects: six million dollars were allocated to fund thirteen paintings and sculptures and twelve floor medallions in the main building, terrazzo floor designs for the ten Skylink stations, and works decorating walls of the Customs and Border Protection area. In addition, sculptures on loan from the Nasher collection populate the terminal and an outdoor sculpture garden.7

The artists responsible for the main building and Skylink projects were successful applicants to a public call, juried by a nine-member Advisory Committee consisting primarily of Metroplex art professionals. Interestingly, the artists, including Benito Huerta, Ted Kincaid and Tom Orr, did not submit specific proposals for the airport works, but were selected on the basis of their portfolios. Consequently, the bulk of these works are unrelated to air traffic, although many reference regional livestock or landscape. Also of note is the inaccessibility of the majority of the artworks: all but a few rest outside the security gates and some, including commissioned paintings by Sol Lewitt, lie in the even more impenetrable region of Customs and Border Protection. The primary rationale for this layout stems from the fact that the architects’ designs were finalized before September 11, 2001, when more lenient security codes promised greater access to the works. Indeed the twelve mosaic medallions positioned in front of key D-gates were intended as landmarks for reuniting travelers with their greeters (i.e. “meet me by the horse medallion at D6”). But of course, now no such meetings are allowed inside of security, and this limited accessibility, combined with the fact that the mosaics are flush with the ground, renders them relatively invisible. I immediately thought of the challenges to vision that Smithson so relished, when the DFW earthworks could be glimpsed only momentarily from the air, or via tiny monitors in the terminal. Moreover, both sets of visual limitations are in some ways attributable to the violence of their prospective eras, whether that be post 1963 Dallas, or post 9-11 air travel.

I think the imperceptibility of the artworks discussed here also points to a psychological condition fostered by airports and air travel. The space of the terminal is unique in that it is dislocated in space and time, populated with disconnected, itinerant inhabitants all existing in a liminal state. It houses thousands of isolated individuals, a phenomenon captured in Rosler’s eerie series of terminal-scapes. Despite the increasing visual cacophony of stores, restaurants and advertising in airports, the transitory nature of the experience, the rush to move through the space, hinders sight. At DFW, the source of my constant fascination, a set of interlocking paradoxes are thus created, ranging from the positioning of visual art in a sight-impeding site to the inextricability of entropy and technological progress.

Catherine Caesar is an art historian specializing in American art of the 1960s and 70s, and Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Dallas.

1. Morris planned a circular earth mound, Lewitt proposed to bury a cube below ground, while Andre offered two proposals: “A crater formed by a one-ton bomb dropped from 10,000 feet—or—An acre of bluebonnets (state flowers of Texas).” Robert Smithson, “Aerial Art,” in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, ed. Jack Flam (Berkeley: UCal Press, 1996), 117.
2. For the artist’s own view of Aerial Art and the importance of the DFW designs, see Smithson’s interview with Paul Cummings (1972), and his two published essays on the project, “Towards the Development of an Air Terminal Site,” and “Aerial Art,” in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. See also “An Interview with Robert Smithson (1973),” in Eugenie Tsai, Robert Smithson (Los Angeles: The Museum of Contemporary Art and UCal Press, 2004) 80-94. Secondary scholarship on the DFW project can be found in Ann Reynolds, Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere (Cambridge MA and London: MIT Press, 2003); Janna Eggebeen, “Between Two Worlds: Robert Smithson and Aerial Art,” Public Art Dialogue 1: 1 (2011) Web. 4 May, 2011; Suzann Boettger, Earthworks: Art and Landscape of the Sixties (Berkeley and Los Angeles: UCal Press); Robert Hobbs, Robert Smithson: Sculpture (Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, 1981).
3. Smithson, “Aerial Art,” 116.
4. Smithson, “Towards the Development of an Air Terminal Site,” 52-53.
5. Marcus, co-owner of Dallas-based department store Neiman Marcus and early Kennedy supporter, took out a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News on New Year’s Day, 1964 to counter the national media’s preoccupation with “What’s Wrong with Dallas.”
6. Jonsson, as recollected by Wick Allison, “The 35 Biggest Moments in Modern Dallas History,” D Magazine (Dec, 16, 2009). Web. 1 Jan. 2010. Robert Bradley, in his essay “Goals for Dallas,” shows how the airport project was a crucial part of the rehabilitation of the city in the aftermath of the assassination. Jonsson, who was appointed to overcome the media’s designation of Dallas as “hate capital of the nation,” proposed a series of goals for the city in 1965, as part of his mayoral campaign. The airport was one of the primary initiatives in Jonsson’s plan, which provided a new focus for the city. As a Dallas resident during the 60s recalls: “The community’s self-guilt and self-pity [over the Kennedy assassination] shattered and preoccupied the Dallas leadership and other citizens. There was a need to look forward and to bring something to the community for them to react and participate in.” See Robert B. Bradley’s “Goals for Dallas,” in Anticipatory Democracy: People in the Politics of the Future, ed. Clement Bezold, (New York, Random House, 1978), 64-5.
7. DFW International Airport Art Program, official brochure.


Nigel Cooke
The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas
Through February 18

By Benjamin Lima

Nigel Cooke, Experience, 2009, Oil on linen, 86 ½ x 86 ½ x 2 inches. Courtesy The Goss-Michael Collection, Pinnell Collection and Rachofsky Collection, Stuart Shave I Modern Art, London, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © Nigel Cooke.

Nigel Cooke is a gifted and versatile British painter whose work wrestles with a characteristically postmodern dilemma: do you pursue a grand vision, beset by doubts about its ultimate truth, or do you assert a freedom from all such visions, and worry about falling into nihilist, meaninglessness? The paintings on view at the Goss-Michael Foundation are complex enough to hedge their bets; their response to this dilemma can be interpreted in two opposing ways. Either a surface-level play with absurdity establishes a credibility that allows Cooke to pursue the quest of the romantic artist (Van Gogh is a recurring reference) without being embarrassed about it, or Cooke, knowing that the glorious dream of true vision in painting will always prove impossible, expresses this by endlessly undercutting his own such efforts with pictorial jokes. (The intractability of these questions could also be read as a cautionary tale about what happens to people who pursue advanced studies in art history; Cooke received a Ph.D. from Goldsmith’s College, University of London, in 2004, with a thesis on “The ambivalence of the undead: entropy, duality and the sublime as perspectives on contemporary painting.”)

The exhibition includes ten paintings, most around seven feet tall and up to ten feet wide—some on canvas and some on linen. A single painting dates to 1997, two others are from 2005-06, and the remainder from the past four years. There are also a number of patinated bronze sculptures—heads in baseball caps, fried eggs, anchors (i.e. The Raft, 2010)—that might have served as models for the paintings.

In spite of the timespan, there are still some significant gaps in respect to a survey of Cooke’s work: nothing like, for example, the widely discussed Silva Morosa (2003), as a representative of the 2004 exhibition at Andrea Rosen that introduced him to the U.S., and Mummy (2004) representative of his early-2000s blank-space-cum-sublime-landscape-cum-graffiti-wall period. Experience (2009), on view here, is a good representative of the “artist-figure as pathetic pseudo-Van-Gogh sad-sack” series, but one should be aware of the other works in that series, most notably Departure (2009-2010), a triptych in explicit dialogue with Max Beckmann’s 1930s triptych of the same title. To me, the most interesting paintings in the exhibition are those from 2011, such as Bathers and Siren, in which central female nudes resting in mock-pastoral landscapes fight for visibility among assorted detritus' lying on the ground and enormous Richter-esque squeegee smears that completely wipe away vast stretches of detail.

Several leitmotifs within Cooke’s imagery indicate the artist’s ambivalence about the idea of completely serious painting. I noted multiple instances of a book bearing the one-word title “CRAP” (cf. again the artist’s educational background, above), but there are also the many figures with blue clown noses, trucker hats and sleeveless T-shirts, empty beer cans and other sorts of litter. The pure grid of modernist architecture shows up many times, but usually suffering from graffiti, weeds, or other such indignities. Also, many of the figures seem to be standing around somewhat aimlessly, rather than engaging in serious action or contemplation.

The gender politics of heroic creativity are treated in the same irreverent manner, with what look like long, sinuous spermatozoa entwined among the vegetation, and terminating with goofy smiley faces on their heads. These smiley sperm are the counterparts of the shaggy, beer-drinking artist guys in Interference (2011) and Thinker Ashore (2010): perhaps likable, but hard to truly respect. Most extreme along these lines is Nightfall (2005), which has a long cigarette with a glowing pink tip (that is itself a face, smoking another tiny cigarette) wedged into a cleft within a large, bulbous banana lying on the ground. Nightfall seems to ask: How Freudian can a painting get, before it is no longer possible to seriously attempt a Freudian interpretation of that same painting?

As creative and diverting as Cooke’s work surely is, on viewing it I had a hard time not succumbing to a certain nostalgia for the gravitas of a Max Beckmann. Is the sense of knowingness and ambivalence really the best possible response to the postmodern dilemma? Is enjoyable humor the most important task for someone of Cooke’s talents to undertake? Or am I misinterpreting the work, and perhaps completely missing a tragic pathos that others have suggested is central to Cooke’s work? At the very least, it is to the artist’s credit that such questions are front and center.

Benjamin Lima is assistant professor of art history at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dexter Sinister
Artists Space, New York
Through January 15

By Claire Ruud

Installation view from "Identity," Artists Space, 2011. Photo: Daniel Pérez.

Dexter Sinister’s Identity,” a three-channel projection installed alone in the center of main gallery at Artists Space, tells a fascinating story about museums and their brands. While a woman’s voice recounts anecdotes from the history of branding museums—centrally, MoMA, the Pompidou, and the Tate—the projections move at an equally measured pace through iconic images primarily in black and white, that correspond to the text. The narrative is a pastiche of the words of others found in newspaper clippings, essays, press releases and letters. Woven together seamlessly, these diverse sources become an absorbing mediation on the tension between the entity and its self-representation, the difference between “what we are [and] what we look like, in other words ‘identity’ [and] identity.”

What makes Dexter Sinister’s take on the old question of identity so relevant is its exploration of the relationship between corporate and individual identity. As “Identity” points out, the term “corporate identity” was coined in the 1950s to express the idea that a firm could paint a picture of itself, a spruced-up image of its best qualities. The idea of corporate identity allows the firm to self-consciously develop and manage a personality and, in turn, its relationships with individuals, i.e. the firm’s employees and consumers. Perhaps, as the firm acquired the traits of person-hood, people began to imagine themselves in the terms of the corporation. By the mid-90s, everyone was talking about developing and managing a “personal brand.” The idea of branding the product expanded to encompass branding the self: in the workplace, we transform ourselves into products that satisfy the system. (I’m tempted to think that our embrace of the personal brand may also be inflected by the development of a performative self, as first articulated by Judith Butler at the beginning of the 90s. In both cases, one constructs a representation of the self out of the pre-existing possibilities within the system.)

There’s plenty of work in the world exploring the space between the self and its representation. But for me, “Identity” provides a fresh perspective on this space by revealing another axis of difference that is particularly relevant today: the space between the corporation and person. On a grand scale, the differences between these entities are being fought out in the courts. In the landmark 2010 Citizen’s United case, the Supreme Court ruled for the corporation’s personhood (First Amendment rights), and now the debate’s coming back to the court courtesy Royal Dutch Petroleum. It is not surprising that the personhood of the corporation has finally reached the courts on such a grand scale. “ The Company Man” legendarily allows his identity to be subsumed by that of the corporation. We’ve all met young professionals whose devotion to their company’s brand—Goldman Sachs and Google come to mind—is strangely personal. In our capitalist system, corporate identity and individual identity have long been deeply intertwined. “Identity” led me to revisit the questions, how much does our understanding of the individual affect our understanding of the corporation, and vice versa. The answer is clear: quite a bit.

Eve Sussman, founder and CEO, one might say, of the Rufus Corporation, once pointed out to Noah Simblist in these pages, “There’s a conceit to the Rufus Corporation as well; in this country, you’re much more powerful as a company than as an individual. Whether you’re ordering two-by-fours or computers or filming materials, the first thing the sales rep asks is ‘what company do you come from?’ It immediately empowers you on a different level as soon as you are a company. So of course I’m a company. Why wouldn’t everyone just be a company?”

Claire Ruud has an M.A. in art history from The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing an M.B.A. at The Yale University School of Management. She thinks a lot about feminism, queer theory and financing contemporary art production.

Nobuko Tsuchiya
Through January 28

By Mayumi Hirano

Nobuko Tsuchiya, 11th Dimension Project 1, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAI THE BATHHOUSE. Photo credit: Keizo Kioku.

We are living in a time machine, currently on view at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE presents a new series of sculptural works by an internationally recognized Japanese artist, Nobuko Tsuchiya. In presenting these works, made after her return to Japan after 10 years of working in London, the exhibition affirms the development of Tsuchiya’s sculptural language through her ongoing experimentation with various materials. Found objects, silicone, felt and other materials in different conditions ranging from new to rusty are assembled by the artist, weaving an abstract world reminiscent of the childhood experience of being drawn into our own imaginations. In fact, the origin of Tsuchiya’s diligent art making can be traced back to her own childhood episodes, in which she remembers spending entire days in the house by herself, playing with household tools such as kettles, spoons and beaters—taking them apart and intuitively re-entwining the parts. In the exhibition, we can still find her curiosity for inventing new forms and stories using the familiar materials around her.

Characterized by its high ceilings, the spacious gallery is host to five sculptures of various sizes laid out like a Zen rock garden. With the large-scale sculpture titled 11th Dimension Project as the centerpiece, the other pieces resonate to create a tranquil ambience that invites us to wander into what the artist suggestively calls the “11th Dimension.” The centerpiece takes a table-like form covered in white silicone, on top of which Tsuchiya has attached assemblages of glass, rusted metal sheets, wire, rope bobbins, scrap pieces of wood and felt of different colors. With a close look, the details of the sculpture vaguely resemble something, but at the same time never exactly represent anything. It’s left to the viewer’s imagination. Tsuchiya’s work suspends the automatic understanding of the “object” by removing semiotic connotations from shapes, materials, and textures thus facilitating viewers’ one-on-one dialogue with what’s in front of them. Though the title We are living in a time machine is suggestive of a greater narrative, we are left alone in the space with no clue how to follow the path set by the artist and find ourselves composing improvised poetry based on personal experiences.

The 11th Dimension Project was initially included in a group exhibition held at ART Tower Mito's Contemporary Art Center in the early spring of 2011. However, during the exhibition period, the art center was severally damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake and the exhibition was discontinued. The current show at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE not only extends the opportunity to present Tsuchiya’s work to a wider range of people, but the exhibition also raises an important question with a subtle yet confident voice. Can we see the world in the same way after seeing hundreds of houses swept away into the sea, ships carried onto buildings and cars stuck vertically in the ground? Our world of once familiar structures and objects was suddenly transformed into a landscape littered with accidental monuments and crumbling symbols.

Facing Tsuchiya’s intricately composed assemblage, we find ourselves absorbed into the quiet passage of time. Discarded materials flee from our expectations and are reduced to their essences. Together, they are reborn as art objects realizing a perfect stillness that poetically remind us that artwork itself does not change, rather it is we who are constantly changing. Art may not directly solve the problems that we face, especially in the wake of disaster, but it does offer us a meditative space in which to recognize and connect our discursive thoughts—allowing us to find the narrative to our own lives.

Mayumi Hirano is Curator / Program Coordinator of Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama.

Agriculture And Sound
Listening Session as Interview
Dark Horse Candidate

By Roger White and Mary Walling Blackburn

Dark Horse Candidate.

Roger White, painter and co-editor of Paper Monument, was raised in California’s Salinas Valley and is currently based in New York City. Walling Blackburn and White listen together to the music of an early 90’s punk band from the adjacent San Joaquin Valley. Dark Horse Candidate, an extinct regional post-punk psychedelic band serves as a departure point for a conversation regarding localized cultural production and its environs (the soil underneath the site or makers, the built structures in their surroundings). The conversation does not directly address, but is informed by, the possible extinction of regionalism in the face of globalization and conversely, the possible reign of localism as empire re-organizes itself. White’s father was a farmer in this agricultural zone; Walling Blackburn’s great grandparents and grandmother, sharecroppers from Arkansas, migrated to this same region to pick cotton.

Roger White [RW]: The Dark Horse Candidate stuff is different than I expected, based on your introduction of them as a punk band. I was anticipating something thrashier—if that’s a word. This is pretty psychedelic. It does remind me of its time and place, surprisingly. I think about weather: driving through the San Joaquin Valley on a clear night and suddenly encountering the tule fog, which creates an opaque, luminous, and terrifying curtain across the road. (I went back to double-check my memory and found that “tule” comes from tulare, the grassy wetlands for which the town, Tulare, is also named. It’s a regional speciality, this fog.)

It also reminds me of a guy I knew from Salinas who had inherited his mother's house, in the 50s-ish subdivision where I grew up, and who slept in a coffin and made a lot of demo tapes. I wish I had them now.

Mary Walling Blackburn [MWB]: My aural memory did not serve me well. In 2012, old recordings felt sweeter and softer than what I recalled of the live sessions in Santa Cruz; in 1993, a cacophonous dimension coarsened the live melody and I was left unsettled. Months later, we drove north; we were lost in an interior valley where the music we had listened to on the coast had originated. Our windows were rolled down. A mix-tape was in our deck: by chance, the stereo system amplified Dark Horse Candidate through the car at the exact moment the identical houses of half-built sub divisions abruptly gave way to yellow fields. These disjunctive tunes finally made sense. Simple and sunny and violent. I think some of your paintings are also this way–suburban objects that exist because a violent empire exists; a surface made simple through violence.

My reception of D.H.C’s sound was informed by the Arkie and Okie sharecropper exodus to the valley. The accumulated rage of Arkansas social structures could have dissipated over land and light and I decided that this music was evidence of this transmigration. Do you think agricultural labor issues and entrenched class hierarchies emerge abstracted--in music? In paint? Can it slop over those who are heir apparent to the psyche of men and women whose families wade in a gentler wake of history?

RW: There are a few elements in the music that I relate to the abstraction of class and affect you’re talking about—particularly in the guitar. First, the heavy use of the delay pedal: the decay of each riff, the sense that this sound has traveled a long way from its point of origin. Second, I heard only three instances of a flat 5th in the guitarist’s entire, extensive repertoire of solos. Country and the blues are distant memories for this form of angular California punk. The anger seems fresh though.

I was also thinking about the band’s name and its civic overtones: it’s a different kind of self-identification than, for example, that of The Germs or The Vandals.

MWB: You did not say a coffin made of demo tapes, yet locally made work sometimes withers that way. Belloq’s glass negatives of the New Orleans’ opium dens have been permanently lost; I have imagined them under water. On the other hand, attention rapidly flared only to as rapidly subside in New York City, when, say, the American Folk Museum featured New Orleans’ Sister Gertrude Morgan’s recordings–specific and ecstatic. Is the urban capable of sustained attention to the margin? The regional is treated like an astronomical event; it streaks like a comet and then it is out of view. There are those who think this relation and subsequent neglect speaks to where power is organized and there are others who sanctify the margin solely because it feels like theirs alone. Dark Horse Candidate is not on any Forgotten California Punk rosters but it is part of a regional cultural movement, sonic and, we might argue, geophysical.

RW: I wonder if we could listen to the Dark Horse Candidate stuff and make distinctions between, say, the Hanford sound and the Visalia sound. I tried, based on the two lengthy live excerpts, and couldn’t. The singer’s voice is buried in the mix in Visalia, compared to Hanford. In the Hanford recording, applause between songs is more subdued than in Visalia, and at one point some women are talking in wonderfully bright voices. But the two performances themselves are similar.

Perhaps we just don’t have the proper instruments for detecting the crucial differences, from a geophysical perspective. But it’s clearly something about the dirt: the effect on magnetic tape of the different mineral compositions of the soil in Visalia and Hanford. Growing up, one of my summer jobs was taking soil samples from the lettuce fields. I walked around with a hollow metal tube, and every 20 yards stuck it down into a furrow and removed a chunk of dirt the size of a roll of quarters. I put this in a Ziploc bag, labeled it with the location, and put the bag into a backpack. When I was done collecting, the samples were sent out to a lab and analyzed for mineral content. Based on this, one could adjust the soil very precisely for growing different things. This was agri-business, not farming; the soil was produced.

MWB: I too want to make distinctions as if we were vinters and scrap punk mix-tapes were wines. Will we travel to the Valley collecting and listening? Will it be made into a film by the producers of Sideways? The cultural force of ‘creative consumption’ fosters the stupidity and disconnectedness of connoisseurship in me; but the love of the specific overrides this remonstrance. Soil ecology as it relates to environmental apocalypse is not beyond Punk concern. Many soils in California are endangered due to unchecked housing construction and industrial agriculture. Large-scale development foments a subterranean devastation. Moreover, the San Joaquin Soil, officially documented by the government in 1900, is the official State Soil of California (Bill SB-389). In 1983 a preserved 5-foot profile section of the San Joaquin soil was donated to the Netherlands World Soil Museum in Wageningen, Holland. Dislocated, this soil monolith is as good as art–isolated, displayed, and observed. Another end for the soil, once it is removed from the land, is in the belly; geophagy is the condition where one craves and consumes earth because clay content can allow for dangerous pathogens to pass through you. Could curation learn from this entanglement with place instead of personalities? Can artists derail creative consumption in lieu of something better?

RW: I’ve been thinking lately about Duchamp and the infra-mince, his least influential idea. To his short, exquisite catalogue imperceptible differences (the air displacement of a freshly-pressed shirt versus that of a soiled one, the extent to which exhaled tobacco smoke tastes like the smoker’s mouth) we could add: the tape hiss on 8-track recordings of punk shows in two different agricultural towns in California. Does that level of connoisseurship, taken to the point of mania, actually lead us toward the truth of a thing—or is this just the worst possible delusion? “The regional” as an infinitely subdivisable territory for cultural exploitation; the horror of the collectible demo tape.

But; additives and pesticides in the ground and the water, hormones and drugs in the bloodstream, all of it ends up in the recording, right? In the mid-90s, many of the musicians I knew in California switched from playing in bands to DJ’ing. At that point, I think, you have the ascendance of the seismic over the mineralogical. The record needle versus the amp and the 8-track.

MWB: The earthquakes are heard when the infrasound wave is refracted by rock. A geological needle. Were tremors perceivable through the noise and hormones and narcotics of the concert? But this question directs us towards an emotional history of sound and not a history of sound as impacted by the ecological, by a landscape simplified by industrial agriculture…reductive to the point where I once thought the valley was land "without the ghost of another person in it”1 . Local teenage musicians returned the ghost to the land. I mean, they reminded us that the fields were haunted by what had been done to them. Punk made the apparition audible. Visibility follows… for a little while. Some other cultural form, overtly or inverted, is collecting present additives and pesticides you speak of.

RW: When I was about 14, two guys who worked at the music shop in Salinas asked me to be in a music video for their band. Like many of the artifacts we’re discussing here, it hasn’t yet been reprocessed for appreciation outside of its regional context. But in this case I doubt it ever will: their band never really got off the ground. Anyway, in the video, I played the part of an “alienated suburban kid.” The guys lived in a run-down house next to a machine shop outside of town, and had built a little studio there. We went there and listened to the song, and then filmed some footage on the railroad tracks separating a housing development from the fields. I was directed to walk along the tracks and look dazed—they had an impeccable sense of psychic geography. For another scene, I was supposed to pretend to shoot myself in the head, and there was going to be fake blood and gore. But the project petered out before that part ever got filmed.

Roger White is an artist living in New York and co-editor of Paper Monument.

Mary Walling Blackburn, artist, lives in Brooklyn. She is a Visiting Artist at Cooper-Union School of Art. Other works were recently published within E-flux Journal, Paper Monument and Triple Canopy.


1. Phrase borrowed from Adrienne Rich’s poem about Beethoven’s Ninth symphony. In 1972, Adrienne Rich explains that Beethoven's 9th symphony, completed in 1824, is "music without the ghost of another person in it". She titles the poem: "The Ninth Symphony of Beethoven Understood At Last As a Sexual Message" and details Beethoven's work as compositional articulation of being marble head alone, of ego untouched. Beethoven serves as vehicle to this ode to multiplicity.

project space

Jed Lind

In 2009, I came across an early and obscure earthwork of Richard Serra’s titledShift(1971). The work lies 45 minutes north of Toronto, in the region of King City. My wife Jessica visited the site and shot a series of pictures. At that time, it was owned by a developer that wanted to subdivide the land and build a bedroom community. It is an intriguing work that indexes the rise and fall of the glacial moraine landscape through a series of rising and falling concrete walls. I am often interested in these sites that are at once brutal and bucolic. The concrete walls are now home to mosses and lichens and seems remarkably resilient.

The image that I have chosen for this contribution is a portrait on one of the Serra walls that is overlaid with washes of turmeric that fill the frame and take it over. Turmeric is a spice that has incredible properties for healing and reducing inflammation. Like the economy of Serra’s concrete slabs, both have a medicinal quality for clearing the extraneous. Since my visit, my father and I have been involved with helping to preserve and protect this work.

Jed Lind lives and works in Los Angeles and has exhibited widely in North America and abroad. He has shown at such notable venues as the Power Plant Museum, Wignall Museum, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Pitzer Art Galleries, Laguna Art Museum and Steve Turner Contemporary. Recent Exhibitions includeSite as Symbolat FOCA in Los Angeles,Worlds Outside this One, curated by Erin Elder in New Mexico and the travelling exhibitSuspended Between Laughter and Tearswhich features eight artists in conjunction with a retrospective of the late Bas Jan Ader’s work, currently on view at the Museuo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico. Lind also recently received a major public commission from the Toronto Sculpture Garden as they celebrate their 30th Anniversary. He has upcoming solo projects with Jessica Bradley Art + Projects in Toronto and Pepin Moore in Los Angeles. Jed Lind received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, and his B.F.A from Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. Jed Lind is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects in Canada.

...mbg recommends

Patricia Esquivias, Folklore I (film still), 2006, Single-channel video, 14:43 minutes. Image courtesy the artist and Murray Guy, New York.

Jill Magid: Failed States
AMOA + Arthouse, Austin
January 14 – March 4
Artist Talk January 14 at 2pm

Starting off the new years programming right, the entity now known as AMOA + Arthouse, brings a multi-pronged project to Austin by New York based artist Jill Magid. Failed States centers around Magid’s witnessing of the January 21, 2010 shooting of the air in front of the Texas State Capitol by 24-year-old Fausto Cardenas. A plea bargain has effectively silenced Cardenas who, charged with perpetrating a terrorist threat, has likely been in government-sponsored legal hell since discharging his weapon. Fausto’s futile actions and the resulting gray areas of the law are expanded into the metaphor of Goethe’s Faust were Magid mines for parallels and linkages. Magid’s project takes form in the upcoming pages of Texas Observer, her own 1993 Mercedes Wagon (armored to level B4) parked in the same spot Mr. Cardenas chose on January 21, and within the confines of the AMOA + Arthouse galleries. If Failed States continues Magid’s skillful infiltration of systems of power and bureaucracy, as it looks to do, we suggest getting out to see it as soon as possible. No gray area here.

Patricia Esquivias
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
November 13 - February 12

History has this way of appearing objective. Its ‘facts’ fill pages upon pages of books and laptop screens with narratives and images, reminding us at all times of the path down which we’ve come. It’s easy to forget that it's people who write history. As a result, its full of our biases, anecdotes, and inescapable subjectivity—as it should be. Venezuelan-born artist Patricia Esquivias weaves bits of history together with found images, objects, and personal anecdotes to create engaging videos whose sardonic narratives explode contemporary culture and events. Although she uses notes, Esquivias’s stories meander and invite contemplation as she moves from subject to subject, narrating in her own voice and displaying objects, video clips, and images on her laptop screen and in front of the camera. Like much video work–and ultimately any art work–these pieces require your time and patience. As a reward, you’re offered humor, poetry, and idiosyncrasies–each a welcomed respite from the measured practicality of our daily routines. Esquivias also reminds us of the way much history gets its start–through the simple act of telling a story–and the ever expanding web that all history exists in and to which each of us contributes.

Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.

Announcements: exhibitions

Austin Openings

Paul Beck, Allen Brewer & Pat Snow
Gray Duck Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 7-9 pm

True Story explores the purity of perception, the accuracy of memory, and the truth of desires. This exhibition features paintings from Paul Beck and Allen Brewer and watercolor mixed media works from Pat Snow.

Evidence of Houdini’s Return
AMOA Arthouse
Opening Saturday, January 14

Through the creation of complex visual narratives, the international artists in this exhibition present provocative abstract forms that investigate art’s potential to interrupt and/or reconstruct elements of everyday life: Sterling Allen, Facundo Argañaraz, Strauss Bourque LaFrance, Katja Mater, Christopher Samuels, Justin Swinburne, and J. Parker Valentine. Each artists test the boundaries of working abstractly, with found objects and images, reformed digital technologies, as well as reference traditional techniques. While exploring the potential of objects in space, their ideas coalesce around an opposition to fixed forms.

Jill Magid
AMOA Arthouse
Opening Saturday, January 14

On January 21, 2010, 24-year-old Fausto Cardenas fired six shots from a small caliber handgun into the air from the steps of the Texas State Capitol, just blocks from the site of this exhibition. Coincidentally, Jill Magid was present as a witness. In Failed States, Magid draws connections between Fausto’s futile and tragic act and Goethe’s nineteenth-century epic poem, Faust. Magid mines Faust for thematic connections and develops a means of performative exhibition, treating the gallery as a stage to be studied

Niklas Goldbach
AMOA Arthouse
Opening Saturday, January 14

Niklas Goldbach’s video HABITAT C3B explores a nearly deserted urban environment populated only by a handful of identical men engaging in an unknown mission. The clone-like characters chase one man that breaks from the group, recalling stock plot twists from science fiction.

Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
AMOA Arthouse
Opening Saturday, January 14

In Toute la mémoire du monde – The world’s knowledge, Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani reinterpret French director Alain Resnais’ similarly titled 1956 film. Resnais’ twenty three-minute documentary sweeps through the historic French Bibliothèque Nationale on Rue de Richelieu in Paris, exposing how the library functions as a storehouse of all the world’s knowledge.

Laurie Frick
Women and Their Work
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 7-9pm

Laurie Frick draws from neuroscience to construct intricately hand-built work and installations that explore the nature of pattern and the mind. Using her background in engineering and technology she explores self-tracking and compulsive organization. She creates life's most basic patterns as color coded charts. Steps walked, calories expended, weight, sleep, time-online, gps location, daily mood as color, micro-journal of food ingested are all part of her daily tracking. She collects personal data using gadgets that point toward a time where complete self-surveillance will be the norm.

Jacques Vidal
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 26, 7-9 pm

In the Project Room, Jacques Vidal.

Daniel Heidkamp
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 26, 7-9 pm

In his solo exhibit, Glow Drops At The Chill Spot, Daniel Heidkamp.

31K Project
Opening Friday, January 27

Diego Huerta’s 31K project represents the over 31,000 people killed throughout the ongoing drug wars in Mexico. In the photography, there is no distinction between the sitter’s color of skin, social status, religion or political beliefs. Diego Huerta and project partner Daniela Gutiérrez have traveled throughout Mexico and arrived at cities like Guadalajara, Campeche, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Ciudad de México, Mazatlan, and Baja California.

Max Marshall
Red Space
Opening Saturday, January 28

Solo exhibit by Max Marshall.

Austin on View

Lance Letscher
D. Berman
Through January 28

In Work from the middle ages, Lance Letscher presents a collection of new collages. Fresh from his successful exhibition in Paris (France), now in Wimberley (Texas) Letscher continues to utilize the paper scraps of our culture to create his particular worlds.

Mads Lynnerup
Lora Reynolds Gallery
Through February 4

New York based artist Mads Lynnerup will be performing at the gallery on December 3rd followed b a public talk that evening. Lynnerup's work wryly engages and analyzes built environments and the widely accepted social behavior inherent in them in order to get at larger issues of alienation and perversity.

Buster Graybill
AMOA Arthouse
Through February 19

The southern colloquial term “tush hog” is a name for a tusked feral hog, and sometimes for tough people who behave like them. Graybill’s Tush Hog is a breed of sculptures that retains some Minimalist formal traits while also functioning as wild game feeders. It is as if the contemporary aesthetics of a Donald Judd sculpture escaped Marfa, TX and crossbred with the rural functionality of a deer feeder in the nearby rural landscape.

Lauren Fensterstock and Steve Wiman
AMOA Arthouse
Through February 19

Responding to the unique natural, architectural, and historical features of Laguna Gloria, sculptors Lauren Fensterstock and Steve Wiman create site-specific installations throughout the Driscoll Villa.

Miguel Andrade Valdez
AMOA Arthouse
Through March 25

Andrade Valdez’s video Monumento Lima is a chaotic, rapid-fire visual compendium of the monuments that occupy Lima’s traffic circles and pedestrian malls. They range from the forgotten to the futurist, the Spanish Mediterranean to the brutal, as well as the Modernist. In the video, the trapezoid emerges as a very popular shape due to its common motif in pre-Columbian Peruvian architecture.

Lee Lozano
Visual Arts Center
Through April 22

Curated by Katie Geha and presented in partnership with The Blanton Museum of Art, Pun Value: 4 Works by Lee Lozano is a case study of works by Lee Lozano from The Blanton collection, which will examine the artist’s process and influence on the art world of the 1960s.

Austin Closings

Sam Prekop and Michael Sieben
Tiny Park
Through January 14

Sam Prekop, part of the widely acclaimed band, The Sea and Cake, will feature drawings, paintings and photographs. Like his music, his visual art demonstrates a strategic restraint and focus on the subtle qualities of mood and atmosphere. Michael Sieben is a founding member of Okay Mountain Gallery/Collective. The characters populating Sieben's work seem to bear the weight of (some very heavy) experience, but maintain an almost ridiculous optimism in the face of disaster and absurdity.

El Anatsui
Blanton Museum of Art
Through January 22

When I Last Wrote to You about Africa is a major retrospective of internationally renowned artist El Anatsui organized by the Museum for African Art in New York City. On view September 25, 2011 – January 22, 2012, the exhibition spans four decades and includes approximately 60 works drawn from public and private collections internationally.

Henry Horenstein
B. Hollyman Gallery
Through January 31

In collaboration with Austin Center for Photography (ACP), B. Hollyman Gallery will be exhibiting Henry Horenstein’s series Animalia, a collection of intimate and intriguing portraits of land and sea creatures made between 1995 and 2001. These portraits are at once abstract and telling. Horenstein shoots with a balanced uniqueness, experimenting with view, angle, and perspective

San Antonio Openings

Convergences: The Sculpture of Larry Graeber and Jessica Ramirez
Unit B
Opening Reception: Friday, January 20, 6:30-10pm

Unit B is pleased to present Convergences: The Sculpture of Larry Graeber and Jessica Ramirez, curated by Richard Teitz (San Antonio, TX). This exhibition of recent works by the San Antonio-based artists will be on display January 20 – March 3, 2012.

San Antonio on View

Harold Wood
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
Through February 12

"Levelland Points of Scale is the ambiguity between landscape and abstraction." - Artist Statement

Philip John Evett
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
Through February 12

Phillip John Evett is a British gentleman and fine artist who currently resides and works at his studio in Blanco, Texas. His figurative and sensually abstracted forms have captivated both the San Antonio and international art scenes over a lengthy and accomplished career.

Phillip King
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
Through February 12

Four Decades with Colour celebrates the career of Phillip King, one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. This exhibition will feature more than 20 sculptural and print works, dating from 1963 through 2011.

Sonya Clark
Southwest School of Art
Through February 12

Sonya Clark examines her African-American identity in a solo exhibition currently on display at the SSA, which centers around the symbolism carried in everyday objects and their interface with that most elementary material, hair. Exhibited works include large sculptures, photos, and mixed media objects that connect cloth, combs or woven hair with her personal narrative, as well as within the context of African-American women’s history.

San Antonio Closings

Albert Alvarez
Sala Diaz
Through January 15

“The painting itself is painted at the brink of death, it won't be long til that shockwave hits.” (from the artist)

Houston Openings

Kent Dorn
CTL Gallery
Opening Friday, January 13

Solo exhibition- New Paintings.

John Sonsini
Inman Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6-8pm

New Paintings by John Sonsini.

Ayman Harper w/ Matmos: (theLID)
Diverseworks Art Space
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 7:30-9pm

DW has co-commissioned (theLID, a dance event conceptualized by part-time Houston-based choreographer and former Forsythe Company member Ayman Harper. Collaborating with renowned sound artists Matmos and dancer Jermaine Spivey (with Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM), (theLID is a musical composition unfolding in the form of dance. Combining Matmos’ ability to create whimsical and peculiar electronic sound assemblages from everyday objects with Harper’s ability to create lyrical and idiosyncratic movement, (theLID is a hybrid performance event in which movement and sound composition are mutually inspired.

unBlocked: performance based video
Aurora Picture Show
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 6-9PM

DiverseWorks is a non-profit art center dedicated to presenting new visual, performing, and literary art. For each DiverseWorks exhibition, Aurora curates a screening installation that takes place in the private screening room known as Flickerlounge. Blurring the distinction between performance, video art and body art, these young artists from the University of Houston combine media, personal narrative and social commentary in their works.

Jade Walker, This Weird Place, TJ Hunt and Carlos Rosales-Silva
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Reception: Friday, January 20, 6:30-8:30pm

Lawndale Art Center presents five exhibitions opening January 20, 2012, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, with artist talks beginning at 6 PM.

Diverseworks Art Space
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 7:30-8:30pm

In another large performance installation, Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey will create an immersive environment of video, dance, photography and installation that extends and expands upon their touring dance work "A Crack in Everything." Zoe/Juniper use the Greek Tragedy "The Oresteia" as a lens to explore the emotional spectrum of justice and retaliation.

The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991
Contempoary Art Museum of Houston
Opening Reception: Friday, January 20, 7-9pm

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is pleased to present The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991, a survey of leading women artists that examines the crucial feminist contribution to the development of deconstructivism in the 1970s and ’80s. This exhibition is organized by Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York.

Box 13
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 7-9:30pm

Artists Kristen Beal, Tobias Fike, Chris Lavery, Stephen V. Martonis, Rick Silva, Annie Strader and Matthew C. Weedman show how light remains a consistent source for artistic inspiration.

Michael Kennaugh
Moody Gallery
Opening Reception: January 28, 6-8pm

Zero Road is a series of new oil paintings and mixed media drawings by artist Michael Kennaugh.

Houston on View

Pat Colville
Moody Gallery
Through January 14

Moody Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition of paintings by Pat Colville. The exhibition New Works marks her forth exhibition at Moody Gallery, following the exhibition Ways and Means that was on view in 2009. Pat's work holds a commitment to abstraction and the two dimensional surface. Influenced by landscape design history of early Chinese and Japanese landscapes from the 13th and 14th century as well as Isometric drawing, Pat explores the allusion of space in her work.

Spirit of Modernism
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through January 29

The Spirit of Modernism pays tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of businessman and art collector John R. Eckel, Jr. The friendship between John Eckel and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, lasted only five years before his untimely death in 2009. His art collection, now known as the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gift, lives on at the MFAH as an enduring legacy comprising 75 examples of Modernist American painting and sculpture, photography, and contemporary arts and design.

Andrei Molodkin
Station Museum of Contemporary Art
Through February 12

Andrei Molodkin is an internationally recognized contemporary Russian artist engaged in deconstructing the economic realities of geopolitical praxis. Consisting of his monumental ballpoint-pen drawings and his three-dimensional constructions filled with crude oil, Molodkin’s exhibition CRUDE effectively articulates the space between people’s peaceful, democratic aspirations and the unending conflicts perpetuated by oil-politics.

Perspectives 177: McArthur Binion
Contempoary Art Museum of Houston
Through April 1

Perspectives 177: McArthur Binion is the Houston debut for this Chicago-based, mid-career painter and the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. For this exhibition, Binion has created a new body of work that extends his visual narrative through color and geometric form.

David Anguilu
Lawndale Art Center
Through June 2012

For the 2011-2012 season artist Daniel Anguilu will transform Lawndale's north exterior wall into a mural on view through June 2012.Anguilu’s style is deeply inspired by his Mexican heritage, and mostly manifests itself as large-scale murals.

Houston Closings

Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the Collection
The Menil
Through January 15

Showcasing a unique and rarely exhibited facet of the Menil Collection’s works on paper, Seeing
Stars highlights drawings by artists that can be called visionary, folk, naïve or self-taught. Defying
traditional and academic methods of representation and mark making, the works share formal and
stylistic tendencies such as repetitive and labor-intensive processes, experiments with chance, automatism, and psychoanalysis, and the construction of imaginary landscapes, creatures, and machines.

Daily Dance
Domy Books
Through January 26

Daily Dance is a free dance-based exhibition curated by Sebastian Forray which features Helene Jeudy, Mara Caffarone, Maike Hemmers, Maureen Guiba and Maria Mantella.

Dallas Openings

Marilyn Jolly, Melba Northum, Susan Sitzes
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 5:30-7:30pm

Transience: Imperfect, Impermanent, Incomplete, an exhibition of work by Marilyn Jolly, Melba Northum and Susan Sitzes, exemplifies each artist’s close affinity for found and collected materials that reflect a sense of time. The mixed media of two-dimensional and sculptural works directly reflects the artists’ alignment with the Japanese worldview and aesthetic of Wabi-sabi.

Walter Nelson
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 5:30-7:30pm

Graffiti on Aspen Trees – Nature vs. Man, an exhibition of photographs by Walter Nelson, investigates man’s presence and effect on nature.

Kyle Confehr
The Public Trust
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 6-9pm

Kyle Confehr primarily creates ink on paper drawings focusing on the absurdity of brand allegiance, irony, consumerism, social media, the notion of an “in” crowd and many other facets of modern culture. Breaking Rad will feature new and recent works on paper as well as a collaborative site specific painting installation with Favio Moreno of The Bodega Negra.

Print Sweet: New Editions
The Public Trust
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 6-9pm

Featuring new editions by Bodega Negra, Willie Binnie, Kyle Confehr, Blakely Dadson, Heyd Fontenot, Brian Gibb, Letecia Gomez, Steven Hopwood-Lewis, Tania Kaufmann, Taro-Kun, Lawrence Lee, Magnificent Beard, Mylan Nguyen, Brent Ozaeta, Brendan Polk, Jeremy Smith, Sour Grapes & Billy Zinser. Each artist’s piece was produced in an edition of 10. The works range from $75-$250.

Circle Werk
Centraltrak: University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency
Opening reception: Saturday, January 14, 8-10pm

Curated by Heyd Fontenot, CircleWerk will be a cooperative/collaborative experiment in video production. During the course of this exhibition, the gallery will be used as a film-making studio by a number of artists interpreting stories from the Old Testament. This group endeavor brings together a variety of designers, painters, sculptors, performers and filmmakers working together for the first time.

Mark Manders
Dallas Museum of Art
Opening Sunday, January 15

The first major North American exhibition of work by acclaimed Dutch artist Mark Manders, Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documented Assignments features a body of new sculptures and works on paper created specifically for it. This nationally touring exhibition includes roughly fifteen new sculptural works and three loaned works, one of which is from The Pinnell Collection of Dallas.

Benjamin Terry and Giovanni Valderas
Lago Vista Gallery
Opening Wednesday, January 11 ; Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 9, 4-7pm

Richland College presents Fragment, new art installations by artists Benjamin Terry and Giovanni Valderas. Expanding their unique styles of painting and figure/ground abstraction the artists embrace the challenge of working on two curved walls in the Lago Vista Gallery. Both artists currently explore notions of loss and erasure through layering, providing persistent figurative content as a platform for conceptual and formal inquiry.

Eric Eley
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 5:30-7:30pm

Coincident Disruption, a large scale installation by Dallas based artist Eric Eley, employs historical camouflage strategies and impromptu construction techniques to create an aerial landscape. The installation is an investigation of concealment and explores hiding as an act of avoidance rather than ambiguous visibility.

Smudge Studios
Brazos Gallery
Opening Thursday, February 2 ; Opening reception: Monday, February 13, 4-6pm

Richland College’s Brazos Gallery presents In the Interest of Time, an installation by Smudge Studio, NY. Investigating and documenting instances of convergence between humans and the land, Smudge Studio offers a reconsidered, holistic relationship of human/land interactions within a geologic time scale. Displaying photos and videos, as well as a geo-architectural field guide to New York City, the installation provides a consideration of “deep time” through projects mapping lake beds from the Pleistocene that now hold suburban tract housing and visits to several nuclear testing sites in America.

Dallas on View

Rebecca Carter, Terri Thornton and Sally Warren
Free Museum of Dallas

A text, a photograph, a rock, a narrative, a person, a memory, a place, a trauma: any number of things may enter within close proximity, coming close enough to be "held," intimately handled and unquestioned, preserved without understanding. The act of holding bears testament to their meaning. Things Held and Never Understood.

John Randall Nelson
Conduit Gallery
Through February 10

In Fraught, Simply Fraught with Narrative..., John Randall Nelson embraces the concept of artist as story teller and mystic.

Steven Miller
Conduit Gallery
Through February 10

Steven J. Miller’s small-scale acrylic paintings are straight landscape paintings of an imagined, not too distant future in a world that may or may not be our own. The familiar objects and places (cities, trains and houses) in the paintings are integrated with the unfamiliar (islands shaped like thumbs and fantastical twenty-third century architecture.)

Edward Ruiz
Conduit Gallery
Through February 10

Visual artist Edward Ruiz couples his current artistic interests in digital video mapping and real time sound analysis to seamlessly marry geometric sculpture, music, and mathematic technology as a means to create all encompassing sensory installations of sight, movement, and sound.

Sarah Williams
Marty Walker Gallery
Through February 11

Marty Walker Gallery presents a solo exhibition of Sarah Williams' new urban landscapes of industrial American
roadsides: NIGHTFALL. Draped in the shadows of night, buzzing electric lights from commercial structures penetrate the

Nigel Cooke
The Goss-Michael Foundation
Through February 18

The show consists mainly of works that belong to the Goss-Michael collection and local collectors. The exhibition has been created in close collaboration with the artist and, is in fact, one of the most comprehensive shows of Nigel Cooke’s work, covering all series of his work up to the present.

David Jablonowski
Dallas Contemporary
Through March 18

David Jablonowski’s first North American solo exhibition entitled, Many to Many (Stone Carving High Performance), challenges the traditional “one to many” relationship between the artist and the public advocating instead the “many to many” dialogs of multi-layered voices.

Rob Pruitt
Dallas Contemporary
Through March 18

Pruitt’s interests lie in creating environments where participants feel free to improvise and experiment outside of their comfort zones. In his signature style, Pruitt’s installation of glitter panda paintings has never before been shown and is the largest number of panda paintings to be shown together.

Dallas Contemporary
Through March 18

Austin-based artist FAILURE will present his first major institutional exhibition at Dallas Contemporary. FAILURE has been painting graffiti outdoors since 1993 and began with the FAILURE poster imagery in the early 2000’s in Houston. He will present an exhibition of wheat paste posters with spray paint and collage.

Fort Worth on View

Richard Diebenkorn
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Through January 15

Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series is the most comprehensive show to date of Diebenkorn's most celebrated works. Coorganized by Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the exhibition is curated by OCMA curator Sarah C. Bancroft.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Through February 19

The work of Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly, who makes his art under the moniker “KAWS,” is the subject of the first Focus exhibition for the 2011–2012 season. KAWS’s vast body of work includes graffiti (early in his career), murals, paintings, and sculpture. Following along the continuum of Pop art, his work critiques contemporary consumer culture, blurring the boundaries between it and the art world.

Marfa on View

AutoBody Featuring North of South, West of East
Ballroom Marfa
Through February 12

Neville Wakefield (Curator), Meredith Danluck, Liz Cohen, Matthew Day Jackson, and Jonathan Schipper.

Wimberly on View

Lance Letscher
d berman gallery
Through January 28

D Berman Gallery is pleased to present Lance Letscher: Work from the middle ages, a collection of new collages. Fresh from his successful exhibition in Paris (France), now in Wimberley (Texas), Letscher continues to utilize the paper scraps of our culture to create his particular worlds.

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