MBG Issue #94: Systems, Pathos, Self-Reference

Issue # 94

Systems, Pathos, Self-Reference

March 7, 2008

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Kurt Mueller, Stills from American Dream, 2008, Single channel video (sixteen minutes), monitor, speakers, amplifier, microphone. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. (detail)

from the editor

Austin Museum of Art’s triennial 20 to Watch: New Art in Austin opened three weeks ago, showcasing a new crop of Austin-based artists. In my review of New Art in Austin in this issue, I critique the triennial’s arbitrary geographical parameters and the exhibition’s injudicious installation. While I appreciate the gesture that New Art in Austin makes to support Austin’s emerging artists, I would like AMOA to reconsider—and strengthen—its commitment to these artists. An interview with AMOA Executive Director Dana Friis-Hansen, though not specifically focused on New Art in Austin, provides an alternative view of AMOA’s role in Austin's art community.

When …might be good’s editorial staff read my review of New Art in Austin, I received a number of strong responses. My opinion sparked a conversation (and even some debate) about the exhibition that will interest our readers. Below, I print a few of the comments I received from our staff.*

I would like to see AMoA include curators from outside of Texas on New Art in Austin’s curatorial team. While the curators they choose are good curators—this year, the team includes Diane Barber, Director of DiverseWorks in Houston, Bill Fitzgibbons, Director of Blue Star in San Antonio, Dennis Kois, Director of the Grace Museum in Abilene and AMoA’s Eva Buttacavoli—are they the curators who will advance the artist’s careers? Why not consider a curatorial team that includes national and international curators, with the hope that they will invite some of the artists to work outside of Texas in the future?

Regarding the installation, the issue of what is intentional and what is unintentional is key for me. I think that basically no thought went into creating a thematic installation; most of the decisions seem based on fitting the works into a cumbersome exhibition space. The museum should be called out on that. But your review gives the curatorial team too much credit for creating conceptual groupings, which I don't think are there, and then accuses the groupings of being reductive.

I’m really excited that …might be good is questioning both the format and function of the New Art in Austin exhibition in this review. I hope that the review initiates a productive dialogue about if and how the exhibition helps emerging artists. We’re not just criticizing the show for the sake of criticizing it.

I encourage readers to participate in this discussion—a discussion that concerns one of Austin’s largest art institutions and one of the city’s most significant exhibition opportunities for emerging artists—by sending responses to info@fluentcollab.org. Readers might also be interested in visiting the 2008 New Art in Austin interactive website, reading Ivan Lozano's blog post on the site and consulting Rachel Cook’s February 15 article in the Austin Chronicle, which enriches the conversationwith ten first-person accounts from former New Art in Austin artists.

Moving outside of Austin: In this issue, Lyra Kilston, an editor at Modern Painters, contributes her thoughts on the online component of the New Museum’s Unmonumental. To complement her review, Kilston moderates a roundtable discussion with four New York-based artists—Fawn Krieger, Ian Pedigo, Julia Rommel and Roy Stanfield (both Ian and Roy are former testsite artists)—on the sculptural component of Unmonumental, which is installed in the museum’s new building. Another New York-based artist, Cody Trepte, created work for this issue's Artist's Space. An exhibition in which he is included, The Lining of Forgetting: Internal and External Memory in Art, will travel to the Austin Museum of Art in the Spring of 2009.

In the next issue of …might be good, look forward to an Artists’ Space with the Austin Video Bee, an interview with Barry Schwabsky, critic for Artforum and The Nation, a review of Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates #5 and a book review of Richard Shiff’s Doubt (2007).

We welcome responses to us or any of our writers at info@fluentcollab.org.

*In the interest of full disclosure: One of our editorial members, Caitlin Haskell, co-authored the exhibition catalogue for New Art in Austin. She was not, however, involved in the curatorial process.

Claire Ruud is Managing Editor of …might be good.


Dana Friis-Hansen

by Kate Green

Rendering of Austin Museum of Art's new building. Image courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

Dana Friis-Hansen came to the Austin Museum of Art as Curator in 1999 and became its Executive Director in 2002. In February, Kate Green visited Friis-Hansen in Austin to talk about his vision for the museum.

Kate Green: Before you arrived at AMOA, you held curatorial positions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Nanjo and Associates in Tokyo and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. What drew you to become Curator and eventually Executive Director at AMOA?

Dana Friis-Hansen: When I came to AMoA there was momentum to build a 140,000 square foot building by Gluckman Mayner Architects that would have filled a city block. Richard Gluckman is a fantastic museum designer. The project attracted me because it was ambitious. It would have given me the opportunity to shape a building and develop a collection.

The building project never happened. There were internal management issues, then there was the Internet bust and after that 9-11. There wasn’t enough community and corporate philanthropic support and the project seemed over-ambitious. In addition, a strategic planning process uncovered a public perception that the museum had become elitist and isolated from the community. We developed a plan to remedy this perception by focusing on specific types of exhibitions: the New Art in Austin triennial, exhibitions showcasing mid-career Texas artists, thematic exhibitions that would be relevant to our audiences and solo exhibitions of art historical figures.

It’s so easy to leave the public behind, especially in contemporary art. Artists are going to do what they do; it’s the job of institutions, writers and critics to make art relevant and to build appetite and interest. In order to do that, you have to know the context in which you are working.

KG: What appetite is AMOA tapping into?

DFH: Politically, Austin is a blue center surrounded by a very red state. People here are progressive and excited about new ideas. But that excitement doesn’t always extend to visual arts the way we’d like. For example, I don’t think the visual art institutions here in Austin have successfully tapped into the “creative class”—those involved in industries such as gaming, graphics, film or software—as much as we could.

At AMOA, we’re trying to build a community of museum goers and a collector base that will support galleries and provide income for artists. We want the visual arts to have as much importance in Austin’s cultural community as music does.

Our triennial New Art in Austin: 20 to Watch, which will be up in the galleries until May 11, has become our signature show. I’m really proud of the way it has developed—it has become a traveling show selected by outside curators, it is accompanied by a 65-page catalogue that includes essays on each artist and this year we’ve added an interactive website. Past artists have gone on to be in the Texas Prize, the Whitney Biennial and gallery and museum shows nation-wide.

KG: How does AMOA position itself in response to the needs of the community vis-à-vis other cultural institutions here in Austin?

DFH: We position ourselves between the Blanton and Arthouse. The Blanton is a university museum. Although some of its recent exhibitions have interested a more general audience, historically, its exhibitions have been quite scholarly. Arthouse is more cutting-edge. When our trustees go over there, many of them are scratching their heads: they don’t have the background to appreciate some of the Arthouse shows. At AMOA, we don’t have to be either scholarly or cutting-edge, we can be something looser. Austin needs a museum that will nurture and educate a broader audience. My philosophy is to lower the threshold for coming to see shows as low as possible so that people can literally walk in off the street and feel welcome.

KG: Have your professional goals always been to lower the threshold and reach a broad audience? 

DFH: No, it has always depended on where I was working. If I were working in New York, I wouldn’t necessarily choose to work at a general museum; my interest has always been cutting-edge contemporary. However, that’s not what this institution should be and I’m committed to moving AMOA, the art community and the city forward. I want to create an interactive venue where art is not dumbed-down, where we build a bridge between the art and the viewer. Hopefully, people feel comfortable at AMOA and come back because they know that they will always enjoy an engaging, interesting experience here.

KG: Who is your core audience?

DFH: It’s people who go to museums, the well-educated public and people curious about culture and ideas. It is also parents who want their children to have contact with art. We’re also reaching out to those who are uninitiated or less initiated to art. I want to provide these people with a variety of primary art experiences. I want the museum to be a hub for creative understanding and dialogue. I want AMOA to be your multi-service museum.

KG: This seems to relate to your mission statement, which says that AMoA reflects “the unconventional spirit of Austin” by offering “informative and informal art experiences oriented toward the interests of a broad general audience.”

DFH: Yeah. A good example of how we try to reflect Austin was a Southern photography exhibition called Visualizing the Blues. We put a jukebox filled with Southern soul and blues in the gallery and it really changed the way you looked at the art. Similarly, for Annie Liebovitz, we invited Waterloo Records to “curate” iPod listening stations with CDs of all the musicians Liebovitz had photographed. These exhibitions connected art with music, which is a strong cultural stream in Austin. The connections diversified and broadened the audience for these shows.

If AMOA can provide a variety of information and opportunities, we can enrich people’s lives. It’s not edu-tainment or taking your culture like you take your medicine, but something that stretches your experience through different forms of cultural expression.

KG: Where is your focus now?

DFH: We just announced plans to build a permanent downtown facility on the block we own at 4th and Guadalupe in an emerging arts district between the new Ballet Austin Butler Dance Education Center, Austin Music Hall, the Long Center and the future Austin City Limits Studio. The new building will double our gallery and education space and enable us to expand our exhibition and education programs. Plus, there’s plenty of space to expand in the future. This project is part of a co-development with Hines Interests. The firm will build a 30-story Museum Tower on the other half of the land. The tower will provide space for restaurants, retail, parking, and offices. This plan not only gives us the funds to move forward, but also increases the vitality and density of downtown Austin. I think it will create great synergies in the neighborhood. The plans are underway to break ground in 2009 and open in 2011.

In the more immediate future, this Fall I’m curating an exhibition that will draw from the AMOA collection and other local collections. The show, still untitled, will explore the ways that artists address local and global issues at the turn of the 21st century. Perfect for the election!


20 to Watch: New Art in Austin
Austin Museum of Art, Austin
February 16 - May 11, 2008

By Claire Ruud

Jill Pangallo, Performance Still from Note to Self, 2008. Photograph by Anna Krachey.

Every three years since 2002, AMOA’s New Art in Austin has brought together twenty or so emerging artists who live and work within fifty miles of Austin. In this year’s catalogue, AMOA curator Eva Buttacavoli claims that the triennial “strengthens the local art infrastructure by providing curatorial review, critical dialogue and public exhibition.” Buttacavoli goes on to suggest that the exhibition directly affects the future success of artist’s careers—a sentiment echoed in the museum’s press preview, as well as an Austin Chronicle article that tracked the effect of earlier editions of New Art in Austin on ten artists’ careers.

New Art in Austin provides a valuable experience for emerging artists. The exhibition offers some artists their first “official” studio visit, initiates artists into the process of working with a large institution and contributes thoughtful scholarship on artists’ work in the form of catalogue essays. Yet, despite all the talk, this year's 20 to Watch: New Art in Austin does a crucial disservice to the artists it professes to serve: the installation—random at best and counterproductive at worst—elides critical distinctions between the artists’ ideas and intentions.

Case in point: Perhaps because of the constraints of the inferior gallery space at AMOA (a problem the museum plans to rectify through the construction of a new building, announced last week), the curators have chosen to position Jill Pangallo’s video and multimedia installation, Note to Self (2008), in a small gallery across from Buster Graybill’s inner-tube installation, Come Along Johnny (2008). Pangallo’s video documents the artist engaged in various activities with Jill, a My Twinn™ doll whose features resembles the artist’s. The video is installed alongside the doll herself, her wardrobe and other paraphernalia of girlhood. Strapped to the opposite wall and ceiling, Graybill’s Come Along Johnny is a jumble of bulging inner-tubes. The inner-tubes appear to burst through the museum wall, straining against the ratchet straps that hold them back. Looming overhead in the gallery, Graybill’s inner-tubes threaten to collapse on Pangallo’s installation. The juxtaposition draws out a set of tired binaries between female and male artist, intimate and monumental scale, and domestic and industrial imagery. Both Pangallo and Graybill are working with far more complex sets of issues, but the installation encourages a reading that reduces Note to Self and Come Along Johnny to the war of the sexes.

The curators have done little in the way of creative installation that might check a viewer’s temptation to read adjacent works as related works. Another gallery presents a group of works that seems to deal (tangentially) with the natural world. Here, we find an installation reminiscent of a natural history museum display by the Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata (artist duo Jen Hirt and Scott Webel), a series of amoeba-like organic abstractions by Xochi Solis, a pixellated fire sculpture by Shawn Smith and large-scale drawings of crocodiles by Jules Buck Jones. Among other concepts and traditions, Hirt and Webel deal poignantly with archives, Solis engages with the legacy of abstraction, Smith investigates the way the virtual space of Internet transforms our perception of the world and Jones engages with environmental concerns such as predation and the threat of extinction. However, the installation does nothing to bring out these vast differences.

20 to Watch exemplifies the inherently problematic nature of biennials and triennials that attempt to provide an overview of artistic production in a certain city, state or nation. Geographic parameters are often arbitrary: at the press preview, Buttacavoli revealed that New Art in Austin’s curatorial team Google-maps artists to ensure that they live within a fifty-mile radius of the city. The grab-bag of artists that this parameter produces makes smart pairings difficult.

If the museum wants a “cheap feel-good show,” (as Executive Director Dana Friis-Hansen told the press), this may be it. But, if AMOA’s goal is to serve these artists, the curators should rethink the exhibition’s format. A series of thoughtfully organized themed exhibitions (that put artists in productive dialogue) and a few solo shows (modeled after the Blanton’s WorkSpace?) would be more valuable for Austin’s emerging artists.

Claire Ruud is Managing Editor of ...might be good.

Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century
New Museum, New York
December 1, 2007 - March 30, 2008

By Lyra Kilston

Exterior View of the New Museum.

Artists Fawn Krieger, Ian Pedigo, Julia Rommel, and Roy Stanfield live in New York, make work that wouldn’t look out of place in Unmonumental and are invested in many of the exhibition’s themes. What follows is an artists’ perspective of one of the most talked-about exhibitions of the year. Lyra Kilston moderates.

[Editor’s note: this discussion took place during the first phase of the exhibition, when only the sculpture had been installed.]

Lyra Kilston: Let’s start with the term “monumental” with respect to the form of an object, the difficulty of creating political monuments in a pluralistic era and the museum's role in producing monumentality through its position as a space of authority. What do you think about the show's title and the New Museum’s claim that its inaugural show is an attempt to undermine its position as a venue that can uphold monumentality and historicization? Isn't it rather monumentalizing to devote an entire exhibition space to a somewhat similar kind of art?

Julia Rommel: I would define a monument as an object that physically signifies the power and importance of something or someone. I think a historical monument's physicality always stands in for something other than itself. The monument is not declaring the importance of its own materials and making. Instead, the materials and making are declaring the importance of some removed thing, idea, person, or event. But I do not think that this is the case with an art object. I think a piece of artwork can crystallize and signify the importance of its own making (and maker) or its own materials. By those qualifications, I have a hard time coming up with examples of artwork that are not monumental. And this show undoubtedly places each of the works in a context that monumentalizes the artist's concept and process.

Ian Pedigo: There are several works in the show that seem to rely on the monumental in their formal design, such as Manfred Pernice's architectural Commerzbank I, Urs Fischer's Untitled sword-in-the-stone piece, or Jim Lambie's pink, monolithic Split Endz (Wig Mix). Perhaps the aspect of the work that the Museum considers to be unmonumental is the materials used by the artists? It doesn’t seem like a very compelling argument, if this is the case. It is the equivalent of focusing on paint as a material used to make two-dimensional work.

Roy Stanfield: I agree. Is there actually content behind this work, or is it merely about materials and how they are arranged, as they’re presented by the curators? I was stunned by all the conceptual differences in the exhibition and how they went unrecognized. It was like the curators could see a trend but not see any of the work. If I was judging from the show and the farcical talk I saw, I would say that the curators really didn't care. I bet they'll move to the next trend with the same blasé approach. They're employed, and I look forward to seeing their bland exhibitions for the rest of my life. And when they die, I will build them the weakest unmonument I can muster.

Fawn Krieger: I’m glad this discussion will be entertaining! The monument can speak not just to perceived heroicism and triumph, but to national shame, an effort for reparation and restitution, acknowledgment and redemption perhaps, if this word still has any weight. So then I'm curious—what is the distinction between un- and non-, between unmonumentalizing and nonmonumentalizing, since the former would seem to point to reversal and the the latter to abandonment. Since the monument contains the possibility of the rupture, self-reflection and responsibility, I’m unsettled by the impulse to imply its reversal or undoing. I would like to see this exhibition—which is asking me to question the new New Museum's roles—actually take artistic practice outside of its own space, dematerialize its own turf, decentralize its headquarters. My sense is that this museum has perceived and continues to perceive itself as a hybrid—part highly shrunk, part digging through wreckage, part little sister, part derelict, part glam and all elastic. I can't see how, if asked to consider fragmentation and dispersal, the politics of the institution's own site wouldn't be brought into this. Also, it seems to me that another concern in challenging monumentality would be to include work that displaces the traditional ego through questions of authorship and expansive collaboration. I hope these components are part of the curatorial agenda as the exhibition unfolds.

LK: Fawn, I like your point about how “unmonumental” signals the utter failure of the monument (the concept with which curator Massimiliano Gioni also chooses to begin his essay), instead of its rich possibilities to self-critique. This raises the idea of "failure." It seems like Unmonumental is full of abject “failed objects”—intentional failures as sculptures or perhaps intentional failures (via rebellion) in the market—for a limited moment anyway.

IP: I don't see these sculptures as investing in failure at all. In fact, I think it relates more to returning to an origin where one can start over again, attempting to erase the mucky surfaces and rebuild from the ground up. It seems very optimistic to me, and much more open to potential.

RS: I hate to be a killjoy, but someone convince me that we should be taking this title or the New Museum so seriously. The work should be more important than the label “monument” or “unmonument”. The title is pulling too hard and labeling too much. It is too binary and removes the space that I thought some of this work was intended to create.

In my opinion the show is veiled. It takes on some of the features of material interest, but presents the same old thing—found objects presented for purposes of reading into connotation and then into identity. I propose that this is a reversal of reason, and that materiality should be the focus of this set of work. Artists who have misunderstood that, and/or did not present a compelling resistance to it, should not have been included. Ultimately, what it means is that the work is now packaged forgettably.

FK: An interesting idea—forgettable… Perhaps it's not so different from the terms the curators chose—disappearance, erasure, destruction, debasing. It's quite remarkable how strongly Carol Bove's work stands out. There's a necessity and significance to those materials that does not feel sarcastic nor expected nor inflated. It reflects an internal passion to me, one that I can only partially get into, but enough to know I'm not being mocked, evaded or lied to, which is the experience I have with a significant number of the works included in the exhibition.

LK: Let’s move on to the idea of collage, which to me seems to reflect our breakneck Google-image-searching moment of the Church of Surface. A resigned and ultimately nihilistic submission to this condition seems to come through to me, which is why I was drawn to some of the works—by Elliott Hundley, Matthew Monahan and Kristin Morgin, among others—that revealed some investment, not just rejection.

FK: I visited the show with Michael Brenson the other day and he made a reference to the exhibition suggesting a collision between Christianity and Paganism. We happened to be in front of Urs Fischer's sword-in-stone piece. The comment helped me to think about this exhibition within the context of ideological constructions, and the point at which they butt up against one another and create fissures and cast-offs. I'm curious if this point resonates with anyone else, and how it might elaborate on the wall text: “Historically, collage tends to appear in times of trauma and social change.”

IP: This statement feels like an attempt to contextualize the work in relation to recent disasters, both natural and man-made. In contrast, I think much of the work (at least the work I like, for instance Isa Genzken's Elephant or Elliot Hundly's Proscenum) is an attempt to use what is immediately available, to create something that fits into life with an ad hoc sensibility, rather than an attempt to follow a set of instructions or make work that seems conceptually sound. If anything, I think this attitude relates to the idea of necessity or survival, dealing with what happens after the traumatic event (if there was one), using what remains lying around, rather than making work that is inspired by what we see in the media.

LK: Yes, I don’t know about the statement that collage tends to appear in times of trauma, either. What about the popularity of collage in 1950s L.A., with Wallace Berman and his Semina group? Or the way that poets, or artists like Joe Brainard and Ray Johnson, have used collage playfully? I think we want to believe there are certain art forms that signal the red alert, but nothing is that simple. And when are we not in a time of trauma and social change? Especially in today's instant media climate—a climate in which a disaster in Bangladesh is our front-page news within minutes?

JR: This show had me immediately thinking about the making of history. Can Unmonumental be said to create (force) a false history? There was such a wide range of work—from work that seemed completely wrapped up in its own narrative to work that seemed to be a battle cry against its own context. So the greatest danger of this show, as I see it, is that the artists might be lumped together in history into one movement, based on this simplified similarity of material construction. I asked the artists during a public panel whether they were disturbed by the possibility of such a history being formed. The answers I got were reticent enough to make me suspect that they indeed were. A real shame of the history the show creates is that more interesting connections will be overlooked.

LK: When the New Museum tries to be un-hegemonic by asserting a type of sculpture that is un-monumental, a new hegemony rises to take its place—a hegemony in which a precious (and sincere) carved marble bust made in 2008 would be relegated to history's dustbin.

JR: I think the possibility of a distinction between thinking about the work and thinking about the museum is in large part what we are questioning here. As stated by the curators, one of the central premises of the Unmonumental show was to bring together work in the spirit of Marcia Tucker's progressiveness. Yet the show does not elicit this spirit. What would Richard Tuttle think? Much of the work in Unmonumental evokes Tuttle’s style, yet curating work that evokes the style of Richard Tuttle is the antithesis of his original radical gesture.*

RS: One big happy collage unmonument; one big unhappy college monument.

LK: If I had to choose between the two, I’d choose the first.

*Richard Tuttle’s exhibition, curated by Marcia Tucker at the Whitney, sparked the uproar that caused her to leave and found the New Museum in 1977.

Work by the artists who participated in the roundtable can be seen here:




www.mmmmmmmmmmmmmimic.net (Roy Stanfield)

Lyra Kilston is a writer living in New York. She is an editor at Modern Painters.

Paper, Scissors, html: A Review of Montage: Unmonumental Online
New Museum, New York
February 13 - March 30

By Lyra Kilston

China Tracy (AKA: Cao Fei), i.Mirror, 2007, Second Life Documentary Film. Courtesy of the artist and Lombard Fried Projects, New York.

Much of the work in Unmonumental at the New Museum refers to our contemporary condition of over-stimulation, hyper-aggregation, channel-surfing, and accelerated consumption—all lumped together under the theme of collage. And an aesthetic rag-picking of discarded cultural products from political slogans to porn is vividly apparent in the gleaners-like approach to sculpture, the cut-and-paste 2-D works and layered assemblages of sound. (Over a period of two months, the New Museum added each of these sections one by one to create the now massive multi-media exhibition.) But a powerful influence underlying Unmonumental is the Internet itself. With its towering junk piles of spam and pop-ups and multi-windowed multi-tasking strata of screens, the Internet is the true home of twenty-first century collage. Or it could be.

There are 14 projects presented in Montage: Unmonumental Online (curated by Lauren Cornell and Marisa Olsen), the final section added to complete Unmonumental. Many of the artists in Montage—William Boling, Jessica Ciocci, Nina Katchadourian, Guthrie Lonergan—engage varieties of digital collage, arranging pictures from an endless well of recycled (and often bizarre) online imagery. YouTube-derived projects such as Oliver Laric’s 50 50 (2007), a spliced short of 50 people lip-synching to a 50 Cent song, and John Michael Boling’s triptych of long-haired hard-core guitarists in Guitar Solo Threeway (2006) remix the possibilities of collage karaoke. Each of these projects may offer a unique nod to topics like celebrity worship, or how images are weighted and valued online, but, on the whole, they don’t read as anything more than entertaining bits that reflect the overwhelming weirdness of what people post on the Internet. A strong sense of a life lived online—on MySpace, Second Life, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, hyperlinks, etc.—is apparent in the offerings of instant-gratification from concepts that don’t ask for a lot more than a click-share-delete attention span.

However, this also could be a result of the medium—even when displayed on fancy flat screen TVs in a museum, these projects can’t escape their online origins. Some don’t try to, like works by Charles Broskowski and Olia Lialina that engage the structure of the Internet itself, with a nostalgic sense of medium-specificity. Paul Slocum’s Time-Lapse Homepage (2003) is a frenetic self-portrait comprised of 1,000 screenshots of his evolving home page, filmed and shown in high-speed. As background colors and animal mascots flash by and various text headings are thrown around and highlighted, the role of the homepage emerges as an important site for identity-construction: One day I represent myself with digital skulls, a few days later, with a howling wolf. Lastly, and most arresting (for better or for worse), is Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s animated mash up of political figures and pop culture titled Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People (2007). Cheney is shown as a blow-up doll, Arafat as Godzilla, and Condi Rice as a flying turd, all bouncing around against day-glo backdrops. (South Park outlandishness is an obvious source of inspiration.) Perhaps this is the natural result, some 70 years on, of blunt political outrage that all began with John Heartfield’s 1930s collages of such images as a baby chewing on a swastika-embossed axe. In comparison to Hung’s visual barrage, Heartfield seems rather genteel.

Lyra Kilston is a writer living in New York. She is an editor at Modern Painters.

Greetings from Berrydale
Okay Mountain, Austin
February 16 - March 15, 2008

By Katie Geha

Ryan LauderdaleGlorious Group Therapy, 2008, Prisma and Ink on Paper.

Nostalgic romanticism and lo-fi aesthetics run rampant in Greetings from Berrydale, Michael Berryhill and Ryan Lauderdale's joint exhibition now open at Okay Mountain. Nostalgia is not a new theme in contemporary art. From the hippie stoner drawings of Neil Farber to the Beckmann-esque canvases of Christoph Ruckhäberle to the feminist intervention video work of Laurel Nakadate, artists today are riffing on a past and casting a romantic glow on a time most of them never directly experienced. Drawing from old master paintings and adolescent church camp pictures, this exhibition is a moderately successful and visually appealing look at Berryhill and Lauderdale’s current work.

Ryan Lauderdale’s drawings and videos cohere around the divergent themes of paganism, the pastoral, youth’s posturing and a 90s raver aesthetic. A series of meticulous drawings graphically recreate church camp group photos using psychedelic design. In zig-zags of rainbow color and black marker line, the kids pose in over-confident stances that reveal a deep insecurity typical of pre-teens at camp. Another work, Pastoral (2007-2008), a low-fi video diptych (on two screens) follows two characters: the first, in white, traverses a meadow while the other, in black, waves a pagan symbol in the barren woods. This video piece, combined with the church images, eerily recalled, for the viewer, a sense of satanic panic found in the 1990s cult documentary Paradise Lost.

Michael Berryhill exhibits nice paintings and drawings that have seemingly little to do with one another. His expertly executed large-scale drawings are less interesting than his messy paintings. With its skewed perspective and roughed up patches and drips, Shui Stack (2008) is a painting reminiscent of Leipzig school interiors. The painting creates the exhilarating feeling of a room falling in on itself.

The most accomplished work in Greetings from Berrydale is a small painting by Berryhill, Cry Master (2008). In this painting, Berryhill renders eyes popping out of a human head only to cross them out with thinly applied brushstrokes. The gestural line and candy-colored tones manage to feel both playful and controlled. I wish this work had been hung next to Lauderdale’s video, A Voice from the Yesterday (2008) so that the popping eyes could gape at this stylized, yet, ambiguous altar. Lauderdale placed a monitor on the floor surrounded by candles and on the wall, an oriental rug is covered in tubes of fluorescent blue lights. In the video, an ominous human head appears bathed in blue and black, intoning a chant. Certainly the disparate objects look neat together, but they also fall prey to the fallacy of style over substance. So, what are these artists nostalgic for? Lauderdale, perhaps speaking for both himself and Berryhill, suggests that we all might be standing at the altar of nostalgia, stealing slick moves and little else.

Katie Geha is pursuing a Ph.D. in art history at the University of Texas at Austin.

Collecting & Collectivity
Conduit Gallery, Dallas
February 16 - March 22, 2008

By Alison Hearst

Otabenga Jones and AssociatesNation Time Traffic, 2008, Mixed media. Image courtesy Conduit Gallery.

A laudable exhibition, Collecting & Collectivity unites notable works by seven artists and/or collectives to investigate the notion of collecting and collaboration in contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition marks the culmination of a series of related events—a symposium at Southern Methodist University, a panel at the 2008 College Art Association Annual Conference and an allied issue of ArtLies (Winter 2007)—that have allowed co-curators Noah Simblist and Charissa Terranova to demonstrate how collecting and collectivity, traditionally distinct and opposing concepts, commingle in the pluralistic mélange of today’s art production.

Danica Phelps and Daniel Lefcourt, two of the better-known artists in the exhibition, consider how the practice of collecting perpetuates an art object’s aura (in the Benjaminian sense). In Artist, Collector, Curator, Spy (2002) Phelps visited galleries while posing as a collector, culled photographs of artworks she desired, drew copies of these artworks, curated exhibitions of her drawings, and attempted to buy the “originals” with her copies as currency.

Like Phelps, Lefcourt challenges the conception of artworks as singular,market ready goods by working in a reproductive medium and circumventing the gallery. Added Value (2006), an editioned piece sent out as gifts by a collector, includes a DVD of the artist tapping a screw to a battery-operated contraptionelectricity is produced each time the artist physically contacts the contraption, satirizing the value of the artist’s touch.

Otabenga Jones and Associates’ Nation Time Traffic (2008) presents a particularly poignant engagement with the avant-garde tradition of disseminating political information via art. Nation Time Traffic consists of dozens of stacked black trashbags bound like bricks of narcotics—one is sliced, revealing a dark sandy substance that spills onto the floor. A fictional newspaper article explains that a “hip hop gang” was arrested for the trafficking of black tar heroin, but that it was later discovered that the bags actually contained soil; nonetheless, the men were to remain in custody until other charges could be brought against them. To put this work in the context of the exhibition’s themes emphasizes how racial stereotypes and profiling thrive on collective ignorance.

Basekamp and David Dempwolfe’s Group Isolation Tank (2008) embodies the exhibition’s themes most successfully. Situated in the front gallery at Conduit, the piece resembles a large art-shipping crate with three numbered doors. Entering through one of the doors, the viewer steps into a mass of Styrofoam peanuts. Once inside, her experience fluctuates according to chance between that of isolation and collective encounter.

The works in the exhibition blur the boundaries between the practices of collecting and the collectivity as they are linked to radical art practice, ultimately illustrating that both the individual and the collective facilitate (art) ownership and authorship.

Alison Hearst is a writer living in Fort Worth. She recently received her M.A. in art history from Texas Christian University.

project space

Cody Trepte

I started Reference List a few years ago as a way to place my work in a larger context. It became a way to describe my work—a sort of self-portrait as a list composed of musicians, writers, artists, and choreographers to whom I find myself drawn. I revisit this list every few months, adding and subtracting so that it remains current. Instead of a record of every person I've ever turned to for inspiration, the list serves to contextualize my current work.

In creating a project for …might be good’s Artist’s Space, I began by selecting two artists from this list: John Cage and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The works I created are a nod to these artists and their influence on my work; Cody on Cage on Joyce is a random regeneration of John Cage’s Fourth Writing through Finnegans Wake (1983) and Perfect Lovers is a re-interpretation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Perfect Lovers (1987-1990), a pair of ticking clocks that Gonzalez-Torres set to the same time.

I'm interested in Cage for his use of systems as a method for eliminating choice. Gonzalez-Torres, on the other hand, infused his work with an incredible amount of pathos. Combining systems-based work with a desire to emote is a core element of my work. I find myself returning to John Cage’s Fourth Writing through Finnegans Wake and Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Perfect Lovers. In particular, I’m drawn to the conceptual confidence of Cage's writings through Finnegans Wake and the minimal simplicity of Perfect Lovers.

While I don't usually create works for the Internet, it was the perfect medium for these pieces. Cody on Cage on Joyce randomly regenerates Cage's writing through Finnegans Wake. A web-browser’s refresh button interjects chance back into the text. In Perfect Lovers the QuickTime play bars mirror the sterile and minimal beauty of the banal clocks of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Perfect Lovers. At the same time, my piece exposes a flaw in Gonzalez-Torres’s work—contrary to his intention, the two clocks are almost never exhibited displaying exactly the same time.

I created 10mb (for George Maciunas) in 2006. I decided to show the piece again in the context of Perfect Lovers and Cody on Cage on Joyce because it references inspiration in a similar way. The piece is a recursive reference to digital video in the same way that Maciunas' original piece 10 ft. referenced the physical medium of film by literally projecting 10 feet of film.

Paying tribute to the artists who have inspired me and honoring their strategies and ideas, the works are an attempt to get closer to their work. Cody on Cage on Joyce, Perfect Lovers and 10mb (for George Maciunas) are an homage to the simple gestures in the history of conceptual art—Cage’s systems, Gonzalez-Torres pathos and Maciunas’ self-reference.

Cody Trepte is a New York based artist. His work is currently included in The Lining of Forgetting: Internal & External Memory in Art at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, on view through May 25, 2008. His work can be seen online at http://www.codytrepte.com.

announcements: exhibitions

Austin Openings

Ewan Gibbs: Pictures of Pitchers
lora reynolds gallery
March 8 - April 19, 2008; Reception and Artist's Talk March 22 6-8pm

Lora Reynolds Gallery presents its second solo exhibition by British artist Ewan Gibbs. Entitled Pictures of Pitchers, the exhibition includes eight new graphite drawings; the subject of each is a baseball pitcher captured at the moment just after the release of the ball.

It's About Time
L_M_N_L gallery (305B E. 5th Street)
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 8 from 7:00-10:00 pm

A collaborative art environment created by Amanda Jones, a local artist and curator, and Collector Rert, an Austin based collective, It’s About Time touches on a wide array of themes including science, domesticity, personal narrative and nature.

We've Got Tissues
okay mountain
Opening Reception: Saturday March 22 from 7:00-10:00 pm

We’ve Got Tissues features the individual works of Jesse Greenberg, Lizzie Fitch, Brian McKelligott and the Austin premiere of Ryan Trecartin’s I-Be Area.

Intermezzo: Recent Works by Benita Huerta
The Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River Street)
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 8 from 1:00-5:00 pm; Artist's Talk at 3:00 pm

In this exhibition, the artist Benito Huerta uses the intermezzo—a short movement separating the major section of a symphonic work—to confront contemporary issues such as the economy, immigration, and natural disasters, either directly or in a more poetic form. A recipient of of 
Dallas Center for Contemporary Art’s 2002 Legend of the Year Award, Huerta's work is in several museum and corporate collections through the United Stated and Huerta's work was recently presented in Soundings: Benito Huerta 1992 – 2005 at the 
Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi and the El Paso Museum.

Cult of Color: Call to Color - Notes on a Collaboration
March 22 - April 27, 2008

The exhibition is presented in conjunction with Cult of Color: Call to Color a new ballet commissioned by Ballet Austin and created by visual artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, choreographer Stephen Mills and composer Graham Reynolds. The exhibition traces various aspects of this cross-disciplinary collaboration among the three artists. It will include four environmental installations derived from ballet scenes as well as Hancock’s paintings, notes, drawings, sketches and other art works that informed the production’s concept and inspired the backdrop curtains, stage props and costumes. Reynolds’ entire score will be available and Mills’ working process will be represented digitally via computers and video collage. For further information about the ballet, please click here.

Austin On View

Fritz Haeg: Attack on the Front Lawn
On view through March 16, 2008; Final Sundown Schoolhouse Workshops on Saturday, March 8 from 3:00-5:00 pm

Fritz Haeg: Attack on the Front Lawn surveys a number of ecological initiatives recently completed by the Los Angeles-based artist and architect known for his socially-responsive and community-oriented practice. This exhibition brings together photographic and video documentation from Haeg’s ongoing Edible Estates project (Regional Prototype Garden #5 will be planted in Austin from March 14-16, 2008) along with ephemeral items and site-specific elements created by the artist for Arthouse’s space that relate to gardening and sustainable food production in Austin. The final Sundown Schoolhouse Workshop will be devoted to marketing opportunities for backyard gardeners and will be led by Andrew Smiley of the Sustainable Food Center.

Jorge Macchi: The Anatomy of Melancholy
Blanton Museum of Art
On view through March 16, 2008

See Andrea Giunta's review in issue #93.

Ryan Lauderdale and Michael Berryhill: Greetings from Berrydale
okay mountain
On view through March 15, 2008

See Katie Geha's review in this issue.

In Katrina’s Wake
WorkSpace Gallery, Blanton Museum of Art
On view through March 25, 2008

How do artists respond to calamity? In New Orleans, many resident artists and a number of those observing from outside have been moved by the need for community relief, healing, and support and have directed their work to address these immediate social and spiritual concerns. This group exhibition —the result of a year's research by curator Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, a former resident of the city — will feature film and video, drawings, photographs, and mixed media works by artists including Willie Birch (New Orleans), Paul Chan (New York), Dawn Dedeaux (New Orleans), Jana Napoli (New Orleans), Cauleen Smith (
Boston) and others.

Katy Heinlein: Unknown Pleasures
Women & Their Work
On view through March 29, 2008

Women & Their Work presents Unknown Pleasures, a solo exhibition by Houston-based artist Katy Heinlein. Using sinuous folds of draped fabric as her medium, Heinlein creates surprising structures full of elegance and moxie that invite the viewer to look beneath the surface. Swathed around hidden buttresses and assuming shapes ranging from quirky to austere, Heinlein’s work challenges our perceptions of traditional sculpture.

Wheelchair Epidemic
Gallery Lombardi
On view through April 5, 2008

Wheelchair Epidemic takes its name from the 1980s song by punk band The Dicks and it features work by artists who are either current or former members of influential punk or rock and roll bands. Artists include The Dicks band members Gary Floyd and Buxf Parrot, former Big Boys member Tim Kerr, The Ends band member Ian Schults and Sharon Tate's Baby band members Brian Curley and Andrew Feutsch.

Jess: To and From the Printed Page
Harry Ransom Center
On view through April 6, 2008

Jess: To and From The Printed Page was organized by the Independent Curators International, New York, and was curated by Ingrid Schaffner, the Senior Curator at Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (and future testsite 08.2 collaborator). The exhibition features more than 50 original works of art, a 16mm film transferred to DVD and a sound recording by the artist “Jess” (Burgess Collins, 1923-2004) whose work developed in 1950s San Francisco from within the context of Beat literary culture.

Eric Zimmerman: Atlas
Art Palace
On view through April 9, 2008

Atlas presents Eric Zimmerman's most recent body of work, a series of graphite drawings that derive their imagery from topographical maps, visionary architecture, astronomical illustration and the natural world, from forests to icebergs and glaciers. Zimmerman's work investigates the concept of intermediary space—the space between here and there, then and now and the real and the imaginary.

20 to Watch: New Art in Austin
Austin Museum of Art
On view through May 11, 2008

See Kate Green's interview with Dana Friis-Hansen and Claire Ruud's review in this issue.

San Antonio Openings

Chad Erpelding: Merge
Cactus Bra
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7 from 6:00-9:00 pm

Chad Erpelding’s work investigates global networks by looking at international business organizations, political systems, urban/suburban development, and personal experiences. Through researching the detailed ways various groups view and experience the world, Erpelding creates visually complex and conceptually disorienting pieces. Merge is a combination of two pieces. 20 Miles weaves together hundreds of strips of muslin, each painted to resemble a highway. G8 is a video animation that investigates the Group of Eight through images of the member countries and their leaders. Viewed together, the pieces look at both physical and political constructs and the resulting blurring of boundaries and place.

New Works: 08.1 Regina José Galindo, Rodney McMillian and Margarita Cabrera
Opening Reception and Arists' Dialogue: Thursday, March 13 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Curated by Franklin Sirmans, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection, this exhibition presents new works created by Regina José Galindo (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Rodney McMillian (Los Angeles, CA) and Margarita Cabrera (El Paso, TX)—the latest round of artists in residence at artpace.

Unfurnished Room
Unit B Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, March 14 from 6:30-10:00 pm

Inspired by the idea of an emptied suburban house functioning as a gallery, Unfurnished Room brings together a group of artworks that mark or inscribe presence. Participating artists include: Josh Blackwell, Rachel Foullon, Sam Gordon, Barbara Hatfield, Jamie Isenstein, Matt Keegan, Siobhan Liddell, Peter Mandradjieff, Adam Putnam and Sara Saltzman.

San Antonio On View

Terry Karson
Sala Diaz
On view through March 16, 2008

Inspired by his travels to Turkey in recent years, Montana artist Terry Karson has moved from the natural history themes of his previous work to something more archaeological in nature. Making use of recycled cardboard packaging, Terry distresses and scrambles the lingering logos and texts in a cadence falling between recognition and obscurity.

Frozen Music II: The Architecture of Ricardo Legorreta
Bluestar Contemporary Art Center
On view through March 23, 2008

Curated by Bill FitzGibbons, this exhibition showcases the original drawings of internationally acclaimed architect Ricardo Legorreta.

Dominick Lombardi: The Post Apocalyptic Tattoo: A Ten Year Survey
Bluestar Contemporary Art Center
On view through March 23, 2008

Dominick Lombardi has been working on his Post Apocalyptic Tattoo Series for the past ten years. Through a comic book and tattoo aesthetic, he creates individuals who might survive the apocalypse.

Kate Gilmore: Girl Fight
Hudson (Show) Room, Artpace
On view through April 20, 2008

Girl Fight, curated by Artpace Executive Director Matthew Drutt, includes nearly a dozen videos by Kate Gilmore. The exhibition is the debut of Girl Fight, a video documenting Gilmore’s attempt to pile a motley collection of furniture in Artpace’s ground-floor courtyard. Once the colorful mountain of discarded sofas, chairs and dressers reaches the second-story ledge, she ascends the precarious tower dressed in a ball gown and wearing high heels, and enters her exhibition space via a red-carpeted ramp. During the run of the exhibition, only the video and piled furniture will remain as evidence of her Sisyphean task.

Houston Openings

Kurt Stallmann & Alfred Guzzetti: Breaking Earth and Zoe Crosher: One Year Later
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7 from 6:00 -8:00 pm

Diverseworks presents two projectsKurt Stallman and Alfred Guzzetti: Breaking Earth and Zoe Crosher: One Year Laterwhich both open on Friday, March 7. A five screen installation with multiple audio channels, Breaking Earth presents a palette of images, sounds and spaces created by composer Alfred Guzzetti and filmaker Kurt Stallmann. To create telling and insightful portraits for One Year Later, photographer Zoe Crosher trained her lens on young women in the small towns and big cities of America.

San Antonio On View

Nate Cassie: For You
Three Walls-Blue Star Art Complex
On view through March 31, 2008

This exhibition documents a mail art project initiated by Nate Cassie in which he sent 55 artists two sheets of paper and an invitation to email him drawings of birdhouses and beehives. In return, the artists received a print done by Hare and Hound Press in San Antonio. In this exhibition, Cassie presents the drawings of the artists who chose to participate, the print he sent in return and the first edition of the book documenting the entire process.

Houston Openings

Hana Hillerova: Transfigurations, Chuy Benitez: Houston Cultura, Adam Schreiber: Reverent Estimations and William Stewart: Broken Dreams
Lawndale Art Center:
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Lawndale Art Center presents a suite of exhibitions organized in conjunction with FOTOFEST 2008. The new sculptures by Hana Hillerova in Transfigurations change the direction of the light in the room instead of claiming a sculptural space of their own. The digital panoramic photographs by Chuy Benitez in Houston Cultura document the Mexican American community in Houston. The photographs by Adam Schreiber in Reverent Estimations are meditations on the architecture of relics, technology and the marginal spaces in between. And in Broken Dreams, William Stewart chronicles Houston's old Third Ward and nearby neighborhoods.

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao: Habitat 7
Houston Center for Photography
March 8 - April 20, 2008

A series of photographs by New York based artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao that document the series of communities located near the tracks of New York City's 7 train.

Dawoud Bey: Perspectives 160
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
March 14 – May 11

Since 1992 Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey has been working exclusively on large-scale portraits of American teenagers. In his recent work—portraits of teenagers taken in high schools around the country—Bey has included texts that the subjects have written about themselves. For Bey, the creation and presentation of these portraits and texts allows for a more complex and nuanced representation than the photographic portrait alone.

Houston On View

Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space
Blaffer Gallery
On view through March 29, 2008

See Clare Elliott's review in issue #92.

Nan Goldin: Stories Retold
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
On view through March 30, 2008

In two room-sized installations, Stories Retold brings together three bodies of work originally exhibited at separate times in the artist’s career and now rewoven to tell a story of the artist’s life. Goldin’s work, which has evolved from the informality and directness of snapshots, breaks down the traditional barriers between photography, cinema and installation art.

Demetrius Oliver: Firmament
Inman Gallery
On view through April 5, 2008

Demetrius Oliver: Firmament contains a series of works the artist created during his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Oliver's resume includes solo shows at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Atlanta Contemporary, P.S.1 MoMA and Inman gallery, as well as group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He was also a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Glassell School.

2008 Core Artists in Residence Exhibition
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
On view through April 18, 2008

Each year the Museum of Fine Art's Glassel School provides residencies to a group of emerging artists through its Core Program. Go see work made by this year's participants: Mequitta Ahuja, William Cordova, Kara Hearn, Andres Janacua Lauren Kelley, Nicholas Kersulis, Sergio Torres-Torres and Jeff Williams.

Design Life Now: National Design Triennial
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
On view through April 20, 2008

Design Life Now: National Design Triennial presents the experimental projects, emerging ideas, major buildings, new products and media that were at the center of contemporary culture from 2003 to 2006. Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial seeks out and presents the most innovative American designs from the prior three years in a variety of fields including product design, architecture, furniture, film, graphics, new technologies, animation, science, medicine and fashion. The exhibition presents the work of 87 designers and firms from established design leaders such as Apple, architect Santiago Calatrava, and Nike, Inc., to emerging designers like Joshua Davis, Jason Miller and David Wiseman.

William Christenberry
Moody Gallery
On view through May 5, 2008

This exhibition of work by the venerable photographer William Christenberry's includes Palmist Building, Havana Junction, Alabama," a suite of 20 photographs from 1961-1988 as well as four new drawings.

Dallas On View

Collecting & Collectivity
Conduit Gallery
On view through March 22, 2008

See Allison Hearst's review in this issue.

Dallas Openings

Palace Does Dallas: Sterling Allen, Peat Duggins & Ali Fitzgerald
Road Agent
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 8 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Road Agent is pleased to announce the three-person exhibition, Palace Does Dallas, part of the gallery’s ongoing exchange with Austin gallery Art Palace. This show features new work by Austin-based, Art Palace artists Sterling Allen, Peat Duggins, and Ali Fitzgerald.

Dallas On View

Damien Hirst
Goss Michael Foundation
On view through April 2008

The Goss Michael Foundation is a new (as of June 2007) and welcome addition to the 
Dallas art scene. Longtime collectors George Michael and Kenny Goss established the Foundation to share their collection with the public and increase the appreciation of contemporary art, specifically in the 
Dallas area. Their current exhibition showcases works by internationally recognized British artist Damien Hirst. Hirst’s visceral installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings challenge the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. His work explores such themes as life, death, loyalty and betrayal.

Real Time: Live Streaming Video
Dallas Contemporary
On view through May 10, 2008

The art of the mobile phone is the art of the hurried, the time starved, the always on. It is the art snapped while waiting in lines; art captured while sitting in traffic and mind numbing meetings. It is the art of the exhausted, overworked American. Real Time collects these fleeting images to reveal a larger reflection of our overworked society.

Fort Worth On View

Martin Puryear
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
On view through May 18, 2008

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents a major exhibition of the sculpture by the acclaimed American artist Martin Puryear (b.1941) organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The retrospective features approximately 45 sculptures and follows the development of Puryear's artistic career over the last 30 years. Puryear's works, often deceptively simple, can be associated with the sentiments of his Minimalist contemporaries, but his supremely quiet, poignant forms continually defy further categorization and reflect his own unique style. These often monumental sculptures are distinctly sophisticated, especially in regard to the artist’s skills as a woodworker.

On View Elsewhere

Setareh Shahbazi: Why Not Bazar
Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum
On view through May 11, 2008

If you find yourself in Santa Barbara this month, go check out Why Not Bazar, the first 
United States solo exhibition of Iranian-born and Berlin-based artist Setareh Shahbazi. Curated by Fluent~Collaborative founder Regine Basha, Why Not Bazar presents Shahbazi’s two and three dimensional collages. Containing images culled from a variety of sources including advertisements, magazines and postcards, Shahbazi uses these collages as a vehicle through which to investigate cultural collision and intersection.

Openings Elsewhere

The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image Part I: Dreams
Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
On view through May 11, 2008

This two-part exhibition features moving-image artworks by a range of influential and emerging international artistsincluding the Austin based Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchlerwhose works use film language and technology to explore the ever-increasing impact of the cinematic on our perceptions and the ways in which the very boundaries between “real life” and make-believe have become at least blurred, if not indecipherable.

announcements: events

Austin Events

Rented: A screening of experimental videos by Eleanor Antin, Stanya Khan & Harry Dodge and Ryan Trecartin
Department of Fine Arts Building Room 2.204, University of Texas at Austin
Friday, March 7 from 3:00-5:00 pm

Rented is a new program established to bring experimental film and video works to the University of Texas at Austin community.The first program presents the work of four artists who use "personal" narratives to explore the performance of gender and sexuality. The program begins with Eleanor Antin's The Ballerina and the Bum (1974), in which Antin's Ballerina persona travels to New York to become Balanchine's prima ballerina. In Let the Good Times Roll (2004) Stanya Khan & Harry Dodge present a story of a sexual-spiritual "coming out" and in Me & Rubyfruit (1989) Sadie Benning constructs a narrative of teenage lesbian love and sexuality using the work of novelist Rita Mae Brown as an architecture. The program culminates with Ryan Trecartin's A Family Finds Entertainment (2004), a startling and jubilant video work in which gender, sexuality and family are unstable and shifting categories.

South by Southwest Film Festival
Various Locations in Austin
Friday, March 7-Saturday, March 15, 2008
Admission: Price varies, see website for details

Each year the South by Southwest Film festival offers up the latest in independent film in a variety of genres including documentary, narrative, experimental short and even music videos. For the complete list of films, screening times and venues, please click here.

Gallery Tour of Jess: To and From the Printed Page
Harry Ransom Center
Friday, March 7 at 7:00 pm

Michael Auping, Chief Curator at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, leads a gallery tour of Jess: To and From the Printed Page and discusses the relationship between Jess and the Beats.

Edible Estate Pre-Planting Celebration
Thursday, March 13 from 6-9 pm

To kick off the planting of the Regional Prototype Garden #5 organized in conjunction with Fritz Haeg: Attack on the Front Lawn exhibition, Arthouse will host a pre-planting party.

Planting of Edible Estates Regional Garden: Prototype #5
201 West St. Elmo Street
Friday, March 14, 2008

Sierra Ridge Apartments, a Foundation Communities property located at 201 West St. Elmo will be home to the edible garden commissioned by Arthouse in conjunction with the exhibition, Fritz Haeg: Attack on the Front Lawn. To volunteer to help with the planting or to donate materials, please contact Arthouse, 512-453-5312 or info@arthousetexas.org.

Digital Showcase 43: Laptop Battle
Club DeVille (900 Red River)
Saturday, March 8 from 9 pm-2 am
Admission: $7 general; $4 for members; Free with SXSW Interactive Badge

For the 3rd year in a row, AMODA presents a Laptop Battle for its March Digital Showcase. In this event, sixteen of Texas's most skilled electronic musicians will use their laptops to musically outperform each other in a series of elimination rounds.

Cult of Color: Call to Color
Austin Ventures Studio Theater
April 3-13, 2008

Ballet Austin presents a world premiere dance work created from a collaboration among Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, new music by composer Graham Reynolds, and original choreography by Ballet Austin Artistic Director/choreographer Stephen Mills. For further information about purchasing tickets, please click here.

Show and Tell: A Digital Slide Jam featuring Robert Boland, Josh Rios, Corkey Sinks and Jade Walker
Women & Their Work
Tuesday, March 18 at 7:00 pm

Come to Women & Their Work to see & hear about the work of four local artists, Robert Boland, Josh Rios, Corkey Sinks, and Jade Walker.

Curator's Tour of Workspace: In Katrina's Wake
Blanton Museum of Art
Thursday, March 20 at 12:30 pm

Join Curator Annette Carlozzi for a tour and discussion of WorkSpace: In Katrina's Wake.

Katy Siegel and Wade Saunders: Viewpoint Lectures
Art Building, Room 1.102, University of Texas Department of Art History
March 20 and April 17 at 4 pm

Viewpoint 2008 marks the seventeenth year of this annual series of concentrated visits by leading curators, critics and scholars involved in the contemporary art world. Katy Siegel and Wade Saunders are this year’s invitees. Siegel is an associate professor of art history at Hunter College, CUNY and a contributing editor to Artforum. Wade Saunders is a sculptor and critic and teaches at Parsons Paris School of Art & Design and at the Institut des Etudes Politiques; he has written for Art in America since 1978. In addition to the lectures, Siegel and Saunders will also present two seminars on March 21 and April 18 from 3:00-5:00 pm in Art Building, Room 3.206, University of Texas Department of Art History.

Panel Discussion with with Trenton Doyle Hancock, Stephen Mills and Graham Reynolds
Saturday, March 22 from 3:00-5:00 pm

Organized in conjunction with Ballet Austin's Cult of Color: Call to Color and the companion exhibition at Arthouse, this panel discussion will feature contemporary artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, choreographer Stephen Mills and composer Graham Reynolds.

San Antonio Events

2 to Watch: Ya’Ke Smith and Peat Duggins
Thursday, March 20 from 6:30-8:00 pm

This program pairs a visual artist and a writer in an evening of words and images, gathering literary and visual arts audiences for a critical discussion and examination of crossovers between the genres. In this 2 to Watch, Ya’Ke Smith, a film director whose short Hope's War was screened at Cannes, is paired with artist Peat Duggins, an artist, okay mountain collaborator and animator for projects including the film A Scanner Darkly.

Houston Events

Dawoud Bey in conversation with Valerie Cassel Oliver
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Thursday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m

Organized in conjunction with Perspectives 160: Dawoud Bey, the artist talks to Valerie Cassel Oliver, CAMH's Curator.

Fort Worth Events

Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Joshua Mosley
The Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
Tuesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm (Seating begins at 6:30)

Joshua Mosley, who opens this year’s FOCUS exhibitions with his multimedia installation A Vue, 2004, has received much-deserved recognition with awards and exhibitions of note, such as the inclusion of his intriguing installation of film and sculpture titled Dread in the 52nd Venice Biennale. Joshua Mack, in his feature on the artist for Art Review, writes, “Joshua Mosley’s deceptively simple, visually stunning short animations are complex philosophical meditations on values and life in an incurious age.” This special Tuesday Evenings presentation provides insight into Mosley’s own work while setting the stage for the series of animated shorts he organized for the Modern, which begins March 12. For further information about Mosley's animated shorts series, please click here.

Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Amelia Jones
The Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm (Seating begins at 6:30)

Amelia Jones, known for her scholarship in the areas of feminism and contemporary art, is Professor and Pilkington Chair in Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester as well as an independent curator and writer. Most recently she published the 2006–07 book Self Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject and is co-author/co-editor of WomEnhouse, a Web project reexamining feminism and domesticity in contemporary culture. For Tuesday Evenings, Jones presents the provocative and pertinent Screen Eroticism 1967 vs. 1992: Exploration of Female Desire in the Work of Carolee Schneemann and Pipilotti Rist.

Houston Events

Adventures in Illegal Art: Creative Media Resistance and Negativland
Quintero Lab Theatre, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center
Thursday, March 14 at 4:00 pm

Interested in media literacy? Want to know more about humorous anti-corporate art/activism? Interested in challenging the roles of advertising in our lives? Opinionated about the evolution of art, law, and resistance in a media saturated world?  Go check out Adventures in Illegal Art, a film lecture/presentation/conversation with Mark Hosler of Negativland.

Announcements: opportunities


Education and Volunteer Coordinator
Deadline for application is March 28, 2008.

Arthouse is currently seeking an Education & Volunteer Coordinator. The Education and Volunteer Coordinator independently plans, develops, and implements all school, teen, and family education programs, as well as manages the volunteer program. Arthouse has chosen to focus its formal education programs on teenagers, so teen programming is the primary responsibility for the Education and Volunteer Coordinator. Contact Catherine ( 512.453. 5312 or catherine@arthousetexas.org) for more information on the position and how to apply.

Director of Education
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

The ICA is seeking a Director of Education to lead their active education department in the development of learning tools and delivery of programs for teens, families, adults and new audiences. Reporting to the Director of Programs, the Director of Education will ensure that department outputs meet developmental goals and learning objectives for the organization. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and salary history to jobs@icaboston.org. When applying include "Director of Education" in subject line of email. For further information about the position's responsibilities and qualifications, please click here.

Executive Director
Houston Arts League
Application deadline: June 30, 2008

Art League Houston is currently seeking applicants for the Executive Director position. Art League Houston cultivates awareness, appreciation and accessibility of contemporary visual art within the community for its cultural enrichment The Executive Director implements the strategic goals of the organization and is responsible for organization, direction, and administration of the agency, including its policies, programs and services. To view position announcement and job description, click here.

Membership and Administrative Manager
Art Lies

Art Lies seeks an enthusiastic and dedicated Membership and Administrative Manager. The successful candidate will support the organization’s mission across the state with an emphasis on coordinating membership and subscription services. Another key component of this position is representing Art Lies in the 

Houston area and, as directed, at membership events throughout the state. This position reports to the Executive Director. Applicants should work well with minimal on-site supervision, be self-starters, have strong written and verbal communication skills, have experience working with boards, understand the importance of maintaining records, and enjoy the visual arts and interacting with the public. Please mail resume to: Art Lies, P.O. Box 1408 Houston, TX 77251; Or email to: info@artlies.org. For further information, click here.

The Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art of The University of Texas at 

Austin is currently seeking a dynamic, highly qualified museum director. As a nationally recognized art museum in a major research university, the Blanton is a center for research, teaching and education of the general public. The director will be responsible for the museum operations, staff management, financial management, fundraising and public community relations. For more information, click here.

Executive Director
Salvage Vanguard Theater

Salvage Vanguard Theater seeks an Executive Director with a passion for bold experimental artistic work and the skills and experience to lead administrative and fundraising activities for a growing, dynamic organization. SVT is a non-profit arts organization located in 

Austin, Texas, committed to fostering a dynamic exchange between visionary artists and audiences new to their work. An active theater company for over 13 years, the organization has grown rapidly over the last two years and is seeking an energetic, out-going person with a desire to grow into an influential role in one of the most artistically rich cities in the country. For more information and to apply, click here.

Grant Application Workshop

Application Workshop for 2008 Texas Filmmakers´ Production Fund Grant.
Aurora Picture Show
Thursday, April 3 at 7:00 pm

The Austin Film Society, 

Aurora and SWAMP have partnered to present a workshop on applying for the 2008 Texas Filmmakers´ Production Fund Grant.This year, TFPF will give out at least $100,000 to 

Texas filmmakers, selected by a national panel of filmmakers and film professionals. Application forms are available through http://www.austinfilm.org/. This workshop will also be offered at 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 5 at Rice Media Center.


Grants for Projects and Curatorial Research
Etant donnés: The French American Fund for Contemporary Art
Deadline for proposals March 31, 2008

Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art offers financial support in the form of grants to American nonprofit institutions organizing exhibitions, installations, artist residencies, publications, or other projects by living French artists or to French nonprofit institutions presenting the same types of projects involving American artists. Qualifying projects may be in the fields of visual arts, architecture and design. Since 2005, Etant Donnés has also offered Curatorial Research Grants supporting the professional development of American curators by offering them extended stays of up to three months in France for research projects in the field of contemporary art. The grants are intended to facilitate the discovery of new talents, reinforce interest in established contemporary artists, and encourage the exploration of 

France’s cultural resources. For the complete guidelines and application forms, please click here.

Artists' Residencies

The Real (Art) World: DiverseWorks Visual Arts Residency
Application deadline: April 1 at 5:00 pm

For the third consecutive year, DiverseWorks will turn the gallery keys over to four artists picked to share studio space in the 3000 square foot main gallery for a period of 5 weeks. The Real (Art) World summer residency program provides selected artists with a stipend, institutional support and the unique opportunity to create work in a collaborative environment. Please send proposals to DiverseWorks, Attn: Real (Art) World Proposals, 1117 East Freeway, Houston, TX, 77002. For further information, please click here.

Calls for Exhibition Proposals

Lawndale Art Center Call for Exhibition Proposals
Lawndale Art Center
Deadline: March 15, 2008

The Lawndale Art Center is seeking proposals from artists for exhibitions and performances. Located in Houston’s Museum District, Lawndale’s mission is to present work by both emerging and established Houston artists, as well as regional artists. Lawndale seeks to sponsor educational forums and dialogues that address the relationship between art and society. For more information and to apply, click here and follow the link to Call for Exhibition Proposals.

Diverseworks: Call for Exhibition Proposals

Diverseworks welcomes proposals for projects in the Main Gallery, a 3,000 square foot space dedicated to showing the work of national and international artists, and The Project Space, DiverseWorks' small gallery dedicated to showing the work of emerging and under-recognized artists. Proposals are accepted year round. For further information and applications details, click here.

Call for Applications

Call for Applications in Fine Art, Design and Theory
The Jan van Eyck Academie
Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2008

The Jan van Eyck Academie is an institute for research and production in the fields of fine art, design and theory. Every year, 48 international researchers realize their individual or collective projects in this artistic and critical environment. Artists, designers and theoreticians are invited to submit proposals for individual or collective research projects for a one-year, two-year or variable research period in the departments of Fine Art, Design and Theory. For application details, please click here.

Calls for Entries

Call for Video Submissions:International Pancake Film Festival
Unit B Gallery
Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, April 1st (postmark date)

Unit B is hosting the International Pancake Film Festival. As the title suggests, the festival is dedicated to films about pancakes. At least 87 percent of the film must be devoted to pancakes and the entire film should be no longer than five minutes in length. For further details and the application form, please click here.

Sculpture Quadrennial Riga 2008: Call for Proposals
Application Deadline:1 April, 2008

The Ministry of Culture of the  Republic of Latvia through the Centre for Art Management and Information (MMIC) invites artists to submit proposals for Dictatorship of the Majority - Sculpture Quadrennial Riga 2008, an open-air contemporary art exhibition that will take place in  Riga, Latvia 29 August - 10 October, 2008. Any professional artist from any part of the world is eligible. Each selected artist will be awarded 4000 EUR for the implementation of the proposed project. The artworks proposed must be constructed to withstand variable weather conditions, outdoor city environment and endure 6 weeks in public space. Up to 20 artworks will be selected and temporarily installed in Riga. For further information and application details, please click here.

Sharjah Biennial 2009: Call for Entries
Deadline for applications: March 10, 2008

In preparation for the 9th Sharjah Biennial, which will open in March 2009, the organizers have announced a call for applications for the production of new artworks. According to the press release, The Sharjah Biennial Productions Program is meant to "break free from the traditional genealogy of biennials" developing long term relationships with artists through joint productions. For application details, click here.

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