Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Report from Austin part 1: You Can't Escape from the Art at Arthouse

I was in Austin for the Hybrid Arts Summit, and during the lunch break I walked over to Arthouse to see what all the hoopla was about. Now, I have nothing to say about the recent events there because I don't know anything more than anyone else (and probably a lot less than some). Suffice it to say that it's a scandal--and therefore it's interesting. Read more here, here and here. But before this scandal (and the events leading up to it), Arthouse was mainly in the news for its cool new building. They took the skeleton of an older building and artfully made it into a new building. So you get walls like this:


This was in the vast, vacant upstairs gallery. Arthouse is apparently so proud of its building that even when they don't have a show in the gallery, they invite people to check it out. (Who needs a "curator" when you can just exhibit an empty room?)


These benches by the elevator cracked me up. They seemed designed to flatter people who had a little knowledge of recent art history--"Stacks of felt? Wait--Joseph Beuys, right?! Amirite?!"

But the most striking thing was that you can't escape from the art in Arthouse. Not even in the elevator.

They were showing a video by Ely Kim on an endless loop as part of their "Lift Projects." Yeah--even the elevator is a gallery at Arthouse.

(I didn't check out the cans, which may be art-free zones.)


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