Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goin' Mobile with the Lens Capsule

by Robert Boyd

FotoFest is upon us. It opens officially on March 16, but many satellite shows have already opened. And one gallery has openings every week from from March 3rd through March 31st. It's called The Lens Capsule, and it's a gallery in a truck. (I wonder if this pop-up marathon takes its inspiration from the food trucks that we see nowadays at almost every gallery or museum show opening.) It is a project of two 2011 UH MFA graduates, Emily Peacock and Britt Ragsdale.

Lens Capsule
The Lens Capsule at Lawndale, March 9

Each week, The Lens Capsule will feature a mini-exhibit of a different emerging photographer. You can see where they will set up on their calendar. Their next show is tomorrow (Thursday) at The Houston Center for Photography with photographer Teresa Munisteri.

Lens Capsule
The Lens Capsule at Isabelle Court, March 3

The set-up is minimal and clever. Inside the truck, walls have been constructed out of some kind of board (I couldn't tell whether it was plywood or masonite or some other kind of board). This board is white and extends from a couple of feet above the floor to about five and a half or six feet up. It is attached to the wall of the truck somehow. This is your typical U-Haul type truck, which has an uneven wall with regular intrusions. That means that there is a gap between the board and the truck's inner wall. This is where the light are place.

Lens Capsule
The Lens Capsule interior at Lawndale, March 9

The lights are on bendable metal necks. They are battery powered lights, and the battery-pack is slotted between the board wall and the truck wall. It's a tight fit, which is what holds the light in place. So in the end, you have an elegant (if a bit cramped) exhibition space using the absolute minimum amount of hardware and fixtures.

Lens Capsule
The Lens Capsule interior at Isabella Court, March 3

This is such a good idea that I hope other artists/curators copy it. What better way to have a micro-pop-up gallery. If someone were willing to shell out between twelve and fifteen thousand, they could own their own pop-up gallery (and perhaps start up a small art transportation business on the side).

For now, you have five more chances to see The Lens Capsule and the artists Peacock and Ragsdale have chosen for their mobile curatorial project.


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