On View November 20, 2015 - January 9, 2016
Friday, November 20, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 PM, Artist talks at 6 PM
Read Me is a series of optical illusion sculptures and wall texts that constitute a room-sized puzzle book. Viewers solve the clues to find the solution to the puzzle while being immersed in the story. A tiny line of text connects all the pieces and carries the narrative forward. Clues are embedded in the optical illusions and woven into the text. Modeled after popular "escape games," the final clue unlocks a metaphorical door housed within a door-shaped sculpture. Overall, Read Me requires audience participation and interactivity, but it is not a video game. It most resembles that good, old-fashioned narrative transfer device: the book. Read Me's optical devices utilize a range of technologies. Some are powered with simple 4-speed record players, while others run with microprocessors, and still others use hacked toys. Read Me includes zoetropes, flipbooks, holograms and other unnamable inventions.
Emily Fleisher’s work highlights potential moments of spirituality and meditation within the home – specifically focusing on the bathroom and kitchen. Imagery is appropriated from grandiose medieval cathedrals and merged with the most mundane aspects of contemporary suburban life.
In “There Will Come Soft Rains,” a chapter of his 1950 dystopian novel The Martian Chronicles, Raymond Bradbury paints a picture of an automated house in the year 2026 devoid of inhabitants. This “home of the future” cooks, cleans and carries on unaware that its family is gone. Somberly, the story ends with the destruction of the house.
For A Library for Soft Rains Jason Urban uses this chapter as a motif of sorts to explore the growing interdependency of analog and digital printed matter. The various pieces in the exhibit process the Bradbury story through a range of technologies from high to low tech. CNC routers, rapid prototyping, as well as simple relief printing are employed to create images and objects that are both complex and rudimentary in their origins. As an artist interested in printed matter, the library as a physical tool for distributing knowledge is of particular fascination to Urban. The book is a conveyor of information, its endurance and ephemerality, and its evolution from utilitarian object to elite artisanal good is reflective of the changing cultural roles of both analog and digital.
The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research presents NIGHT WALK, an immersive installation charting the open-ended experience of nocturnal exploration into overlooked urban spaces. Large hanging textiles, domestic and theatrical in nature, provide a backdrop for a shadowy narrative unfolding on the gallery floor. Interspersed within the space are a series of sculptural objects—competing entities, both toxic and healing—alongside scattered bits of research ephemera, at once informative and diversionary, found and fabricated.
Peeking through fences and around corners, watching mysterious forms appear from shadows, and imagining the unseen just beyond view, Night Walk begins when the manicured is swallowed up by a dark unknown. For The Center, these marginal areas offer a productive energy that open us socially to the community and connect us emotionally to the sensuous landscape. The scene that emerges through Night Walk reveals a therapeutic, creative investigation of the resulting ecological and social traumas experienced when we weed out the living, breathing, non-human earth from everyday urban space.
Elizabeth Eicher and Hélène Schlumberger present Lawndale Regional Wilderness Zone, a playful interpretation of the structures, signage and pedagogy popularized by the National Parks Service. The installation transforms the Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden into a natural and cultural reserve. From the installation, the visitors can enjoy the scenic vistas offered by the rugged and inspirational surrounding terrain. Eicher & Schlumberger compare modes of observation between the art world and the National Park Service explaining that, “In our tower, the assumptive cultural qualities that put nature and culture in opposition to each other manifest as a battleground for those two modes of seeing to combat and merge, both victorious.”
Jonathan Leach’s work focuses on the visual language of commercial architecture, city traffic and safety/cautionary imagery. Leach’s mural activates the surrounding architecture and visually impacts the space.Ghost Grid features a hardline geometric style with an emphasis on bright color and spatial illusion, using the three windows as a base grid structure that warps and changes, highlighted by reflective paint accents that activate the mural at night.
Jonathan Leach is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by
the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.
The Lawndale Mural Project is generously sponsored by David R. Graham / Felvis Foundation and Kinzelman Art Consulting.