This exhibition of works by DFW-area MFA candidates took place in an interesting old warehouse property at 500 Singleton in Dallas during the weekend of the "Bridge-O-Rama" Peggy Hill Bridge celebrations. The show was organized by Stephen Lapthisophon; more details at the FaceBook page for the event or at its website, 500WEST.
I shot these photos right before leaving town and unfortunately didn't include much labelling; my recollection is that maybe it was a little harder to find than usual? Sorry about that. Given what I take to have been part of the exhibition's premise of working with and responding to an existing building or place with its own character, however, it was in fact satisfying to explore the show the way you would any other place, rather than as a series of discretely identified sub-experiences.
Maybe 2/3 of the way through the show, the power went out; so, starting with P1130029.JPG (red spray-painted graffiti on a white-panelled wall), there was no light other than my camera flash or natural light.
I greatly enjoyed the allure and complexity of the piece that starts here – the piece started calling you as soon as you stepped into the building. Once you found it, it was just dam' beautiful, with lots of intriguing components. To start, what was the salt-white powder on the floor? And I liked the slyly humorous suggestion of a little old t.v. skidding to a stop with the aid of braking parachutes, like a race car or the batmobile – also implicating the velocity with which t.v.'s transmissions enter our minds, often bypassing our critical faculties to a greater degree than, say, the contents of texts (see, e.g., here). All this kept me in the room long enough to discover the aperture revealing the small painting of a cat (Schrödinger’s?), sleeping or dead, in a small, painted room very like the room in which the t.v. sat, all configured in an arrangement not unlike a diorama – was the cat run over, or dreamed, by the t.v.? or is the t.v. the dream of the cat? or did the painting represent a history or future of the room to which it was attached, or an alternate reality? is this reality semi-fractal? Among many other intriguing details and possibilities. Unfortunately, the audio was a bit unclear for me, and I never managed to decipher just what it was calling. (UPDATE: I've been informed by Randall Garrett that this installation was by Jeff Gibbons – thanks!) (FURTHER UPDATE: Jeff's told me that the audio says, "The sun will come out . . . "; more in his comment below.)
I also enjoyed the piece that starts here (in the first photo, the actual piece starts to the right of the white door) – I appreciated the combination of references to the art of meditation and the ultra-orderly science of math, and the chaos and aesthetic appeal of deterioration and trash; and I especially liked the way the audio both surprised me and drew me around the far edge into a dark corner with small light sources and more, not-fully-visible detritus – with an implication that maybe this nook was the most important part of the installation; yet you weren't sure what if anything much were there. (UPDATE: I've been informed by Ali Starr that this piece was by Matt Heller – thanks!)
And there were other fine works. This seems as good a time as any to mention that Lapthisophon has organized a pretty long series of pretty terrific exhibitions lately, and to say thanks! and that I hope he and his collaborators will keep doing interesting things here.