Filtering by: 2017

"Good Mourning Tis of Thee" Curated by Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Sean Gaulager
to Nov 25

"Good Mourning Tis of Thee" Curated by Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Sean Gaulager

Transformation of a broom #2.jpg

Good Mourning Tis of Thee, an expansive, conceptual art installation directed and curated by the multimedia artist Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Co-Lab Projects' Executive Director and Curator Sean Gaulager, features work from over 65 artists and performers from Texas, New York, Detroit and Seattle. This interactive exhibition addresses topical issues such as grief, loss, death, architecture and urban development. Staged in an old building shell in downtown Austin currently being used by Co-Lab Projects as their gallery space, visitors are able to move through areas devoted to themes of mourning, darkness and transformation and occasionally interact with durational performances both during gallery hours and at designated events throughout the run of the show. The show is especially timely as the building is slated for subsequent demolition to make room for a planned development on this site.

The concept behind this show, conceived of by Miss Wendt, looks at death as a positive agent and component of change. American culture has few rituals around or processing death and the artists involved will bring their own ideas, superstitions and rituals about mortality, but also those of different cultures and belief systems. We all have the capacity to use such markers of change as vehicles for new beginnings and transformative magic. Visitors to the exhibition move freely in between the curated areas of the building in no particular order, ending with the message implied by the title, that each one of us is a source of beneficial change through cycles of ending and new beginnings. This exhibition explores both issues of urban redevelopment and those surrounding death and grieving. Our fear of death and the lack of concern for history and preservation in an age of rapid development and gentrification are addressed here through the mediums of photography, video, sculpture, sound, painting, installation, drawing and performance.
Participating Artists and Performers:
Michael Abelman, Butch Anthony, Toni Ardizzone, Jon Brumit, Shawn Camp, Chris Carlone, Marnie Castor, Gail Chovan, Livia Cocchi, Erin Cunningham, Alex Diamond, Rachelle Diaz, Maggie Douglas, Dan Estabrook, Michael Anthony García, Brooke Gassiot, Stefany Anne Golberg, Oren Goldenberg, Joshua Goode, Amy Guidry, Frank Haines, Hollis Hammonds, Ryan Hawk, Geoff Hippenstiel, Scott Hocking, Katy Horan, Lindsay Hutchens, Madeline Irvine, Tlisza Jaurigue, Jules Buck Jones, Joseph Keckler, Travis Kent, Jardine Libaire, Marne Lucas, Rebecca Marino, Colin McIntyre, Robert Melton, Angelbert Metoyer, Cynthia Mitchell, Landon O’Brien, Christos Pathiakis, Matt Rebholz, Cristin Richard, Lacey Richter, Benjy Russell, Beth Schindler, Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger, Seth Orion Schwaiger, Lauren Silberman, Sandy Smiles, Julia Solis, Michael E Stephen, Terri Thomas, Brad Walton, Bruce Lee Webb, Jason Webb, Alyssa Taylor Wendt, Steve Wiman, Matthew John Winters, Rachel Wolfson-Smith, and YOUNGSONS.

Associated Public Programs:
"In the Round: Death and Urban Renewal" Panel Discussion, Q&A
"DARK AX I": Performance Event featuring Chris Carlone butoh ritual, Sandy Smiles (Frank Haines), and more
"Draw-a-Ghost Workshop" for kids led by Katy Horan, Emily Cayton, and Alyssa Taylor Wendt
"DARK AX II": Performance Event featuring Marne Lucas and Marnie Castor (Duelling Doulas), Michael Anthony Garcia, and Jardine Libaire
"Fear the Reaper: A Dance Party", Halloween DJ Dance Party where everyone is dressed up as DEATH
"An Evening Performance and Reading with Joseph Keckler"
Catalog Release Party

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"Expedition Batikback"<br>Group Show
to Aug 26

"Expedition Batikback"
Group Show

Artists: Ryan Davis, Sara Vanderbeek, Noel Kalmus, Steef Crombach, Drew Liverman, Erin Curtis, Manik Raj Nakra, Paul de Jong, and Floor van het Nederend. 

For EXPEDITION BATIKBACK curator and artist Steef Crombach offered six artists from Austin and two artists from The Netherlands the opportunity to learn the process and create works in the traditional Indonesian technique known as Batik. This fully saturated fabric dyeing process allows the artist's compositions to become three-dimensional objects, viewable from front and back. When suspended from the ceiling in the gallery they create a structure for visitors to navigate. After their exhibition at DEMO Gallery the works will travel with Steef back to Holland to be shown there.

The artists selected to participate in the workshop and exhibition all incorporate strong color palettes, use of bold linework, and patterning into their paintings. These painterly qualities transfer well to Batik and each of the artists brings their individual style to the medium. Untraditional themes, pop-elements, patterns, and colors contrast with the traditional use of Batik and the unique way the works are shown shed new light on the technique. 

“Ours was not going to be a clone of the usual expeditions, oozing with sleekness. It was clear from the start that oddity was our advantage.”
― Tahir Shah, House of the Tiger King: The Quest for a Lost City

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"unrealpolitik"<br>Mark Hilton, Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger, Soda_Jerk, and Ted Carey
to Jul 22

Mark Hilton, Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger, Soda_Jerk, and Ted Carey

ün rāˈälpōliˌtēk/
a system of politics or principles based on ideological rather than practical considerations

Alt-facts, fake news, gaslighting, and cognitive dissonance have become so commonplace in contemporary society that we find ourselves wondering at times what, if anything, constitutes our collective reality. An unrealpolitik has emerged, a return to a system of ideology, spectacle, and demagoguery.

In "unrealpolitik" artists deal with this foreboding quandary using dark humor, pop culture, and cryptic imagery that represents our contemporary State. A mash-up shouting-match of talking-points and counter-points struggling for dominance, dense and complex narratives reduced to a single image, an underwater political landscape, a literal house of cards on the brink of total collapse.

Mark Hilton (b. Melbourne 1977, lives and works in New York) is been the recipient of the prestigious AusArt Fellowship for Fine Arts and attends the International Studio & Curatorial Program's Ground Floor syllabus. He has an extensive exhibition history and work is represented in numerous international collections. Each card in Mark Hilton’s series ‘Half Flush’ adopts a duality that tends to stir something in the viewer. Using the standard pack of cards as his organising principle, Hilton mixes desire, degradation, contamination, zealotry and violence into a brew often sweetened by humour. Each suit has a theme that works more as a starting point than a defining rule: diamonds are class; hearts are religion; spades are nationalism; clubs are the environment.

Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger (b. Plano 1985, lives and works in Austin) Schwaiger produces paintings and research-driven exhibitions revolving around ideas of ritual and the uncanny, as well as abstracted interpretations of political and interpersonal power differentials. Since earning her master's degree from the influential and unconventional Glasgow School of Art in 2011 she was named one of the top UK art graduates by The Catlin Guide, and has built an impressive resume with work in several prominent private and public collections throughout Europe and North America including paintings shown at The National Portrait Gallery in London, Liverpool’s Walker Art Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, Chapter Arts Center in Cardiff, Art Basel Miami Satellite, and the biennial contemporary art festival Glasgow International 2010 and 2014.

Formed in Sydney in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a 2-person art collective that approaches sampling as an alternate form of history-making. Working at the intersection of documentary and speculative fiction, their archival practice has taken the form of video installations, cut-up texts, screensavers and lecture performances. Soda_Jerk are based in New York where their work was recently shown in a dedicated program at Anthology Film Archives. They have collaborated with Australian collectives The Avalanches and VNS Matrix, and exhibited work in museums, cinemas, festivals and torrent sites. Soda_Jerk are the recipients of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission and will premiere their new film Terror Nullius at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in 2018.

Ted Carey (b. Philadelphia 1984, lives and works in Austin) is an improv sculptor and abstract turntablist, he earned a BFA from the University of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. “Carey works with the drastic insightfulness of an absurdist poet. His elegantly distressed objects, funny and sad and oddly exquisite, undermine varied sacred cows of culture and commerce. More, they affirm the vitality and importance of the mindful eye and heart in a world that overlooks beauty and numbs the senses.” - Matt Freedman.

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"There isn't any is"<br>John Paul Rosenberg
to Jun 3

"There isn't any is"
John Paul Rosenberg

Co-Lab Projects is pleased to present John Paul Rosenberg: “There isn’t any is,” an exhibition of new mixed media assemblages. Known for collaborative projects and socially engaged public performances, Rosenberg challenges art historic traditions in order to create agency and find freedom within systems. For this exhibition, the artist uses humble materials and techniques, like deconstruction of the traditional frame by cutting and transmuting the work’s surface. These fragmenting techniques create voids in the work, but these spaces are not truly empty: they are spaces of potential. The "nothingness" creates possibilities that allow the works to physically become a part of their surroundings, and symbolically act as a window for personal and communal conditions, connectivity, untapped potentiality and multiplicity.

Remnants of vintage materials, throwaway tarps and used drop cloths play a dictatorial role in the series. These pieces are selected by their historic context or disposable use: traces of stains, seams and underlying textures that inspire a copoiesis – a collaborative dialogue with the material. This dialogue informs the arrangement of fabric, then the compositions are painted using a variety of traditional techniques such as geometric abstraction, painterly brushwork, print or tromp l’oeil. Irregular sections of surface material have been cut through to expose the wall, making an expanded, multi-layered surface. These vacuities of negative space, and elements like suspended strings, gentle folds and flexible straps that tug, hug edges, flex, reveal or conceal surface tension, move the two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional active objects. They become anthropomorphic “actionables” that are energetically engaging.  

The structures in “There isn’t any is” emerged out of the artist’s introspective decision to base studio practice on an instinctual method that would produce fresh ways of thinking. Rather than looking out there for areas of discovery or inspiration, the artist looks inward to find what is both intrinsic and universal. Having grown up in poverty and conscious of notions of privilege, the artist makes analogies between the affluence and elitism associated with traditions of oil paintings on fine linens, and the utilitarian, disposable, “democratic” materials that have no connection to aesthetics. Lines are blurred between high and low, art and craft, deconstruction and construction, inner and outer.  These contrasting notions demonstrate the potential for anything to be elevated, appreciated, or just what is.

The mixed materials and techniques of the works act as different points of accessibility. Visible mark-making, imperfect masking, or stitching are used to reinforce the idea of “the hand,” a symbol of the ongoing relevancy, potentiality and importance of painting as a means for expression of both individual and collective understanding and connection. The approachable, characteristic compositions are a metaphor for the broad pastiche of voices that desire to be expressed and experienced in simple, distilled ways. Although there is no figuration in the work, the individual pieces might convey personal subjectivities, social reassurances or other psychological content.  Agency may be found in the linear layout of the exhibition space, generating opportunities for reflection through unpretentious objects that invite relation, contemplation, appreciation, inspiration…or nothing at all.

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"String Room"<br>Maria Chávez
to May 6

"String Room"
Maria Chávez

Many fixed sound installations confine the audience and bind performer/sound artist into static points within a contained room. In "String Room", grand piano strings are tensioned from ceiling to floor, each aligned differently throughout the gallery. These configured strings allow the viewer to pluck the strings as they walk around the space. The room becomes an activated place where a viewer interacts with the instrument and depending on the number of participants at any given time, the room can become vibrant cacophony or a minimal soundscape.

"String Room" will have dedicated time periods throughout the installation that will allow all artists and performers from the Austin, Texas area to sign up and have personal time to perform within the installation. For a performer/composer, this installation may force them to take into account the many varied perspectives that one may hear in their works, transforming their creative process from composing sounds that emit towards a body of people, into an all encompassing approach that physically engages the entire social and political aspects, becoming equal bodies in a performance space.

About Maria Chávez:

Born in Lima, Peru and based in NYC, Maria Chávez is best known as an abstract turntablist, sound artist, and DJ. Accidents, coincidence, and failures are themes that unite her sound sculptures, installations and other works with her improvised solo turntable performance practice. Maria was thought to be deaf until the age of three when her family came to Austin, Texas and doctors at the University of Texas removed the water from her ears allowing her to hear her first sounds.
She was chosen to be a composer fellow with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy, is currently a research fellow with the Sound Practice Research Department of Goldsmith’s University of London until fall of 2017 and will be an arts fellow with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2017. Her work is published and is featured at art museums, festivals and on radio world-wide including previously at MoMA, MoMA PS1, the Villa Romana Festival (Italy), and Museo Centre de Carmen (Valencia, Spain). She was an artist in residence with CEC Artslink Back Apartment Residency in St. Petersburg, Russia, has presented sound installation/ performance works for the JUDD Foundation (Marfa, Texas) and will present a new radio sonic art piece for Every Time a Ear di Soun as part of DOCUMENTA 14 in Kassel, Germany this year.

Opening Reception @ DEMO Gallery: Saturday, April 8th, 7-11pm
Solo Turntable Performance @ DEMO Gallery: Wednesday, April 12th, 8pm
DJ Set @ Al Volta's Midnight Bar, 315 E 17th St: Saturday, April 15th, 1am
The Language of Chance workshop (Ages 12-17): Sunday, April 16th, 3-6pm

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"textscape"<br>Susan Scafati and Sean Ripple
to Mar 4

Susan Scafati and Sean Ripple

"textscape" is a meditation on constructed worlds, communication and connection through the gesture of text messaging. Combining old and new photo- graphic processes, Scafati creates a multitude of iterations of the ubiquitous smart- phone textbox, extensively layering and enlarging its form from its familiar handheld 1-2 inch size to up to 7-feet. This play on scale shifts its physical relationship to the human form and suggests a metaphor for a greater psychological impact on human experience.    

Scafati’s artwork takes the form of large-scale archival pigment scrolls comprised of multi-layered cyanotypes and photograms, site-specific acrylic installations, a high- grade mesh banner, jumpsuits, and photocopies. As part of this project, Scafati com- missioned the artist Sean Ripple to create his own original interactive, performance- based works that engage some of the exhibition objects — activating their life beyond the gallery space and further drawing metaphors about public and private, presence and absence, and real and virtual.  

Contact Sean Ripple at 512-699-8168 to discuss his artworks for the exhibition. 

Susan Scafati is an American contemporary artist whose abstract, conceptual artwork of the past decade has been focused on the ways in which individual versus collective identities, per- sonal versus cultural mythologies, are constructed. Subjects that have provided a framework for these interests include personal archives, domestic spaces, bullfights, nuns, robot competitions, football, fishermen, and ant colonies. Across these bodies of work, she contemplates the iconography and materiality that contribute to the way meaning is organized and its impact on human experience. She has created her artwork abroad in Italy, France, China, Japan, and Aus- tralia, as well as in the United States. 

Sean Ripple is a content provider, exhibitor, and curator based in Austin, TX. He has exhibited in Austin almost exclusively since 2003 and relies heavily on social media and the Internet to create intuitive, highly impulsive, and discursive works which are modest in scale. Ripple seeks to merely suggest what it is that he wants to convey to an audience, similar to how an impres- sionist might represent a cathedral as a ghostly figment of their own perception. The texts he uses to help identify the conceptual underpinnings of his artworks are often densely awkward and burdensome. He believes his approach to be one in which a deep sense of confusion in an age of rapid, technologically-induced destabilization across all sectors and aspects of culture is given a dedicated voice. 

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