Friday, December 19, 2008

Back in Time: AURORA (late October)

We made two trips to Houston at the end October.  The first was for the Aurora Picture Show 10th Anniversary Gala dinner, for which we completed a new single-channel piece, "Double Thunder." A few other artists were also asked to contribute new works to this celebration for a limited edition special DVD given to the guests...  interstingly, half of us were collaborating couples: Magsaman & Hillerbrand (Mary M. and Steve H.); Be Johnny (Bree Edwards and Johnny DeKam); and PBL. John Carrithers, Kara Hearn, and Eileen Maxson are the others.

a Franco Mondini-Ruiz paining occupies a special alcove space at the Fingers' new house

The "Celestial Event" took place at the recently acquired and renovated home of Martha & Richard Finger, backing up into the Buffalo Bayou... and I mean recent--the paint was practically still wet!  I know they worked incredibly hard towards completion, and it was a truly lovely setting for this special night.

Lucky us, we got to stay in the guest room at the Aurora Library! Super-awesome to have access to all of the videos there, with two built-in screening spaces. It reminded me of when I was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I'd spend my spare time in the Video Data Bank stacks watching everything that seemed remotely interesting! At Aurora I watched documentation from past Media Archeology events like TV Sheriff, Wet Gate, Paper Rad and Cory Arcangel, and single channel works of Takeshi Murata, Joel Schlemowitz, Jackie Goss, and others.

The night after the gala we had the pleasure of seeing Bill Morrision and his work at the Aurora Theater. Bill was in town working on the "Lightning at our Feet" production, in collaboration with the University of Houston Mitchell Center. Best known for his feature-length avant-garde film "Decasia," we were fortunate to see this rare collection of works he had created over the years in cooperation with various of theatrical projects.

We made our return to Houston on Halloween to present Fortune at the Aurora Picture Show Theater, and lots of people came in costume. Aurora Picture Show fickr pix. After the show, we ended up at some nondescript-on-the-outside bar, notorious as a place bosses take their secretaries for a little undercover nookie.  The upstairs was a room filled with vinyl couch-booths. Ew. We hung out downstairs in costume. Matt Coolidge was in town, and having him in the mix was the cherry on the sundae.

The next day, we tooled around Houston bit, and were pleasantly surprised to run into our friend James Craig, who had recently relocated to Houston from San Antonio to work for Deborah Colton at her new
gallery space... he eventually sent us over to the project space (where the prior incarnation of her gallery had been) and we were treated to David Adickes presidential busts-- another truly wonderful surprise! The recent hurricane had blown Beatle Paul McCartney over-- somewhat apparent in the picture above.  

here's Jay next to one of his favorite presidents

The rest of our visit passed quickly by way of brunch with cousins, meeting Meg Poissant and her dogs at her gallery space and showing her some of my video work, breakfast with our good friend Tish Stringer and her chip-off-the-old-block daughter (sharp as her mom!), dinner with Patrick Kwaitikowski and his beautiful family, and generally paying witness to hurricane damage in the physical realm and through everyone's stories.

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