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Arturo Palacios was in town and stopped by my construction project (the OPTICAL building near 11th & Studewood) to chat up the Texas Biennial in Austin. When he called, I took the precaution of writing "NO, I'M NOT GOING TO AUSTIN" on my hand, to remind myself not to promise anything.

Arturo and I met at the last Texas Biennial, which, I'm ashamed to say, was the last time I've been to Austin. I get email about Austin art events all the time; half the spaces didn't exist two years ago, so I was eager to pump Arturo for the lowdown on what the hell is going on over there.

We had a choice of spending $3.75 for a coffee at daCapo's, a few steps to the west of my building, or 65¢ at Andy's, a few steps to the east. Over free chips and salsa that were worth every penny, I heard that Austin has commercial galleries besides D Berman, that the biennial is better funded this time around (already obvious from it's slick all-color catalog), that nobody in Austin knows what to make of Volitant Gallery, either, that Okay Mountain is Camp Fig reconfigured, that Art Palace (Arturo's gallery) is in the house that used to be the Eastside Artists co-op way back two years ago. He made it sound as if a lot of interesting stuff was going on. I glanced at my hand; it had been sweating inside my work glove- the letters were faded and hard to make out. I felt myself weakening . . .

also by Bill Davenport
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