Here’s a taste of the opening weekend of Fotofest:
My favorite show was easily RE: groups – American Photographs Before 1950 from W.M. Hunt´s Collection Blind Pirate at Houston Center for Photography:
NYC dealer Bill Hunt (no relation to the Texas Hunt family) has amassed a remarkable collection of vintage photographs of groups of people, along with wonderful frames that ranged from real-deal tramp art all the way to last year’s hippest offerings from Target.
The show is worth a slow, careful visit. Call me a photograpy philistine, but this show does what I think photography does best: avoid technical wizardry and/or artiness for their own sakes, and simply hold up a mirror to ourselves and our world, weirdly and wonderfully.
Nearby, at Diverseworks, Allison Hunter had her first large-scale video installation on view in the entire main gallery:
This was a large floor screen with projected video of, alternately, koi, frogs and sea lions.
Hunter manipulated imagery of this marmot-like creature, blacking out everything but the animal and the ground immediately benath it, and adding a glowing halo that shifted direction as it scurried about.
I liked this short elephant video, placed monumentally in a dead end viewing space.
(l-r) Hunter and Ed Cooper
(l-r) Nancy Douthey and Jacinda Russell, whose two-person show opened Saturday at Texas Gallery
Fashion and jewelry designer Selven O’Keefe Jarmon
Will Steacey’s Burned Car, Los Angeles, from 2009
(l-r) and Clint Willour
Dan Havel, Flow, 2010
A scanned still from a badly damaged reel of a 1970s porn film. Use your imagination!
Chuck Ivy, Untitled Film Composite #26 (from “Repo Man”), 2009
Ivy took one-minute segments from films and condensed them to single images.
(l-r) Dan Havel and Chuy Benitez
Upstairs, Caroline Gore had her “site-specific interventions” involving photography and jewelry on view. This was also part of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) conference, going on the same weekend.
(l-r) Kelly Pike, ?, Ariane Roesch and Anderson Wrangle