John Horner: Going to MAP for the first time on Friday I found the space to be very pleasing. It was a very neat and professional exhibition with good lighting. The show had two parts, Afrikatalyst and Invisible Omniscience. Strange to the experience I found myself to be much more intrigued by the artists intent and bio then by their works.
John Horner: The piece that struck me most was International Affairs by Christian Braneon. The piece, which was a visually sparse flow chart painted on the wall, is a representation of the access to and consumption of a clean water supply in Honduras. The chart was the product of a 10 year study based on the factors of fear, economy, and disease. I liked this piece because it actually presented a real with situation where our response wasn’t just based on aesthetics. As a whole I found the show to be better after a glass of wine, allowing to the paintings to become more vibrant, and the pornographic scanning device more amusing.
Painting by William Betts: I-10 at Redd, El Paso, Texas, 7:00pm, August 23rd, 2006, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 48″
“William Betts’ series of pixilated paintings depicts low-resolution images, not unlike film stills of anonymous figures, taken from found video and footage shot by the artist. In one work, the viewer immediately recognizes an ominous character as alarming–the result of our own conditioned responses through heuristic processing. The artist engages the topic of surveillance by the transformitive act of enhancing stage or seemingly staged images into tension filled vignettes. The egoless framing of the source-video stills is stunningly neutral. The choice involned in selecting the ‘final’ image is the lone act of specific intentionalityin the entire process. Betts is a scientist, and his intent depends on experimentation that revolves around a plausible thesis. His proof–the power of randomness–is just that: a proof, scientific and neutral. Never really resolved, never really satisfied, Betts knows of the banality of evil and exploits its endless utility to a curious endgame.”
–Rebecca Weber, curator
Anden Staggs:I went to the show “Curators Incubator” at the Maryland Art Place. I liked this piece that used security cameras. For the most part I found the space to be really nice, but the location was a little weird. I was a little put off by the Friday night Power Plant Live crowd, it seems like a bad place to have a gallery.
Kyle Anger: I wasn’t particularly wowed by any of the individual pieces in the first of the two shows in the gallery. I did feel though that it was thoughtfully put together, so in the end the curator did do a decent job since the individual works were made stronger by being placed together. For instance having the installed fake cameras across from the paintings of pixelated camera screens makes a lot of sense and helps to lead the viewer from one side of the gallery to the other.
Ciaron Ussher: The show was pretty good overall. I really enjoyed the security camera paintings in the first room as well as the projected installations in the second room. The “Afrikatalyst” room was the only one that felt like it was lacking. I just couldn’t really get into the work. It didn’t hold my attention the way the work in the first two rooms did. Maybe if I was of African decent I would feel differently, but who knows.