New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges his facial... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

News: The increasingly overt and bitter fight over VIA’s proposed downtown modern streetcar should have come as no surprise to anyone knowledgeable about San Antonio... By Heywood Sanders 7/23/2014
Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

News: If a petition meant to derail a $280 million streetcar project in downtown San Antonio isn’t successful... By Mark Reagan 7/23/2014
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

'Dark Matter': Keep on truckin'

Photo: Isis Madrid, License: N/A

Isis Madrid

Setting up Dark Matter

Blink, and you missed the first act of the RJP Nomadic Gallery's performance on First Friday.

The sun was setting slow and low as the eager crowd flowed through the Blue Star Complex. As art aficionados waded about the parking lot while catching sets from local bands nestled amongst the sculptures, a 40-foot-long Ryder truck rounded the bend and parked in front of the shops as unassuming patrons sipped their brews and looked at anything but that. Three white-clad men emerged and began unraveling extension cords. The back door of the truck flung open, revealing a sparse interior. As the trio en blanc began taking apart a mysterious wooden box, throwing around palettes and wielding power tools, onlookers gathered. The transformation of this truck from vehicle to gallery was very publicly underway.

The exhibition/performance, Dark Matter, was curated by Ryder Richards, Piotr Chizinski, and Jonathan Whitfill, collectively known as RJP. A comment on transparency in the art industry and a celebration of those who thanklessly labor behind the scenes, it celebrated the preparatory nature of making and displaying artwork: from sketchbook, to shipping, to the nails in the gallery wall.

San Antonio art bastion Blue Star Contemporary Art Center not only welcomed this innovative show, they supported its genesis. Director Bill FitzGibbons and LoneStar Studios-based artist collective The Lullwood Group together helped raise over $1,000 for RJP's grassroots project via Kickstarter.

The mysterious box was a mobile Gallery Kit 2.0, a design that emerged over years of trial and error, and you can build one too, if you want to. The RJP website offers its blueprint to any and all interested as well as videos of their shows if you'd like to see how it's done. The show, which borrows its name from artist/activist Gregory Sholette's book about the politics of visibility in the art world, exhibited work from six artists. There were sketches, doodles, form studies, and a video depicting artist Jordan Wayne Long shipping himself across the United States in a crate.

"[We] enacted a labor-based performance, showing the public the typically hidden aspects of art installation ... [and] showcase[d] work influenced by the very actions we just demonstrated," said Richards.

A particularly fetching piece featured a sequence of pencil marks on the wall by New York artist Paul Villinski, who used to be employed in exhibition design.

"I've always appreciated the secret infrastructure of exhibitions," he said. "Our goal in presenting artwork in exhibitions was to make our work disappear; so that it never occurred to the viewer to think about the installation of the artwork ... I love the idea of an exhibition about making exhibitions."

A second performance, Cr(e)ate, was held the following night at LoneStar Studios. Drawing hundreds of surprised viewers and posing just as many questions during the one-night stands, RJP Nomadic Gallery shines a very real light on cultural and practical dark matter in a field that often feels reserved for those of high financial standing; it was D.I.Y. culture at its best. Power to the people.

More info:

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • ‘The Other Side’ Tackles the Impossible: Writing about trauma I didn’t take any notes while reading The Other Side because by the time I paused to pick up a pencil, I was already three-quarters of the way through. And for... | 7/23/2014
  • 7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... | 7/23/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): A report in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ says that almost one percent of young pregnant women in the U.S. claim to be... | 7/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus