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
Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Screens: Although his nickname “Fluffy” has defined him for years, stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias isn’t worried about losing... By Kiko Martínez 7/23/2014
Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

Best of SA 2012: We love food trucks. But, honestly, there are days when the restaurant-on-wheels trend feels completely out of hand. Frequently operators wheeling out new mobile eateries... 4/25/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Fotoseptiembre offerings ignite the Instituto Cultural de Mexico



Lori Nix, Library

Photo: , License: N/A

Gabriel Figueroa Flores, Torre Foliada

A sort of nostalgia is seen darkly in Absence of Being, black and white photographs taken in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles by Susan Burnstine of Chicago, now based in L.A. These cityscapes recall early works by Stieglitz and Steichen, and would appear nicely as small photogravures. Printed in the standard four-foot size of the "Mixed Metaphor" shows, they are best seen from a distance. And they are imbued with the far-away — more hazy memories of early photography than attempts to recapture a bygone era, the comparison gives way to a closer truth — recollected dream space, glimpses from the night world touched briefly before they disappear.

From Mexico City, veteran photographer Gabriel Figueroa Flores has travelled the world to capture iconic images of stone and stonework, then blended his finds. The result is the personal vision of Lugares Prometidos. Not attempting to fool the viewer, his composites expose rough edges of Photoshop cuttings, but his improbable constructs present strange symmetries, make concrete the missing edifices of legend. A ziggurat recalls Bruegel the Elder's painting of the Tower of Babel, but made balanced, complete. Mayan walls are backdrop to the ruins of an Asian (perhaps) city. Huge roosters top other towers in a fortress awaiting siege. Like the other shows in the collection, this is story-making stuff, but the viewer is compelled to provide her own words.

Slightly off to the side from the other works is Stage, images by Shen Chao-Liang of Taiwan. Taken in his home country, the photographs of stage trucks present what appears to be a portable carnival. Bizarre walls of garish lights are used as backdrops for a variety of pageantry, from corporate celebratory dinners to political rallies. They are modern progeny of the red-enameled and gilt-carved pagodas and public buildings of classic Chinese architecture, an Asian rococo. But look again, and see the wrapped bottles awaiting the crowd, and off to the side, a lone worker or two preparing the gala. Though the scene seems to present updated, electrified memories of a vanished continent, there is tension in the moment, waiting for the quickly approaching future.

On the top floor galleries two shows by Swiss artists are hung facing each other: Heimatland by young photographers Ursula Sprecher and Julian Salinas, and Commedia Dell' Arte by Christen Lichtenberg. A generation older than the duo, Lichtenberg has traveled through what was Eastern Europe to document memories of two empires: vanished Soviet rule and resurgent Catholicism. Statues of military heroes are wrapped in plastic, as if waiting removal, but in accompanying scenes a crucifix and a human body are seen also covered up. Close horizons and centered compositions recall classic paintings, reinforced by repeated depictions of altars. But parts are out of whack, pieces of the composition fit formally but have been enlarged or shrunken to conform to the plan. What appears at a glance to be celebratory is wryly critical work not bereft of the humor of trying experience.

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