A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
March 10–12, 2013
Hours: Sunday 4pm–12am; Monday 6pm–12am; Tuesday 6pm–12am
823 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
and online at www.texasbiennial.org
Presented by the Texas Biennial
The Texas Biennial invites all to a free public performance event that will take place in Austin, Texas, and online at www.texasbiennial.org, during selected evening hours March 10–12.
The performance venue is a temporarily empty street-level space located in the heart of downtown Austin. Local participants including artists, critics, art historians, curators, arts administrators, educators, museum patrons, collectors and gallerists will read selections from the texts they find most pertinent to their understanding of contemporary art. Readings and projected video of readings by remote participants will be streamed live from www.texasbiennial.org.
Launching during SXSW—a time when Austin is focused on interactive media, film and music—the performance will stage an optimistic place for public conversation about art and art criticism. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place affirms that Austin is home to a vibrant visual arts community that sees itself as connected in many ways with those creative modes and industries, as well as with a larger contemporary art world that can still be defined in some positive terms.
The project is titled after the short story by Ernest Hemingway published in 1933. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a complex, provocative narrative about the desire and need for public spaces for conversation, set initially in a café, very late at night. The story provided the inspiration for the name that Dave Hickey gave to the art gallery he and then-wife Mary Jane Taylor co-founded in 1967, in Austin. While short-lived, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the gallery, was very influential in bringing attention to contemporary art being made in Texas. Hickey later became an art critic known for his commitment to talking about beauty, and his withering denunciations of certain aspects of the art world. Recently and famously, Hickey announced he has quit.
Join us at the venue, which will recreate some of the setting and atmosphere of the short story (though no waiter will push you out the door). Or join us online (in which case, BYOB). If you would like to participate by reading a text, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Readings of texts by Hickey are welcomed. Edits to the Wikipedia article on Hemingway’s story linked above are also encouraged.
About the Texas Biennial
The Texas Biennial is an independent survey of contemporary art in Texas, founded to create an exhibition opportunity for all artists living and working in the state. In the fall of 2013, the Biennial celebrates its fifth anniversary with a range of exhibitions and other programming at venues in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Marfa and San Antonio.
The 2013 curators of the open call group survey exhibition that is the central feature of the Biennial are Bill Arning, René Paul Barilleaux, Christian Gerstheimer, K8 Hardy, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Annette Lawrence, David Pagel, Bárbara Perea, Christina Rees, Dario Robleto, Noah Simblist, Jeremy Strick, Clint Willour and Virginia Rutledge (Curator-at-Large).
The TX★13 group survey exhibition will be presented at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, with selected performances during the run of the exhibition at CentralTrak—The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas. A Biennial commissioned artist project will be presented by Ballroom Marfa. Special anniversary exhibitions of current work by selected past Biennial artists will be hosted at Lawndale Art Center in Houston and Big Medium in Austin. Dates and other details at www.texasbiennial.org. Follow the Biennial on Facebook and Twitter.
The Texas Biennial is a program of Big Medium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art throughout Texas, funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. The Biennial is also supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts and generous contributions from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth and other private donors.
Support for A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is provided by Big Medium; PIPE Projects; T. Stacy & Associates; CapRidge Partners, LLC; Tenant Solutions; Webcore Technologies; and Titan Datacom. Web streaming support by Fine Blend. Thanks to Tito’s Handmade Vodka.