Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994

Not all was well with "FotoFest"; rumors churned
that it wasn't happening. A reshuffling of the higher-ups at
Kodak resulted in a half-million dollar pullout of support
for "FotoFest"; another generous soul was found but with
the understanding that the event is now to be postponed until the
autumn. This left many Houston galleries that planned
photography exhibits seemingly stranded, bereft of the
anticipated international forum that touts them. In reality,
though, the hordes that tromp to the Convention Center are
generally shell-shocked after viewing 1,200 images and
usually repair to Caf6 Noche for a vodka martini instead of
Colquitt Street for oh-my-god! more photography. Instead, the
sc ton s ws had a manageable focus and besides,
:i needs a festivaLto present a good image?

ly Loftus

David Ac Xhite sessions of Spain"
t Parkin Gallery (Mar-9-Apr. 10). This is
the rorra tc, face of Spain, ohn.i exists in
spite o urism in the fantasi 1 ex-
patriots. A woman sits in her a cony
overlooking a religious procession in the
streets below, her face framed in light and
black lace. It is striking and timeless. What is
not timeless are the grainy, acidic mats
surrounding the prints. Taste in decorative
frames of course is personal. Self-destructive
housing is a no-no.
At New Gallery were "New Women in
Photography" (Mar.19-Apr.16), foremost of
whom is Israeli artist Michal Rovner.
Presented here from her 1992 series One
Person Against Nature were floating or falling
)eople inhabiting the scrambled analog field
of a television screen. Unlike familiar Gulf War
mages, these Polaroids taken directly from
CNN broadcasts become more personal
figures, hovering supine in the isolation of
digitally altered dreams. Whereas the
occupants of the Gulf War raised their arms

'iff surrender, Rovner's fig es atre rotat ,_': en, their private histories evident in the
their outstretched ar eeking m e_'t around their eyes and the number of
guidance than mercy. her artist in e sa ers in the sink. They engage you as if
show, Lys Marti s s as she 'Ps they have each held their peace until now and
Polaroids of Mapp ethorpe sti - i es; the are finally about to speak. Or they withdraw
blurred images have a shimmering, like couples who cannot communicate.
ephemeral appeal. Unfortunately that effect
Sometimes Letinsky lets you feel you may not
is lost when boxed into the flat wooden be comfortable with the story. In the less cozy
frames she has chosen with the intention of
surroundings of Lawndale's adjunct space,
presenting a Victorian parlor. She succeeds in Venus Inferred explored the machinations of
distracting the viewer from her images to the these reveries. Carefully enacted within the
wood surrounding them. And Leslie Reichek's
compositions are the polemics of sex. The
use of metallicized papers is quite compelling, gaze that evades the camera is at once self
as in the triptych Morning Thoughts and absorbed and wholly un-selfconscious,
Whispers, when the atmosphere in the
creating a dynamic that is pivotal to the work.
images justifies the device. A+ t ;+ . ..... , ..... .' 1 t

Laura Letinsky was represented at Sally
Sprout Gallery (Mar.19-Apr.16) and at
Lawndale Art and Performance Center
(Mar.28-May 7). Sally Sprout's is an intimate
space; the low ceilings and subtle curves
allowed Ms. Letinsky's images to carry on a
personal dialogue. Her subjects encounter you
in the foreground, in the bedroom, in the

mesL I s ani uneasy uaogue ere sI anll
invasive quality, evidence that nobody was
prepared for company, least of all you. The
laundry sits in a damp lump on the floor, the
dog waits to be fed, the sheets are rumpled...
-but this is the nature of relationships. Their
timing is often inopportune and it is hard to
say when they are over.

artl i e s REPORTS

Chandler, Wade & Schwab, Eric Jonah. Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth228035/. Accessed September 21, 2014.