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If Walls Could Talk

FotoFest's narrative shows tell the fascinating stories no one wants to hear

Also in "Analog," Chas Bowie continues his series of found domestic images that speak of the makeshift and the transient -- the places where you lived in your twenties and, well, may still inhabit. In He liked to pretend he had a double -- a copy of himself out in the world, seeing new things and telling funny jokes, an old plastic clock and a mug of pens sit on a woodenesque desk shoved up against cheap faux bois paneling. An outlet sits askew over a hole cut too big in the fake wood. A thick power cord is plugged into a gray plastic adapter that translates it into ungrounded wiring. Above is a photo of a scenic mountainscape. The lengthy titles are micro stories that tie into the sensibility of the image, but it is the image that lures the viewer into conjecturing his own narrative.

Jacinda Russell captures grubby and obsessive piles of objects, attended by an indistinct figure. An unruly mass of empty cigarette packs spills onto the floor; old newspapers fill a bathtub. The figure roots through a pile of old photographic portraits and passes through a room full of dozens of bikes. In Russell's images, the anonymous figure seems to dart furtively from one obsessively hoarded cache to another. The work conjures the provocative and unsettling feeling of an oppressive compulsion.

Kids those days: Larry Clark captures some innocent gunplay in 1960s Tulsa.
Kids those days: Larry Clark captures some innocent gunplay in 1960s Tulsa.

Details

"Tulsa"
Through April 6 at John Cleary Gallery, 2635 Colquitt, 713-524-5070.

"Discoveries of the Meeting Place"
Through April 1 at Erie City Ironworks, 1302 Nance, 713-223-5522.

"Analog"
Through April 30 in Studio One at the Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Boulevard, 713-523-9530.

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Things aren't exactly right in Anderson Wrangle's world, either. The settings are comfortably bourgeois but mysteriously tainted. A woman looks up from her desk to see a large floating pink orb. A man stands in the dark in front of a bathroom sink transformed into a fiery cauldron, his raised hands seemingly ablaze. In another image, a blanket of leaves has blown in an open door to the living room; no one seems to notice, as the illuminated TV transfixes the unseen occupants. Something is wrong in Stepford -- and Bollywood, Hollywood, Argentina and Tulsa. Something's wrong everywhere.

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