Houstonians may be forgiven for assuming that performance/conceptual art duos are commonplace in the art world, spoiled as we are by the creative longevity of our own hometown Art Guys. Doesnt every city have such a pair? Not so, says Toby Kamps. These collaborative duos are pretty rare in art, and being in the hometown of the Art Guys made me predisposed to be interested in other collaborative duos, he says.
Kamps curated Answers to Questions: John Wood & Paul Harrison, the first U.S. museum survey of the video work of British duo John Wood and Paul Harrison, for the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston before his jump to The Menil Collection last year.
Wood and Harrison use their bodies as props in their work, creating painstaking video pieces in which they interact with everyday objects including ladders, paint, balls and rolling office chairs, to name a few. The key to what Wood and Harrison do is, they reveal the inspiration, the perspiration, and maybe even a hint of the desperation behind creative acts, says Kamps, and they do this in a simultaneously funny and deeply insightful way.
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Accompanying the exhibit is a discussion, moderated by Kamps, between the artists and the Art Guys themselves. We immediately thought of a guys-versus-lads tag-team act, when planning the show, said Kamps. This will be the first meeting between Wood and Harrison (whom the Tate Modern once called the art world equivalent of Laurel and Hardy) and the Guys (once dubbed by The New York Times as a cross between Dada, David Letterman, John Cage and the Smothers Brothers). Im just going to try to get out of the way and let these guys talk about their work, says Kamps. Opening reception 7 p.m. February 11. Artists/scholar talk 2 p.m. February 12. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250 or visit www.camh.org. Free.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through April 24, 2011