new Northside digs, "Double Action Reversible" is the most mysterious best-bet on the table for Houston's fall arts calendar. Purportedly, this is the kind of collaboration (hence the 'Double' in the title) in which both artists are pulling out the stops. But there's been no early walk-through, no vernissage, and very little in the way of advance imagery.
What there have been are reports of unsupervised chemistry labs ablaze in the countryside, billowing clouds of noxious fumes, panic in the streets, and heated tempers, but isn't that just like any block in Houston after sundown? Back to the show itself, each of the artists approaches art with a wilderness-tested ethic, less white cube and more black hell. Both work on any number of media in the way of most natural and industrial processes. There's something scratchy and uncontainable in the spotlight here.
As seen in previous exhibitions at Gallery Homeland, Civic TV, Self Actualization, and Lawndale Art Center, where he was a 2012-2013 artist-in-residence, Domokos' work has a striking graphic quality. His posters advertise a world hitherto unseen, jumbled in glossolalia and strange romance. His installations perambulate rusty sex robot dungeons of the future. His art reeks of cryptic intentions, interdimensional portals, new pleasures, alternate endings, and, fundamentally, escape.
Coming from the petrified dream deserts of Southern California, Ciriza brings a lot of high-proof early medicine to the lab. Whereas Domokos' work is often as elusive as it is stark, Ciriza contributes visceral, tactile elements to the show. She works sculpturally with hair, with fabrics, with rubber, plastics, crystals, and metamorphic processes, deforming and reforming the material essence of materials. Some art deals with stasis, some with hesitation, some with the endless work of archiving and footnoting the art that preceded it, and some art reckons on change and transformation. Ciriza's work as an artist, film maker, performer, a musician, and as a doula, connects fiercely and closely to the idea of becoming, in the most palpable, existential sense.
Both artists recall the ritualistic performances of the Viennese Aktionists (hence the 'Action' in the title). Both have a penchant for the occult, fetishes (in both the anthropological and erotic sense of the term), the outre, and the root chakra locale of the mind-body map.
As to 'Reversible", nothing is truly reversible, not even a rain coat.
The first show in Civic TV's new,