Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Art: Regine Basha's comments on the Austin Art scene

In a recent interview with ...might be good, Regine Basha relates the strenghts and weaknesses of the Austin art scene. She is spot on:
"I think one of Austin’s strengths is that there can be different style of cultural production here. It can be very open—an artist like Luke Savisky for example can work like a renaissance person. Luke has managed to carve out a niche for himself in a way I’ve never seen before. As a film artist, he collaborates with everyone from the Kronos Quartet to the Alamo Drafthouse—with a wide range of participants and venues from the avant-garde to the commercial. Here, projects like the recent Cult of Color : Call to Color that Arthouse is now doing with Trent Doyle Hancock and Ballet Austin can happen in a meaningful way. Unlike New York where rigid boundaries and mini-feifdoms still exist between disciplines, I think Austin—and the wide array of resources available here—make it possible for artists to work across disciplines in innovative ways.
I think one potential weakness is that the Austin art scene can very easily get caught up in its own ‘hip’ factor or its own self-congratulatory complacency. This tends to form a little bubble where your only references about art are in town or Texas-wide at best. It also focuses the discussions a lot on local gossip. To really be involved in the art—either as an artist, curator, or collector—you have to constantly inform yourself about what’s going on in the rest of the field, do the research, and find your place in it. I’m sure the local tech industry does this—the art scene should do the same. "