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Current Exhibitions:

Main Gallery: Antennae
Curated by Madeline Yale

April 28– June 3, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday, April 27, 6-8 pm

Featured Artists: Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand (Houston); John Sparagana (Houston/Chicago); Janet Biggs (NY); Ken Fandell (Chicago); Todd Gray (Southern California); Juliane Eirich (Munich); Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillipps (London); Matthew Noel-Tod (London); Anne Katrine Senstad (Oslo/New York); and brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez (Montreal)

John Sparagana
From the Sleeping Beauty series, 2005
In an ambitious view of where photography is headed, three-dimensional installations, video and cell phone imagery take their place among more than 25 lens-based works in the Houston Center for Photography Antennae exhibition opening April 27, 2007. The exhibition kicks off with a panel discussion on the mediated image in contemporary art at University of Houston's Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library on April 24 at 7pm.
Anne Katrine Senstad
i.a. 10.10.04
C-print and plexiglas, 30 x 40 inches

Carlos & Jason Sanchez
Janet Biggs
Deanna, Video still, 2006

The exhibition deals with issues ranging from the human pain and violence of the Iraq war to the influence of colonial missionaries on African society and architecture. Other works explore the sexuality of milk and coffee, the euphoric value of “pink” and the culture of youth and beauty. Curated by Madeline Yale, Program Director and Interim Executive Director of HCP, Antennae features work by 10 artists or collaborative teams representing an international cross-section of contemporary lens-based art.

Houston artists and partners Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand, who teach at the University of Houston, explore communication and sensuality through coffee and milk. Producing pseudo-scientific video images that suggest satellite views of weather patterns or forensic microscopic investigations, the collaborative also examines gender dualities and the construction of identity through the use of everyday objects.

Using tear sheets from fashion magazines, John Sparagana of Houston and Chicago explores and deconstructs the culture of youth and beauty. In his fragile conceptual pieces from the Sleeping Beauty series, he subverts the meaning of the original media by suggesting an act of human sabotage to create new narratives.

Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillipps borrow images from popular media, including the Houston Chronicle, to create a debate about culture, politics and art. A hybrid of photography, painting, sculpture and installation, their work presents war imagery that itself has been wrenched open and damaged to give the viewer a visceral sense of the human pain wrought by the war in Iraq and other places.

Janet Biggs’ Deanna offers a post-feminist critique on the struggle for power in relationships between the sexes, as well as the contemporary quest for youth and beauty. The video installation features spectacularly choreographed scenes performed by beautiful and youthful athletes, depicting inverted images of a synchronized swimmer.

Matthew Noel-Tod represents the future of experimental cinema and the culture of universal mobile media. His feature-length video Nausea - using text, images and music - is a journal of observations overlaid with disjointed words from the Jean-Paul Sartre existential novel of the same name. Nausea was shot using a crudely low-resolution mobile phone.

Ken Fandell questions whether time and place can actually be captured. Using the sky as his canvas, he alludes to Baroque paintings and conceptual projects to create large-scale weather images reflecting the day and night sky in an impossibly skewed time and place.

Todd Gray collages complex layers of meaning to question the role of European missions in the propagation of ideologies in Africa and the United States. Gray grew up in California and now works in Ghana. His series Missionary Positions depicts precariously supported photographic images of European architecture with exposed, rough cantilevers. On the other side of the image is a piece of taxidermy, his metaphor for a dead wild animal, forcibly contained, controlled and preserved by human influence.

Juliane Eirich’s panoptic images feature plain illuminated buildings that are rendered purposeless at night but must be lighted to protect against vandalism. The series Hale Kula, Hawaiian for “schools,” suggests the dichotomy between imagined paradise and the threat of harm.

Anne Katrine Senstad’s The Pink Project investigates the innocence and connoted euphoria associated with the color pink. Pink interacts with other colors, such as orange, in her abstract work to enhance its power.

Carlos and Jason Sanchez create large-scale staged images of psychologically vulnerable subjects. Acting as cinematographers, the artists cast and direct the construction of each narrative, sculpting eerie tableaus that evoke unrest or foul play.

Antennae is made possible thanks to generous support from Rebecca Roof and Matt Cutts, the Norwegian Consulate General, University of Houston, and Houston Wine Merchants.

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