The 12 Most Newsworthy Art Moments of 2012 for Dallas and Fort Worth
5. Remember that Biennale?
Yeah, kinda. This was another affair where got folks all rowdy. On one side of the ring was the Dallas Contemporary and its loyal fans who believed the exercise in curatorial flexing was both necessary and meaningful. On the other side were people with questions. "So ... it's a biennale that isn't one ... and will never be repeated?" Or, "How do you say, 'biennale'?" And finally, "We aren't Venice. Who the hell are we to think we deserve, and can just put on, a biennale?"
Anytime that many artists, art collectors and art educators get flustered and all whisper-fighty, it makes me smile. So I say, fuck it: let's do another another one, just to see what happens.
4.) Michelle Rawlings Did That Show, Now When We See Her Dad Talk, We Envision Leather.
Remember when the Mayor's daughter, RISD student Michelle Rawlings, showed her collection of found and Photoshopped images -- including one of her daddy dudded up in leather?
It opened an intergalactic art portal to Shitstormville, Population: All Of Us. What some would call art schooly daddy issues, others would call Very Important and Misread. Where you stand is fully up to you -- that's how art works. But we can't ignore that it happened, because really, it did.
3. The Complete Transformation of the DMA
Dallas got a late Chanukah/Christmas/Solstice present with the January arrival of our new Eugene McDermott Director, Maxwell Anderson. And since he landed on our doorstep everything has changed. Massive grants were acquired to expand the museum's conservation department, study visitor engagement, and extend the facility's technological reach. New talent was brought in and existing positions were shifted around, maximizing the skill sets within the institution. New relationships between the museum and other countries were formed, artwork was returned, other artwork was properly identified, and finally -- at the end of the year, they announced that general admission would be free, beginning January 21. Golf claps all around, then do the wave. The DMA deserves it.
2. Hey, Is the Nasher On Fire?
Dear all that is sacred, will somebody please put Museum Tower's management in time out? When it started, we just gave them a collective side-eye, hoping that Rawlings' appointed mediator could push some policy through so those Picassos could get back on the Nasher's walls. And now? AND NOW? We're getting nonsensical press releases about missed meetings, secret agendas and buy-back policies on million-dollar condos. They've turned into that guy your best friend dated for a week, then broke up with, who -- rather than moving forward -- wants to make everyone's lives utterly miserable.
Guess what, Museum Tower? I don't want any more shockingly juvenile press releases or petty bickering. I want Terrell back.
1.) The Omni Got Hijacked
This is, hands down, my favorite thing Dallas did this year. It isn't easy to negotiate an event like this, and it's even tougher to write code for a building with programming as elaborate as the Omni's. So the fact that our video artists took the initiative to do that is flat-out remarkable. But what really gave me goosebumps was seeing thousands of curious people cluster under bridges, gather in fields or peer down from parking garages like it was Laser Floyd on the Fourth of July.
It brought worlds together and informed the city that there is more here than what lies on the surface. It gave a voice to our skyrocketing video art community. And it made a building that many of us have a complicated aesthetic relationship with a little more relatable. Even if only for one night.