citysinging 2018/2019 Artist Studio Program Exhibition featuring Robert Hodge, Julia Barbosa Landois, John Pluecker

Curated by Laura August

June 21, 2019 – August 18, 2019 John M. O'Quinn Gallery

Julia Barbosa Landois, Sky Serpent, 2019. Collage, silkscreen, and paper, 21.5 x 26.5 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Exhibition

June 21 – August 18

citysinging presents a body of new work by Julia Barbosa Landois, Robert Hodge, and John Pluecker, made during their 2018-2019 Artist Studio Program residencies at Lawndale. Barbosa Landois looks to the ouroboros as it spirals into itself, to consider the sensation of fleeing climate disaster, especially in light of the recent Deer Park petrochemical fire and other (un)natural events. Hodge’s documentary and installation work describes the Blues scene of 1990s-era Houston, as its practitioners remain too-often unremembered or unrecorded. Pluecker’s poem-objects pay homage to ongoing conversations with their father about the affective geographies and lived violences buried across Houston and in family remembering. Together, their work pushes at the untold and its impossibilities and memories, the entanglement of absence with its description, and the ways this particular place holds its own songs of the unspeakable, the lost, the soon-to-be-gone. The exhibition is curated by Laura August, PhD.

About the Artist Studio Program

The nine-month Artist Studio Program supports three artists annually with an honorarium, project grant, studio space, and curatorial support, culminating with an exhibition of the artists’ new works.

About the Artists

Julia Barbosa Landois

Julia Barbosa Landois is a multidisciplinary artist who repurposes both materials and narratives to examine ecology, gender, language, and religion. Her work has been featured in museums, performance festivals, and alternative spaces in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, and she has completed residencies at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Germany), Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder (Norway), and the Santa Fe Art Institute (USA). Landois holds a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Her studio practice is enriched by her history as a math tutor, garden educator, preparator, and itinerant professor. Barbosa Landois moved to Houston in 2017, and in 2018 received a grant from the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures to co-create MantecaHTX, the nation’s first online directory for Latinx creatives.

Robert Hodge

Robert Hodge is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice explores themes of memory and commemoration. Born in Houston, Texas and raised in the City’s Third Ward district, the artist studied visual art at the Pratt Institute in New York and the Atlanta College of Art before returning to Houston. Hodge has exhibited his work in numerous national and international institutions. He has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Houston Arts Alliance and The Idea Fund. Hodge’s current projects include an album he executive produced called “Two and 1⁄2 years: A Musical Celebration to the Spirit of Juneteenth” and his traveling installation called “The Beauty Box.”

John Pluecker

John Pluecker is a language worker who writes, translates, organizes, interprets, and creates. In 2010, they co-founded the transdisciplinary collaborative Antena and in 2015 the local social justice interpreting collective Antena Houston. JP’s undisciplinary work is informed by experimental poetics, language justice, radical aesthetics/politics, and cross-border/cross-language cultural production. They have translated numerous books from the Spanish, including most recently Gore Capitalism (Semiotext(e), 2018) and Antígona González (Les Figues Press, 2016). JP’s book of poetry and image, Ford Over, was released in 2016 from Noemi Press. JP is a member of the Macondo Writing Workshop and has exhibited work at Blaffer Art Museum, the Hammer Museum, Project Row Houses, and more.

John Pluecker’s work has received additional funding
from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

About the Curator

Laura August, PhD

Laura August, PhD makes texts and exhibitions, often around shared geographic and metaphorical landscapes. Since 2016, she has been working on mud, stones, and the sounds of storms. Her projects are conversations with artists, poets, activists, loved ones, and those we have lost. In 2017, she received The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her writing in Central America. She served as critic-in-residence at the Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 2016-2018, and her writing has appeared in numerous international journals, magazines, exhibition catalogs, and artist monographs. Her curatorial projects have included work at artist-run spaces, galleries, museums, and universities in the U.S. and Central America. In 2019, her exhibitions include Mud & Blue (sites across Houston); To Look at the Sea is to become what one is (Radiator Gallery, NYC); and Mario Santizo: Quizás tu batalla sea dura (Centro Municipal de Arte, Guatemala City). She is founding director of Yvonne, a residential project space in Guatemala City, where she divides her time with Houston.

Laura August, PhD, crea textos y exposiciones que a menudo enfocan los paisajes geográficos y metafóricos que compartimos. Desde 2016 se centra en el lodo, las piedras y los sonidos del huracán, y actualmente trabaja un libro-ensayo sobre el lodo, el maíz, y la violencia histórica en las Américas. Sus proyectos son colaboraciones con artistas, poetas, activistas, seres queridos, y aquellos a quienes hemos perdido. En 2017 recibió, por sus escritos en Centroamérica, la beca para escritores de arte The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Fue crítica en residencia del Core Program en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Houston (MFAH) de 2016 a 2018, y ha publicado textos en revistas académicas y especializadas, además de catálogos de exposición y monográficos. Entre sus proyectos curatoriales destaca su trabajo con espacios regentados por artistas, galerías, museos y universidades en los Estados Unidos y Centroamérica. En 2018 fue curadora de James Dean Pruner: Tell it to the Horses (MFAH); Kevin Frank Pellecer: In Case of Natural Disaster (Harrisburg Studios); la XXI Bienal Internacional de Arte Paiz (diversos espacios en Guatemala, con Gerardo Mosquera, Maya Juracán, y Esperanza de León); y Mud & Blue (en diversos espacios de Houston). Es directora-fundadora de Yvonne, un proyecto residencial en la Ciudad de Guatemala, donde vive cuando no reside en Houston.