Cuyler Ballenger Inheritance

October 10, 2020 – January 16, 2021 Cecily E. Horton Gallery

About the Exhibition

Cuyler Ballenger’s Inheritance series is an allegory of the American opioid epidemic told in three parts. Combining documentary and experimental film techniques, Inheritance explores Ballenger’s familial lineage of addiction, merging the political with the familial.

Essay by Roberto Tejada, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor at University of Houston.


Cuyler Ballenger is filmmaker and video artist whose works incorporate elements of documentary filmmaking and contemporary visual practice. Ballenger employs fictionalized autobiography to explore themes of addiction, family, and labor. He earned his BA in Rhetoric and Film Studies from UC Berkeley, is an awardee of the 2019 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, and is currently based in Houston, TX, and Sonoma, CA.

Roberto Tejada is the author of art histories that include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (U Minnesota, 2009) and Celia Alvarez Muñoz (UCLA/CSRC; U Minnesota, 2009). His writings appear frequently in journals and exhibition catalogs, among them Images of the Spirit: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide (Aperture, 1996); Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (UCLA Hammer Museum, 2011) and Groups and Spaces in Mexico, Contemporary Art of the 90s: Licenciado Verdad (Mexico City, Ediciones MP, 2017). He is the author of poetry collections that include Full Foreground (Arizona, 2012), Exposition Park (Wesleyan 2010), Mirrors for Gold (2006), and selected poems in Spanish translation Todo en el ahora (2015), He is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing and Art History at the University of Houston.