Things to Come: Country Escape vs Urban Immersion

Perhaps in 10 years or less, the artists loci featured in the Texas Biennial will not be the megapolisesesses of Dalls/Houston/San Antonio/Austin, but rather will sound like a litany of nowheres in the show catalog: Quanah, Palacios, Wied, Electric City, Mount Enterprise, Hico, Uvalde, Valentine… Artists will go on an exodus into the countryside for physical, temporal and spiritual space, as well as a fortifying dose of opposition or at least a certain amount of shock from the longtime locals.

In cities, artists and so-called art lovers are either back-pattingly accepting or snobbishly assuming. They are either real or fake, which can create a polarizing, less nuanced environment to make and think about art in. Artists live in a sea of nuances. In the country, outsiders are responded to with an impenetrable mixture of real acceptance and shunning at the same time within the same people. In cities, we perpetuate the myth of simple country folk. This is true and not true: this juxtaposition is the complex sincerity of the Uninitiated. Nuance is irristible to artists, and so we will seek to de-associate ourselves with the fast pace and small space of the city and its intellectual life. People will make their rural homes art destinations, cities will be shells.

The question is, is the country big enough?

The pasture behind my parents’ house.

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