HOST is an exhibition space and program series that amplifies The Contemporary Austin’s commitment to centering artists and welcoming publics. With each exhibition cycle, an artist will create a newly commissioned environment in the HOST gallery space at The Jones Center. Programming will accompany each work. Throughout the run of each exhibition, artists will invite visitors into their worlds.
Celeste presents a new textile painting, created specifically for the space, as well as two new wall-mounted copper sculptures. The painting, intended to be viewed from left to right, portrays an abstracted landscape. The artists take inspiration from the vital history of murals in their hometown of Mexico City, including how these murals have functioned to shape public space and communicate through images. In developing the painting’s complex imagery, they observed numerous murals, paying attention to compositional devices such as the use of vignettes to organize depictions of events in space and time. While traditionally these murals presented specific scenes and conveyed moral messages, Celeste’s imagery instead accommodates innumerable interpretations. Inspired by narrative therapy, which holds that the stories we tell shape the worlds we inhabit, the artists invite visitors to tell their own stories through the work’s evocative yet open-ended images.
The exhibition is conceived as an environment that visitors may enter and activate. Complementing the exhibition will be a program of community events extending from the Jones Center to Laguna Gloria.
Inaugurating the HOST series is Celeste, an artist duo based in Mexico City formed by María Fernanda Camarena (b. Guadalajara, 1988) and Gabriel Rosas Alemán (b. Mexico City, 1983). The artists’ collaborative practice centers on explorations of archetypal images and the creation of spaces that are both physical and social. Their largescale, dyed and painted fabric installations employ a distinctive warm color palette and respond to architectural environments while incorporating abstracted images, such as extended hands and empty vessels, that speak to the personal and collective unconscious.
Artist Portrait. Photo by Juan Hernández.
Using a process they refer to as “narrative therapy,” Celeste will facilitate a conversation with area educators that will inform the creation of a collaborative textile painting.
Join us for an exploratory panel discussion at the Jones Center inspired by the artwork of exhibiting HOST space artist collective Celeste.