Hubbard/Birchler: No Room to Answer

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, “Johnny”, 2004. High Definition Video with sound transferred to DVD. Duration: 3 min 51 secs, loop. Installation dimensions variable.©Courtesy the Artists and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Hubbard/Birchler: No Room to Answer is the first major survey in an American museum of works by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler (Season 3). The exhibition is on view from September 14, 2008 through January 4, 2009 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

No Room to Answer presents key works made by the duo since 1991. Their most recent video, Grand Paris Texas (2008) debuts with this exhibition and will become part of the Museum’s permanent collection. The video is named after The Grand, located in Paris, Texas. According the press release, the tiny East Texas town became famous by way of the German filmmaker Wim Wenders’ movie, Paris, Texas (1984). However, the “cold architecture and barren desert landscapes” in Wenders’ film’s were filmed in and around Houston, the desert area of West Texas, and Los Angeles, “reinforcing the film’s bleak theme of social isolation in America in a way that the wooded landscape of the real Paris would not.” Grand Paris Texas is a study of the physical and social space in that geographical location, which has been described as “the middle of nowhere.”

“One of the most important things for us,” Hubbard and Birchler explain, “is that we have always left the authority of reading the work up to the viewer and there’s got to be active interpretation that’s not just asked for, but is somewhat demanded.” 

Contributor
Nicole J. Caruth is managing editor of the ART21 Magazine. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications, including ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Public Art Review, and the Phaidon Press books Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2. A regular contributor to this site since 2008, she joined the ART21 staff in 2013.
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