FotoFest Focus

Bring on the Americans %26#8212;%26nbsp;and the Texans. That%26#8217;s the rallying cry of%26nbsp; Houston's FotoFest 2010, %26#8220;Contemporary U.S. Photography.%26#8221; While it may not be the biggest International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Art, it%26#8217;s perhaps the most clearly focused. It's also presciently close to home. Houston will become the epicenter of the international photo firmament for a full six weeks, March 12 through April 25, with 100-plus shows and thousands of photographers, collectors and media in attendance. We%26#8217;ll cover the highlights as they unfold in our blog. But meanwhile, here our are picks for the 10 shows we'll be checking out, starting with four organized by FotoFest. For 2010, artistic director Wendy Watriss has tapped three independent curators (including former MFAH curator Gilbert Vicario, who returns from his post at the Des Moines Art Center to organize "Medianation: Performing for the Screen") plus an entire curatorial team from Los Angeles County Museum of Art's photography department (for "Assembly: Eight Emerging Photographers from Southern California"). Two of the other FotoFest-organized offerings evoke the shifting fortunes of America: "The Road to Nowhere" and "Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs." (Congress needs to catch these exhibitions.) At the participating spaces, must-sees are the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's "Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection" curated by new hire Yasufumi Nakamori; DiverseWorks' solo for Allison Hunter, who introduces a new video in her ongoing, otherworldly saga about the planet's fauna; and four top gallery views for Texans: Spacetaker founder David Brown at Darke Gallery revealing our town via a series of lenticular prints that squash the space-time continuum; Beaumont native son Keith Carter at McMurtrey Gallery with classic black-and-whites in "Shangi-La%26#8221;; Casey Williams' heroic color abstractions snapped at the Houston Ship Channel at Rudolph Projects/ArtScan Gallery; and brilliant duo Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher at McClain Gallery, cooking up another high-tech/low-tech presentation. March 12 through April 25 (participating spaces' dates may vary); complete exhibition listings,

Image: Greta Pratt%26#8217;s Christine Sweeney, 2009, in FotoFest%26#8217;s %26#8220;Road to Nowhere?%26#8221;; photo courtesy of the artist.

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