Austin’s Ink Tank Survives Last New Year
Ink Tank is the latest cooperative, contemporary art lab in Austin—home of DIY. Projects from the new artist collective include: Future: Diorama!, and most recently Last New Year, which will be open for private tours in February.
Curated by artist Matthew Winters, a Saint Louis transplant who attended DePaul University, Last New Year overtakes an older east Austin home with the theme: the inevitable apocalypse. Art busts through the frame of the house (literally), defacing walls and windows. Hiding out in every nook and cranny, artifacts to sleuth. The home exudes that eerie, empty and/or just bored feeling that might accompany awaiting impending doom. Imagine knowing that the end of the world was near, but wanting to stay indoors for fear of looters for days, weeks, months—one would probably resort to games of scrabble, burying time capsules, or venerating aliens. Ink Tank exceedingly explores such possibilities, and in so doing turns an entire house into a work of art.
It’s work that is intended to have a hurried, or agitated feel, perhaps likening it to outsider art, but which is constructed with care. Of course, a piece that deserves special mention, and can be viewed driving-by the house or on the street, is The Purge by Chris Whiteburch. Fantastic. TJ Lemanski’s pieces seem to represent something precious and reclusive, or ritualistic—like the intricately constructed Untitled installation in the bedroom closet, including UFOs, candles and magnifying glasses.
Qualifications aside, there is something very pleasurable in experiencing art that is completely integrated with its environment and that doesn’t require one to stand at arm’s length to admire.