Meta collaborative explosion commenced on September 6th, as Muscle Nation joined seven DFW art collectives for the COLLECTIVE BARGAINING show at the beloved UT Dallas Art Barn, curated by Diane Durant and Lorraine Tady. Our MEMENTO MORI installation explores the spirit, the flesh, and the ghost of the collective body, in a piece that address the risk and the rapture of collaboration among artists. As the title translates, "remember, we all will die."

Opening Reception: Friday, September 13, 6:30-8:30
The show runs through October 5th

We're happy to be mentioned in this timely rumination about the Dallas art scene, via Glasstire. If this is indeed a zeitgeist moment, Darrell Ratcliff captures the reasons why, and has some thoughts on where this fertile scene is headed. 
We're taking the summer to recharge, travel, and have fun. Our next show will be in September, and something of a humdinger. More news over the summer...
The ephemeral history of. The lost tapes. The way we were (are). Muscle memory. Trace evidence. Limited release. Secret squirrel. The precious. The moment. The twenty-object identikit. The decoupage version. The prequel. Orion's hat. Concave dimensions. Home movies. Paper cuts. Comfort (taken). The after photo. Twelve hundred pieces.

Opening reception Saturday April 27th, 7-10pm
509 W. Davis Street, Ste. 100,  75208

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What is home? Is it a physical space, relationship, religion or community? Willie Baronet challenges us to explore these complicated questions at the latest TEDxSMU salon. Conflicted with what to do or where to look when at a stoplight and a homeless person walks up to your car? Do you make up stories about them or assume they'll use the money for drugs? Have you ever considered bartering with the homeless? Willie explains how he decided to end his discomfort at the stoplight by trading cash for homeless signs and now utilizes hundreds, if not thousands, of these signs in his work. The complicated relationship with his father and the need to resolve childhood issues lead to his fascination with "Home" and the homeless. In 1993 Willie decided to write his father a long letter about his childhood and within a few months he separately decided to start purchasing homeless signs. Willie "sees these signs as sign posts with my own internal and external struggle with 'what is home' " and it is this conflict that has fueled his successful art career. With several homeless related shows under his belt and more recently a print campaign for Goodwill, Willie continues to encourage us to love and accept others. We should all aspire to be like Willie. 

I’m looking through you, where did you go
I thought I knew you, what did I know
You don’t look different, but you have changed
I’m looking through you; you’re not the same.

-The Beatles, from the song “I’m Looking Through You,” 1965

The Horton Gallery presents I'm Looking Through You, a collection of Hillary Holsonback and Danielle Georgiou's work organized around the premise of transforming images of the self.  Danielle and Hillary have both collaborated together in the past, for this exhibition, each artist has produced a unique and individualized portrait—a visual marker on their search for identity. Holsonback’s large-scale photographs and Georgiou’s videos both uniquely echo the words sung by the Beatles. Looking through the self, incorporating pop culture references and mechanically mediated techniques, both artists explore contemporary feminine gender dynamics and the intensely personal nature of identity. 

The show highlights five pieces from each artist and runs September 6th- 29th at The Horton Gallery in NYC. 

Many thanks to John Pomara for his involvement in this show!

Horton Gallery   
504 West 22nd Street 
Parlor Level 
New York, NY 10011   
T: +1 212-243-2663

We are shocked and thrilled, thank you Dallas Observer! 

The Observer Writes:
From In Cooperation With Muscle Nation to Homecoming!, pockets of artists across the region have started joining forces as collectives. It's making everything a bit more interesting. By forming these tiny unions, artists have started turning unconventional spaces into makeshift galleries. From Muscle's takeover of the Goodyear Retread Plant, to Homecoming!'s invasion of The Trinity Railway Express line, these collectives have proven that you don't need gallery sponsorship to show your work. A little groupthink, an idea worth acting out and pals to help with the planning and execution are all that's required. While some are more temporary than others, a handful of tribes have begun putting on interactive events that infuse our viewing experience with a sense of spontaneity and immediacy, while proving that art's working class has its own message to get out. And it won't wait around for the older institutions to catch up. 

If you're interested in the Retread Plant, visit the Jim Lake Company. It's an awesome space. 

Thanks Observer/Brentney Hamilton  for this nice article!


Don't get us wrong. We love that Dallas' formal arts scene is backed by faithful supporters able to infuse the likes of George Grosz and Giuseppe Verdi into our cultural consciousness, but this ain't no Arts District kind of event. And that's a beautiful thing.

Beyond the I.M. Pei curves downtown, and subsumed within all the "world-class" posturing, Dallas is fostering an authentic and organic artistic culture of its own. It's the city's burgeoning grassroots arts scene, spearheaded by artists rather than donors, and it exists outside established tradition. Blink and you'll miss it. Find it and you'll find something aspiring toward truly "world class."

It might be silly to suggest that groups like In Cooperation With Muscle Nation -- a partnership between seven Dallas-based artists from a variety of media -- are "renegade" or "maverick-y" simply for existing outside the established understanding of Dallas art, though they might appreciate that absurdity. Truthfully, the role of the artist has from the dawn of creative expression been one of counterculture. And while we love that our named venues bring in the type of work one will find in textbooks, grassroots collectives complete the cycle.

Which is why it's worth noting that In Cooperation With Muscle Nation is back with 'N Sink: A Regenerating Light Garden, a pop-up show going down on Saturday night from 7:30 until 10:00 at 960 Dragon Street (the Goodyear Retread plant). Per the official release:

[T]he basic idea is this: plants have to find source that produces something they need (like a spring). But at every source, there is a price to be paid, and that price takes the form of a sink. Not the place where you wash your hands, but an entity that consumes something that is vital to the little baby plants (think a sink hole--a hole in the ground that water pours into).That "something" for the artists of MUSCLE NATION is light. They will be moving light sources (TVs, videos, flashlights, strobe lights, night lights, you get the drift), storing and using them...sinking them into the barren landscape of the Goodyear Retread Plant at 960 Dragon Street (special thanks to the Jim Lake Company for their space).

We live in a world of bright lights and video screens. Our "sunlight" is artificial, but it feeds our souls. Our gardens are illuminated by TV flowers, our plants are pop cultural explosions. We sink into pop to get our nutrients to live. It's simple really: we all just tune in and tune out to the lights around us.

What does it mean for eight artists -- Robin Myrick, Emily Loving, Hillary Holsonback, Danielle Georgiou, Sandi Edgar, Willie Baronet, Andy Amato and guest artist Cody Ross -- to converge upon a single spot in order to create? It becomes something more than mere simultaneous art-making. It becomes a conversation between creative exhibitionists, daring one another to move outside traditional art modes, falling into the rhythms of other fields and taking on a performative tone.

In Saturday's case, this will be catalyzed by performance art duo Slik Stockings and realized in images of "girls covered in poloroids and plastic," a "tv graveyard garden" and -- if perhaps you hadn't made the connection -- the music of N'Sync.

Why does Dallas need this? Because Dallas is a city of performances, but its productions are surreptitiousness and dishonest. We bleach our hair and make nude claws before Magic Tan spritzers so that no one remembers if we are (allegedly) a few pounds overweight and (disgracefully) fair skinned. We are all "drag" without any of its transformative power; we are "in hiding," rather than braving the truth that we might in fact be a "freak" and embracing our individuality, sexuality, intellect and emotional freedom.

Performance in the context of art is about becoming more human, not less. More personal, less homogenized. More normal in our eccentricities. It is about finding humor in the absurdity of being breathing, moving, feeling sacks of blood and bones. It's confronting the fear that we may only, truly be those soulless, spiritless sacks.

In Cooperation With Muscle Nation -- and the individual artists and arts groups forming its backbone -- is the type of forward movement, outside the established greatness of dead white men, with the potential to catapult Dallas arts into something truly "world class."