Image: Spread from the book, The Dallas Pavilion
Essay within the publication, The Dallas Pavilion, ed. Jaspar Joseph-Lester & Michael Corris (Dallas: Free Museum of Dallas Press, 2013). The book is presented as a theoretical Dallas Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Cowboys on the Lido
On March 3, 2009, within The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's inimitable Tuesday Evening Lecture series, I presented a talk entitled Cowboys on the Lido. At the time I was the curator of The Art Galleries at TCU and their recently inaugurated gallery, Forth Worth Contemporary Arts. The talk was a good natured provocation to consider what a Texan pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale could mean as a socio-political gesture and what it could possibly contain. At that time next Venice Biennale would coincide with the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Texas this auspicious calendar correspondence seemed something to aspire towards.
As a Scot recently arrived in Texas, and feeling incongruous in an alien land, I was greeted daily with the bumper sticker, 'I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could.' It confirmed two things, there was a cultural gap that was unbridgeable for me, but also there was a definite, 'here’ or sense of place that Texas has and it was intoxicating...