Marcus Connolly/The Paisano
Condensed Soup was presented by UTSA New Media Collective on Nov. 6 – 7 at Terminal 136. This spot, located in the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Museum, is the new home to UTSA’s off-campus gallery. Both nights of experimental installation and performance lasted from 7-10 p.m.The first hour consisted of installation and duration-based work, followed by performances lasting from 8-10 p.m.
The initial hour allowed attendees to browse the pieces. Video installations such as Laura Vasquez’s “Trapped, Cover Up, Repent and Composure” captivated guests as it brought each viewer through a range of emotions. The piece consisted of a chair facing a screen playing in a loop of graphically charged scenes and images reminiscent of the 2002 film, The Ring. Rocio Garcia’s “Cityspot” was another eye-catching piece. It projected city images through a virtual hole in the ground, peering into another community.
Performances began sharply at 8 p.m., starting with a group ensemble called Additive Movement, which featured artists clothed in all white with a projected array of beautiful colors splashing among them as they each tugged and pulled white spandex material in an ebb and flow movement to depict feelings of tension. The next performance featured Rafael Gutierrez and Daryl Smith’s “Grey Hellos.” Gutierrez describes their piece as an interactive poem with the audience.
“The message we would like to convey is one of putting yourself out in the world as a living and always transforming walking work of art,” Gutierrez said. “Using static forms of expression such as painting, drawing and sculpture layered with time-based mediums and sound, an Avant-garde movement was formed. We want to become original in an art world of mimics. The art scene here is very cultural and repetitive.”
The performance “The Human Sound #1” was amazing to witness as Roberto Celis became a human instrument. His shoes were attached to two hollow wooden boxes connected to guitar strings that extended to wrap around his wrists. He elongated his body and forearms, stretching the strings. Holding his composure, Celis allowed two others to assist him and to play music from the strings using a bow to play violin sounds as he stoically held firm. Audience members watched attentively as he used all of his strength to withhold the strain on his body.
Grizzly Ashley gave a tantalizing strip tease behind an opaque screen in a performance called “Broke Out in Love.” Dancing suggestively in the opening of his performance, Ashley uses his silhouette to give the impression that a female is dancing behind the screen until he reveals himself and shocks audience members. Condensed Soup was constructed by talented UTSA students. The hospitality, professionalism and aesthetic authenticity of the entire event left those in attendance amazed. Installations and documentation of the performances will remain in the gallery through Nov. 15. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Noon – 6 p.m.