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L’esprit de l’escalier

An exhibition featuring works by members of the DiverseWorks Artist Board

L’esprit de l’escalier, a French pun translated idiomatically as “staircase wit,” refers to the inevitable situation of finding oneself thinking of the perfect comeback to an argument too late. The retort, when removed from the context of its original instigation, has a tendency to lose its potency leading to incidences of regret and remorse. Through a wide variety of artistic strategies, the DiverseWorks Artist Board grapples with how words, events, or objects become dislocated or removed from their original context. The title provides the artists with a loose framework for the creation of new work (or the re-presentation of existing work) for this exhibition which includes objects, text-works, moving image pieces, and a series of performative and literary events.

Artist Board members included in this exhibition are Lucinda Cobley, Sasha Dela, Lydia Hance, Trenton Doyle Hancock, John Harvey, Maria Cristina Jadick, Courtney D. Jones, Eric Leshinsky, Gabriel Martinez, Lynne McCabe, Katrina Moorhead, Gene Morgan, Mari Omori, Otabenga Jones & Associates (Jamal Cyrus and Robert A. Pruitt), Aaron Parazette, Leslie Scates, Hélène Schlumberger, Kellye Sanford, Kelly Sears, and Damon Smith, along with collaborators Nick Hennies, Sandy Ewen, Zach Moser, jhon r. stronks, and June Woest.

Highlights include:

  • Opening night performance by Lynne McCabe: a live remembering and rewriting of a feminist performative history
  • An exterior wheat paste mural created by Otabenga Jones & Associates (Jamal Cyrus and Robert A. Pruitt) juxtaposing a police car with Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk
  • An interactive zine-making station by Gene Morgan
  • A series of alabaster objects from Trenton Doyle Hancock’s personal collection adorned with phrases about life, love, and happiness
  • The re-presentation of Katrina Moorhead’s sculptural piece, Donald Judd Box Used As A Shelf for An Adidas Box, 2006
  • A new wall painting by Aaron Parazette

Related DWOW (DiverseWorks on Wednesdays) Events, 6 – 8pm:

  • July 3: Shrimp Boil with Eric Leshinsky and Zach Moser of Shrimp Boat Projects
  • July 10: A long distance conversation between Hélène Schlumberger and Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin of San Francisco’s Stairwell’sa curatorial project including a series of temporary exhibitions staged out of traditional gallery spaces and in transitional spaces like stairwells
  • July 17: Sound performance by Damon Smith with Nick Hennies and Sandy Ewen
  • July 24: Strategic Wanderlust, improvisational simultaneous solo performances by Leslie Scates and jhon r. stronks
  • July 31: Solo performance by Courtney D. Jones, choreographed by Lydia Hance, with video and music by Mark Hirsch
  • August 7: Foodie event with John Harvey
  • August 14: A reprise of Strategic Wanderlust
On View:

June 29 – August 17, 2013

Opening Reception:

Friday, June 28
7 – 9 pm




4102 Fannin St, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77004