All posts tagged: Matt Austin

Attempts, Impulses and Talking With Fear, Revisited

  Forward motion is ineluctable. It is something that most of us accept as a part of life. Art-minded individuals tend to be particularly sensitive to this intrinsic vanward impulse, which makes the occasional chance to stop and reflect something to be appreciated. Almost two years after our initial interview about the series Talking With Fear About Dying Tomorrow, Matt Austin and I once again found ourselves in conversation about the photographic fragments of his travels several summers ago. Only this time around a selection of photos have been pulled from the series and placed within the context of  Everyday Always Trying, the inaugural exhibition of The Coat Check at David Weinberg Photography. Revisiting the past isn’t always easy or even desired, but we tried it anyway–perhaps channeling the ideas at the heart of the exhibition. Over drinks on a  warm fall evening, I got the opportunity to ask Matt about the different definitions of impulsive, the value in our attempts and who to call if you’re looking for a good time in Fargo. Tempestt …

The Artist’s Responsibility

Let me ask you this: What is an artist’s responsibility? Should they take the ideas that shape contemporary society and translate them into a visual language? Are they the ones who bear the weight of our cultural legacy? Is their purpose to leave the world in a more beautiful state than it was in when they entered it? Are they meant to teach us about our world, about ourselves and about each other? Or are they only responsible for the manifestation of their own ideas, whether they speak to a greater social context or a more individual one? Could it be a combination of several of these things? Whether it is intentional or not, we often impose a series of expectations on artists and the art that we see and how it should function in the world. We then make decisions on whether or not the work lives up to those expectations. Taking this into consideration I decided to ask several artists to share their thoughts on what expectations they have set for themselves by …

Talking With Fear About Dying Tomorrow: A Conversation with Matt Austin, Pt. 1

My first encounter with photographer Matt Austin was over two years ago during my time as a student in a photography class where he was the teacher’s assistant.   Since the days of me trying to catch sneak peeks of his work in the photo labs at Columbia College, his work has evolved into something that is less about the photo as a static object and more about how photography functions as a tool within something larger–his life experiences and the experiences of those around him. What we can gain from his practice is not only an appreciation for the moments in life that we often take for granted, but also the opportunity to tap into our own uncertainties and fears of meaningful interactions with unfamiliar people and places through his treks across cities, countries and seas.  His most recent work invites you to tag along as he creates a biography in motion.  In light of his solo exhibition, Talking With Fear About Dying Tomorrow, which opens on March 4, 2011 at Johalla Projects, I …