Elizabeth Rhodes
No Comments

The Hidden Agenda: Underground Houston

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

This week in Houston brings another batch of can’t-miss events, including the reopening of the expansive Buffalo Bayou Cistern, a public art installation of gigantic illuminated bunnies in downtown, a screening of Mark Flood’s Art Fair Fever at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and a unique projection-based art and film event at the Menil Collection.




Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern Reopens

Starting on Friday, the cathedral-like Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern (105 Sabine) will reopen to the public for small group tours. The underground reservoir, constructed in 1926 and all but forgotten until 2024, is hauntingly beautiful and tickets for the first few days of tours are already scarce. Tickets are required and tours take place Thursdays through Sundays, although tours are free on Thursdays so only reservations are needed.


Amanda Parer: Intrude at 1600 Smith

Get ready for some enormous inflatable bunnies to take over downtown this week with artist Amanda Parer‘s installation, Intrude. Parer’s installation aims to highlight the ecologically destructive “elephant in the room” that rabbits have become in her home country of Australia, a contradiction to their cute, cuddly appearance. As part of an international public art tour that includes nearly 20 cities, Parer’s display of six massive illuminated bunnies — two of which are a whopping 23 feet tall — will be on view at 1600 Smith from May 9 to 14.


Wednesday, May 11


SPOT Magazine Release at TOMO Mags

Visit TOMO Mags storefront (1206 Hawthorne) from 6 to 8 pm for the latest release of Houston Center for Photography‘s longtime magazine, SPOT. The release will be an expanded version of the biannual publication in celebration of HCP’s 35th anniversary and the issue lends varying perspectives on photography, photography curation, the future accessibility of the photographic archive and the future of the medium.


Thursday, May 12


Screening and Discussion: Mark Flood’s Art Fair Fever at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

As part of the programming for Mark Flood: Gratest Hits, come out to the screening of Art Fair Fever, Flood’s critical and satirical look at the contemporary art world and the cultural implications of art as a commodity. Following the screening, which starts at 6:30 pm, CAMH director Bill Arning will discuss the film and art fair politics with David Breslin, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation chief curator at the Menil Drawing Institute.


Opening Reception — Oscar Muñoz: El Coleccionista at Sicardi Gallery

With El Coleccionista, Colombian-born artist Oscar Muñoz illustrates a character who is a preparator of images, one who selects and arranges an apparently unending archive of photographs. The seemingly deliberate selection process reflects the unique ways in which we develop our own perspectives through the collection and arrangement of stories, images, memories, individuals, texts and images. The opening reception runs from 6 to 8 pm at Sicardi Gallery (1506 West Alabama) and the exhibition runs through June 9.


Prince Music & Adult Groove Skate Night at Dairy Ashford Roller Rink

From 8 to 10:30 pm, the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink (1820 S. Dairy Ashford) is hosting a Prince-themed skate night, so don’t miss your chance to wear purple and dance (skate-dance?) the night away in celebration of the legendary artist. Admission is $3 and skate rentals are $3, too.


Friday, May 13

Opening Reception — STOW, HCP Fellowships, and 2024 Collaborations at Houston Center for Photography

Visit Houston Center for Photography from 6:30 to 8 pm for the opening reception for four exhibitions, including STOW by Dornith Doherty, In The Pipeline’s Path by Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship recipient Eric Kayne, and Self Untitled by HCP Fellowship recipient Samantha Geballe, as well as a collaborative exhibition by HCP’s high school outreach program participants. The exhibitions also feature artist talks on Saturday at 6 pm.


Saturday, May 14


BYOB: Bring Your Own Beamer at Menil Collection

The Menil Collection and Aurora Picture Show are co-hosting the third annual BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event at the Menil campus. The event brings together a new wave of filmmakers and videographers aiming their beamers (projectors) at the museum’s exterior, creating a free-form display composed of an array of media types. Admission is free and the event runs from 8 to 10 pm.


Empty BOX: Magic 8 Ball at BOX 13 ArtSpace

From 7 to 10 pm, celebrate at BOX 13’s annual exhibition and fundraiser, the Empty BOX. To celebrate the 8th annual event, the “Magic 8 Ball” will be filled with kitschy mysticism abounds with magicians and fortune tellers, as well as a silent auction that closes at 9:30 pm. Tickets to the event are available online and seats start at $100.