Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler are from Ireland and Switzerland respectively, but they met while attending art school in Nova Scotia in the early 1990s. After spending most of that decade splitting time between Berlin and Basel, Switzerland, they relocated to Austin in 2000. This week, they have a show at the Modern entitled No Room to Answer that showcases their photography and short films.
In their work in both media, they’ve been heavily influenced by Hitchcock (brooding, uneasy atmosphere and mysterious narrative gaps) and David Lynch (images of decay amid wholesome middle America). Their photography sets such as Holes and Falling Down invite you to impose your own story on these fragmentary pictures.Their film Eight borrows a technique from Hitchcock’s Rope, using long takes to build tension as they move back and forth from the inside of a warm house to the outside where a little girl’s birthday party has been rained out. The exhibit also includes their celebrated 2005 film Night Shift, a series of conversations between cop partners made for broadcast on PBS, and the world premiere of their newest work Grand Paris Texas, which depicts the restoration efforts on an old movie theater while referencing Wim Wenders’ film Paris, Texas. (Hubbard and Birchler are busy; they’ve got another world premiere playing at the Liverpool Biennial later this month.) The Modern’s exhibit is a great chance for North Texans to see why these Austin transplants have captivated the art world.
No Room to Answer runs Sep 14-Jan 4 at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Admission is $4-10. Call 817-738-9215.