Using Old Photos, Knickknacks and Other Found Objects, Artist Transforms Gallery Into Space 'to Remember'

Terry St. John
Using Old Photos, Knickknacks and Other Found Objects, Artist Transforms Gallery Into Space 'to Remember'

Viktor Givens at The Collective

“I’M INTERESTED IN the things left behind,” explains found-object and performance-based installation artist Viktor Givens, whose lovingly crafted installation Coffee/Kool Aid and the Tabernacle of (Re)Memory is on view through April 23 at Community Artists’ Collective.


Using the eye of an artist, Givens has meticulously filled the space with objects he has recovered over the years from vacant and abandoned African American residential estates. While one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, Givens isn’t attempting to monetize what might otherwise have ended up in a landfill, but instead construct a sacred space for mediation, self-examination and community gathering. “I bring those objects into spaces to invite audiences to remember,” says Givens.

The show’s title is both humorous and complex, with both “Coffee” (a morning pick-me-up) and “Kool Aid” (an afternoon sugar high) referencing points in time, objects of memory and cultural ways of making, be it food, clothing or art, and complimenting the Biblical concept of the tabernacle as a movable place of worship. “The tabernacle is not meant to restage trauma,” says Givens. “It is there to say, these are the divine objects that were left behind. Let’s piece them together, because there’s a puzzle here!”

Born in Austin but raised in Houston, Givens began taking art classes with CAC Executive Director Michelle Barnes when he was just a toddler. Now a seasoned artist, showing his work at CAC has been an emotional experience. “It fills me every time I step in the space,” says Givens. “It’s a very human space, so I appreciate that, because the art is about humans.” Having recently returned to Houston after 17 years of traveling and going to graduate school, Givens is grateful to be back home. “It just feels good on the skin and in the soul space,” says Givens.

Throughout March and April, Givens will host a series of workshops connected to the exhibit and its themes of memory and conservation, including an intergenerational dialogue on preservation, a flash-fiction writing session using vintage photographs of agrarian black life for inspiration, and a demonstration of canning and food preservation. A full schedule is available on The Community Artists’ Collective’s Instagram.

Coffee Kool Aid installation

Coffee Kool Aid installation

Art + Entertainment
Pelican Builders Welcome Residents To First New Upper Kirby Condo Offering In Years;
Boutique Midrise Adds To Pedestrian Appeal Of Sought-After, Inner Loop Neighborhood

WITH ITS INAUGURAL set of residents newly moved in, Pelican Builders’ mid-rise condominium Westmore at 2323 W Main Street in Upper Kirby is already seeing the blossoming of a tight-knit community. Designed by Houston-based Mirador Group the Westmore is the first new condominium product to be introduced to the in-demand, inner loop neighborhood in more than three years. And with remaining two-bedroom homes starting at $895,000, it’s a remarkable value for this increasingly pricey area, where condos can easily climb to several million dollars and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Home + Real Estate

Kristy Bradshaw, Phoebe Tudor and Stephanie Tsuru

UNDER TWINKLING CHANDELIERS, in a decked-out Wortham Grand Foyer made to recall the royal ballrooms of the Old World, some 500 guests gathered for the white-tie Ballet Ball of 2024, which raised $1.6 million.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties

THIS WEEKEND MAY have been chilly, but one Friday-night bash brought the heat: Reagan and Alex Bregman welcomed a handful of VIPs to the launch party for their new southwest food brand, Wild Sol.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties