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"Laughter & Forgetting"

When the English translation of Czech-born French writer Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was published in 1980, The New York Times described it as brilliant, original and strange. The same could be said for visual artist/gardener/gallery owner Justin Parr and his ever-intriguing projects, which run the gamut from next week’s Hot Wells Harvest Feast (a chef-driven fundraiser uniting more than 30 Texas restaurants and bars at Lone Star Brewery) to an ambitious video installation (digitally animating thousands of photographs) commissioned for Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Known far and wide for his viral sticker shaped like a TV (broadcasting “I OWN YOU, Turn It Off!”), Parr nods mysteriously to Kundera with “Laughter & Forgetting,” a one-night-only solo show staged in a former Sunglo/Citgo gas station in Southtown. With “hail storms, calcium sulfate, crystal clusters, erased portraits, red lasers, circle dancing, sod, [the untranslatable Czech word] litost and pyramids” among its potential threads, the site-specific installation of photographs, video and crystals (plus a surprise element one might associate with golf courses) calls for guests to arrive in “comfortable shoes that can be easily removed.”

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