'Armageddon Outta Here'

Ink Tank's show stretched between an achievement of something truly artistic and an extravagantly themed party


'Armageddon Outta Here'

Co-Lab Projects, 613 Allen
Through Dec. 29

Well, we made it through, and we were able to celebrate the bright future ahead with Ink Tank's "Armageddon Outta Here." Though the exhibition was entrenched with collaborative features and supremely detailed installations, the show stretched between an achievement of something truly artistic and an extravagantly themed party.

Upon arrival, audience members were approved by Ink Tank's security team and whisked inside to a decontamination checkpoint housed in Co-Lab's outdoor gallery space. A gas mask-laden individual invited you to take a seat and (upon approval) lobbed off a chunk of your hair in order to preserve a DNA sample. You were then released to maneuver through the highly guarded compound, with gun range, food supply, and ad hoc shelter. Shooting lessons were taught on BB guns, while color bombs (papier-mâché balls full of colored dust) were lobbed at various targets. In the middle of Co-Lab's yard sat the asteroid from 2011's "Last New Year" show. The asteroid jutted ominously out of the ground and was lit to complete the effect of a recent crash. Ink Tank had converted the main gallery space into a makeshift dormitory. Bunk beds lined the walls and were decorated with personal effects from each of the contributing members. The setting was of a recent apocalypse in which the dust was just finally settling.

But the tone itself felt strained, as though creative inputs had become overwhelming, and instead of self-editing, the group pushed onward against its own deadline. The sense of panic about the world collapsing became lost in an attempt to accessorize the postapocalypse with irony and entertainment. There's nothing wrong with creating an event that the community can be involved in, and Ink Tank does so expertly; audiences were running through the Co-Lab project space, excitedly drawing attention to new facets of the exhibit that they uncovered. As an artistic force, however, the Ink Tank mission felt compromised.

Within Ink Tank's growth, it has also expanded past its original intentions. Ink Tank is fully capable of refining its mission, and I expect that whatever its identity adheres to will be innovative and insightful. It is now just a matter of embarking upon the new year with a refined sense of purpose, be it artistic or otherwise.

More Austin visual art
"Ryan Cronk: Migration Wisdom, Chalk Lines, Tracings, and Undertow"
This solo show explores new existential threats in sharp analytical prints and layered chaotic collage

Seth Orion Schwaiger, Sept. 5, 2014

"Michael Anthony García: Chimaera"
This ambitious solo show explores gender duality with the help of furniture and clothing borrowed from friends and family

Seth Orion Schwaiger, Aug. 29, 2014

More Arts Reviews
Glass Half Full Theatre's <i>Don Quixote de La Redo</i>
Glass Half Full Theatre's Don Quixote de La Redo
This imaginative spin on Cervantes tells of walls and the stories that inspire us to tear them down

T. Lynn Mikeska, Feb. 24, 2017

Dance Repertory Theatre's <i>Momentum</i>
Dance Repertory Theatre's Momentum
This program of dances informed by African American experiences and culture was highly physical and emotionally urgent

Jonelle Seitz, Feb. 24, 2017

More by Caitlin Greenwood
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
Imperialism and identity compete in Betelhem Makonnen’s solo show about a 19th century Ethiopian prince

Dec. 23, 2016

"Angelbert Metoyer: Life Machine" at the Canopy
For this Co-Lab Projects exhibit, a gallery at Canopy becomes a tomblike space for exploring religion

Nov. 27, 2015


Armageddon Outta Here, Austin visual art, Ink Tank, Co-Lab, Last New Year, Mayan apocalypse

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)