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Jeff Williams
at Artpace, San Antonio, Texas
Recommendation by Dan R. Goddard

Continuing through January 8, 2012

If a Cro-Magnon somehow obtained an architectural degree, he might come up with the crude, clunky creations of Jeff Williams. Working with non-traditional materials and eschewing the sleek lines of modernism, Williams presents proposals for a new kind of ill-conceived architecture. Reminiscent of a pancaked highway overpass, “Tension and Compression (Evans Rd. Quarry/Alamo Cement Co.)” consists of four plank-like slabs of concrete suspended horizontally over the gallery floor by threaded steel rod stilts. The bottom slab is cracked, and the concrete is expected to crumble under its own weight and collapse during the course of the exhibit.

Contrasting harshly with a gleaming grid of steel forms on which it is perched, a large chunk of fossilized plant matter is being slowly eroded by a pool mister in “Conservation Fountain (Cibolo Creek Fossil).” Photographs of rough organic forms are glomped onto metal building materials, and a high-concept video of a rotating, computer-generated skylight of flimsy, unreliable construction presents a vision of Stone Age conceptualism - or perhaps a chilling glimpse of an imminent Dark Age.

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