Open 24 Hours

It's not often that raunchy, mustache-filled pornography from the 1970s is considered to be art. Sure, the filmmakers put some thought into camera location, zooming in at just the right moment, lighting certain areas, casting, and maybe even the script (if there is one). Generally, though, porn isn't something on display in reputable galleries. But Icebox Gallery and artist Dan Havel are changing that with "Open 24 Hours." The display features a series of digital prints Havel scanned entirely from an eroding, water-damaged reel of porn. The result of decades of trauma on the film is cracked and atrophied 16mm cells that give a warped, surrealist view of the sex-drenched celluloid's original content augmented by splashes of wild, vivid colors and images of the actors being absorbed by the decay. Artistically, Havel is no stranger to things X-rated; the film came from an adult theater in Houston that he used for an installation piece in 1993. "Open 24 Hours" is being shown concurrently with "20-20 Vision: 1998-2008," a retrospective show celebrating the gallery's 20th anniversary.
Jan. 19-March 6, 2008

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