Installation shot of Bruc Fugue by Megan and Murray McMillanOn the threshold of Sound Space in Laredo, the two large pod sculptures illuminated within diaphonous plastic are softly breathtaking. The couple in collaboration, Megan and Murray McMillan, staged a performance and installation in propinquity with a video made during their Spring 2006 residency at Can Serrat in Barcelona. [Coincidentally, I recently returned from a writer in residency at the same 17th Century stone farmhouse].

The repetitive sounds of synchronized tap dancing inside a revitalized wine cellar add a lovely note of harmony to the entire installation. In keeping with the theme of their titled intentions, the couple choreographed a group of actors to speak in contrapuntal intervals between alternating loops of the video.

The large, plastic cocoon sculptures left interstices for the actors to sit comfortably inside the strange structures while feigning to read the local news. During their intermittent vocal performances, they would speak simultaneously in repetitive Spanish sentences. The only desideratum was amplification of the voices to balance the acoustics. With all the background echo and chatter, it was difficult to discern what was being conveyed through these perfunctory vociferations. Still, the structures themselves seemed like shrink-wrapped biospheres from a future where poverty reinvents housing from discarded materials similar to Central Park during the Great Depression. In this futuristic Hooverville, blurred inhabitants live pell mell between sheets of cob-webbed plywood and disassembled car doors. These pods are anything but airtight, as we can see feet sticking out and hear newspapers rustling behind the thick plastic, soft shelled sculptures. The artists leave thoughtful details like peepholes in the plastic so that you can see inside but the characters are still obscured. The notion of lives lived in proximity yet parallel makes the entire show resonate with a slight tension reconciling solitude with loneliness.

Sound Space continuously brings talented, young artists to the cusp of Texas/Mexico border and this show reinforces their importance in the South Texas art scene. Eduardo Garcia’s curatorial insight is making Laredo a bright light on the artistic horizon.