These Are the Vistas

In the context of the Houston Art Fair, FotoFest International presents a specially curated program of projected moving image works by three acclaimed artists. Entitled These Are the Vistas, the works engage the concept of spectacle through distinct approaches. The project poses the art fair as an ideal context to critically consider spectacle and the process of looking.

About FotoFest

FotoFest International is a non-profit photographic arts and education organization based in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1983, FotoFest promotes U.S. and international engagement with artists and ideas through museum-quality photo-based art from around the world. The first FotoFest Biennial was held in 1986. It is the first and longest running photographic arts festival in the United States, and it is considered as one of the leading international photography Biennials in the world.

As an international platform for serious photographic arts exhibitions, the FotoFest Biennials and FotoFest’s year-round programming have become known for the discovery and presentation of important new work and new talent from around the world. In selecting its exhibitions and related art programs, FotoFest has a strong commitment to aesthetic quality and important social issues. FotoFest has curated and commissioned exhibitions of photo-based art from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. Its Biennial portfolio review, the Meeting Place, is considered one of the best in the world. In addition to its year-round art programming, FotoFest’s school-based learning program, Literacy Through Photography, uses photography to stimulate visual literacy, writing and analytical thinking.


Saturday, April 22 at 1pm
Sunday, April 23 at 12 noon
A.K. Burns Still from Orchid show, 2013 HD Video, 13:24 min Courtesy of the artist

A.K. Burns
Still from Orchid show, 2013
HD Video, 13:24 min
Courtesy of the artist

New York-based artist A.K. Burns video work Orchid Show (2013) documents the annual orchid show at the New York Botanic Garden. The spectacle of the flower show is compulsively captured, reproduced and glossed over by visitors and in turn by the camera shooting the video, observing the observers, and posing a critical merging of notions of nature, display and beauty.

Huda Lutfi Still from Cairo Resonances, 2013 Video, 04:00 min Courtesy of the artist

Huda Lutfi
Still from Cairo Resonances, 2013
Video, 04:00 min
Courtesy of the artist

Egyptian artist Huda Lutfi is a multi-media artist whose work was included in the FotoFest 2014 Biennial, View From Inside. Her work Cairo Resonances (2013) is a visual study of the Hotel Viennoise in downtown Cairo, a city the artist has described as “her muse.” Windows swing open and shut as the camera’s gaze enters the space and we are taken on a solemn tour of the aging space. An emotional weight is communicated, reinforced by the distant call to prayer that echoes through the space.

Tom Turner Still from Lunar Calendar – 2015 Moon Phase, 2015 Video, 04:59 min Courtesy of the artist

Tom Turner
Still from Lunar Calendar – 2015 Moon Phase, 2015
Video, 04:59 min
Courtesy of the artist

Texas artist Tom Turner’s Lunar Calendar – 2015 Moon Phase (2015) “investigates the cycling of the lunar calendar and how our perception of time changes by stretching the light spectrum. Through the use of appropriated lunar calendars this work confronts ownership of the celestial while disrupting our fixed perception of Moon.” In this way, Turner examines our relationship to time, nature, and phenomena.

Artist Biographies


A.K. Burns

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist and educator residing in Brooklyn, NY. Currently a 2016-17 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, Burns is developing a long term project—a cycle of multi-media installations that take speculative fiction as a point of departure. This work is additionally supported by a 2015 Creative Capital Foundation Visual Arts Award and the Spring 2017 Research & Development Season at the New Museum. The opening episode from this cycle of works, A Smeary Spot, debut at Participant Inc, NY in the Fall of 2015. A new iteration is installed at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in September 2016. Forthcoming—along with sculpture and video installations for future episodes—will be a series of companion publication starting with A Smeary Spot, produced with Dancing Foxes Press and an experimental sound based work pressed on vinyl titled Leave No Trace, 2016. A compulsive collaborator, Burns has initiated many co-efforts such as being a founding member of W.A.G.E (Working Artists in the Great Economy)—an artists’ advocacy group that developed W.A.G.E certification and fee calculator both launched in 2014. A.K. Burns also maintains an ongoing collaborative practice with partner Katherine Hubbard, producing performance installations, videos and sculptures exhibited at Recess, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and staging The Poetry Parade…, a series of live literary intervention at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. A.K. Burns has taught and lectured at numerous universities and colleges, including most recently, as a full-time lecturer at Hunter College Graduate Department of Art & Art History, and as a mentor in the Graduate Department at Columbia University School of Visual Art. Burns is represented by Callicoon Fine Arts and Video Data Bank.

Huda Lutfi

Born in Cairo in 1948, Huda Lutfi is both a visual artist and a cultural historian living and working in Cairo. She earned her Ph.D. in Arab Muslim cultural history from McGill University in Canada and is an associate professor of history at the American University in Cairo. Her training as a cultural historian has influenced her work as a visual artist, where she juxtaposes historical past and present, as well as traversing and fusing cultural boundaries. In her works, she references Egypt’s social, cultural, and popular artistic traditions, trying to integrate these into contemporary art practices. In her attempts to do so, she works with mixed media, using painting, text, collage, recycled photographs, found objects, assemblage, and installation. Since January 2011, a large part of Lutfi’s daily routine has been to follow the news. The works in her recent exhibition Cut and Paste—Huda Lutfi (2013), held at the Townhouse Factory Space, Cairo, reference the rich archive of images and texts she has collected since the January 25 revolution, as well as recent changes in the political context in Egypt. Lutfi’s work has been exhibited in the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and Asia. Some of her group exhibitions are Hommage à Mustapha Hasnaoui (2013), Galerie Frédéric Moisan, Paris; Terms & Conditions (2013), Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2012, U.A.E.; Frieze Art Fair 2012, New York; and What is Happening Now? (2007), Palace of the Arts, Cairo. Her recent solo shows include Huda Lutfi: Twenty Years of Art (2011), Tache Art, Cairo; Making a Man out of Him (2010), Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; and Zan’it Al-Sittat (2008), The Third Line, Dubai, U.A.E. In 2012, The Third Line published Huda’s first monograph, Huda Lutfi: A 20 Years Retrospective Catalogue.

Tom Turner

Tom Turner is interested in space between the photographic image and the memory evoked. Known for his landscape imagery, which uses color and time to abstract the scene, Turner’s subjects range from national parks to appropriations of scientific imagery of the moon. Like work by, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Welling, and Idris Khan, Turner’s lens-based work attempts to recontextualize the image through the manipulation of time and space. Turner has a background in photojournalism and has been published in, the London Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, and the NBA.