The downtown Dallas parking storage is residence to Aurora’s cool and trippy artwork present
To reach area 3, visitors first take a ticket and enter a parking garage. You then wrap yourself up three floors to the start of the show. The fluorescent lights become a buzzing neon and instead of parked cars there are hundreds of plants and volunteers in reflective green vests instructing drivers to turn off their car lights.
Curated by the biennial Aurora Festival, this drive-through exhibit is by far the coolest art event in Dallas since the pandemic that forced social distancing and isolation. Until January 1, the parking garage at Commerce Street 11 contains large-format installations by local artists that immerse cars and their passengers in light, color and sound.
On October 1st, 2020, a driver drives through Alicia Eggert’s “The future is behind our backs” in Area 3. (Juan Figueroa / employee photographer)
The experience, which can last up to an hour, begins with a piece by Denton-based artist Alicia Eggert. It projects snippets of a larger message onto blocks of colorful streamers that visitors then drive through, making them lose touch with their surroundings. It no longer feels like a car park, but like a festive car wash. “The future comes from behind,” say the streamers.
Whatever emotion evokes, one thing is true: you’ve never seen anything like it.
Subsequent twists and turns of the ramps result in an unpredictable number of installations. The interdisciplinary artist Blake Weld put together a dryer collection in which tennis balls rumble around in the spin cycle. The musician and provocateur Francine 13 sat peacefully on an altar of the Día de Los Muertos, although at second glance it was unclear whether she was really there. Multimedia artist Tramaine Townsend sends cars through a bright red screen field with images of faces with piercing white eyes looking in different directions. There is also a light show reminiscent of a trippy electronic music concert and a film that will take you into space.
My only complaint is that it’s easy to move through the experience too quickly. Even after months of living slower, rushing through a parking garage, chasing the car in front of you, or being driven by the one behind you is instinctive. With an outstretched hand, perhaps someone could give a sign to every car: stay here, if only five minutes, look at the lights, listen to the sounds. And when it is time they could wave us forward and we would move on.
The artist Francine 13 in her piece “Sacred City Plans: ‘There are other worlds” “in Area 3 on October 1st, 2020.(Juan Figueroa / employee photographer)
The show takes place daily from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. in October and from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. in November and December in the DalPark multi-storey car park. The cost of 1600 Commerce St. tickets is $ 30 per car. Book online at dallasaurora.com