If you like your costumed revelry served with a side of conceptual enlightenment, look no further than this multipurpose pre-Halloween gathering at Presa House.
Presently in the midst of its third anniversary celebration, the quaint-but-mighty Southtown staple looks as if it’s been invaded by madcap tinkerers who were left to their own wild devices in an unsuspecting garage or storage unit. And that might not be far from the case.
One half of the curatorial collective Los Outsiders, Austin-based artists Robert Jackson Harrington and Hector Hernandez’s collaborative exhibition “Useless Systems” puts an abstract spin on utilitarian objects — suitcases, brooms, tie-downs and shop lights become sculptural elements in humorous installations one might attribute to a stoner offshoot of the Dada movement. On the walls, Hernandez’s slick, stylized photographs depict fashionably dressed characters interacting with similar props seemingly Frankensteined together from the aisles of Home Depot.
Tucked into a small room in the back of the gallery, San Antonio artist Ruben Luna (brother of Presa House Director Rigoberto Luna) conjures nostalgic spirits with “Gacho Style,” a moody installation that showcases Luna’s amusing fusion of text and familiar objects while bringing to mind the eclectic, Tex-Mex vignettes of the bygone haunt Saluté and Bar America in its gritty prime.
Doubling as a birthday celebration for Rigoberto Luna, the closing reception kicks off with a discussion between Harrington and Hernandez moderated by esteemed local artist and educator Hector Garza and continues into the witching hour with costumed antics set to live music by psych/fusion rockers Snowbyrd and beats by DJ El Gato Scott.
Free, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, Presa House Gallery, 725 S. Presa St.