We never know what to expect next from Heather Pesanti, the chief curator at the Contemporary Austin. That’s what we like.


Her eyes wander widely and her mind encompasses far more than what the average art lover can easily absorb. “The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn” sounds academic. In fact, it is a richly layered show made up of parts that stick to the soul.


Pesanti has assembled the work of 11 of today’s artists, displayed at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue (with a smaller part of the show at Laguna Gloria in West Austin). The Contemporary commissioned some of the work.


The anthropological underpinnings for the show are not overly explained. You’ll see images that remind you of the formal study of human behavior and societies, but that’s not the reason to linger. Instead, stay especially for the multiple large-scale videos.


I can’t wait to return for more. Take a look at some of the works in these photos.