Week in Review: Running the Gamut

October 6, 2013 · Print This Article

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Thea Liberty Nichols writes about a new independent film project by Laura Stewart:

The two main protagonists of Laura Stewart’s latest film are the titular “Shooter,” motorcycle gang leader of Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Black Pistons, and Whitley, a young woman who is both his partner in crime and charity project….Shot without a script, the film uses voice-over narration to reveal the thoughts, fears and desires of Shooter and Whitley, and we experience the filmic world Stewart creates through the lense of their impressions and experiences. Although Stewart confesses that a typical days shoot would involve “having a general idea what I’d want to film,” she cultivated a collaborative relationship with her actors and actresses wherein they would agree or decline to proceed given the premise she would establish. The goal was always to produce scenes that most realistically reflected their lives, so although the relationships and events of the film are all constructed, the characters had, “the freedom to expose the parts of their lives that they want(ed to).”

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Another fantastic post from our game blogger, Paul King:

The world of Dark Souls is, as the title would suggest, dark. It’s a classic, worn down fantasy world where everything is crumbling. Your character begins in a prison for the lost and undead; your default state is one of decay. Even as you continue to a city meant for gods, all is in dangerous, ruinous disrepair.

And most of the game is spent alone. Save a few neutral, stationary characters, any sort of dialogue is non-existent. Your hero never speaks, only grunts in the heat of battle, and these stationary merchants quickly run out of new phrases, things to sell you, or purposes to exist.

But at a certain point, your character may buy (or steal) a chunk of soapstone from one of these merchants. Once you obtain the soapstone, you may use it to write, coating the floor in incandescent orange scribbles that, upon interaction, reveal their text.

During the course of Dark Souls, no fix for the broken world emerges. At times, other characters hint that the universe has descended into darkness from a former glory, and your lone hero’s quest might be the thing to restore it. But nothing you do on your journey really changes anything; felled enemies reappear upon your death and subsequent rebirth, and also upon the saving of your progress. But while your standard fantasy actions yield no change and are easily erased, the soapstone allows you to impact the game’s world in a singular, everlasting way: through writing.

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Repost on Ana Mendieta;  as her tragic end  seems so often to eclipse her narrative, I was especially excited to read more about her life:

Cuban-born and American-raised, Mendieta described her work as “earth-body” art. From 1971, when she had her first solo show while an MA student at the University of Iowa, until her death, she created a diverse collection of work that included silhouettes of her body created in mud, earth, rocks, wild flowers and leaves, performance pieces that evoked the folk and occult traditions of her native Cuba as well as her beloved Mexico and subversive self-portraits that played with notions of beauty, belonging and gender. In her performance pieces, where she sometimes used blood “as a very, powerful magical thing”, she evoked the power of female sexuality as well as the horror of male sexual violence. In her photographic self-portraits, she pressed her face against glass to distort her features or pictured herself dripping in blood or disguised as a man with glued-on facial hair.

Mendieta’s art, like her spirit, was feuled by a restlessness rooted in her exile from Cuba. Friends described her variously as “sparky”, “provocative”, “tempestuous”, “outspoken” and “fiercely ambitious.” After her death, many saw, in her often dark and ritualistic art, a foreshadowing of her fate – she once staged a performance in which visitors came upon her prone under a blood-splattered white sheet. Others claimed her as the freest of female free spirits in a male-dominated art world. The curator and scholar Irit Rogoff, her as “essentialised through an association of wild appetites and with unbounded female sexuality.” It is only now that the power of her art is finally taking precedence over the stereotypes that were thrust upon her and the darkly dramatic manner of her death.

Repost from Dezeen on curation and design, wherein 96 Curatorial Theses are propsed:

» Museums should tell the truth.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don't Already? 23" x 21" Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don’t Already?
23″ x 21″ Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

I interviewed Andreas Fischer who forever transformed my thinking about painting with the following statement (and the rest of the conversation is just as good):

Well, I think of painting as decidedly not static and that is a big reason I am interested in it.  I do think that so called fixed images are different from what we more clearly accept to be in motion.  Paintings are moving perhaps more slowly and can be understood as attempts to visualize actions in a heightened way.  Literally and chemically paint is  moving and changing over time from the moment pigment is ground, through the gesture of applying paint, to the drying; shrinking; aging and cracking that paint undergoes over time.
THE LOVE AND ROCKETS COMPANION: 30 YEARS (AND COUNTING), edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics, 2013)

THE LOVE AND ROCKETS COMPANION: 30 YEARS (AND COUNTING), edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics, 2013)

Mairead Case continued her lovely series, Maintenance this week, opening with a quote from Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ 1969 Manifesto for Maintenance Art: “The Life Instinct: unification, the eternal return, the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species, survival systems and operations, equilibrium” Case discusses books:

Here are five books I read this month, and pictures of three more. An asterisk means the book (or zine) came out less than 365 days ago. (The green polish is Selena Gomez Nicole by Opi. I don’t own the bottle but I did bonk my thumb running for the #18, and a nice lady at the library let me do a touch-up. The silver is Wet n Wild.)

+ Library Mixtape (exhibition catalogue) (John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC, 2013)*
+ Radon by Travis Fristoe and Aaron Cometbus (Salad Master, 2013)*
+ The Wayside by Julie Morstad (Drawn and Quarterly, 2012)
+ The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke (Riverhead, 2011)
+ You’re So Sexy: When You Aren’t Transmitting STDs by Isabella Rotman (self-published, 2013)*

 

The Moving Surface : An Interview with Andreas Fischer

October 3, 2013 · Print This Article

"Rehearsal Attire," slow gallery, Installation shot, 2013.

“Rehearsal Attire,” slow gallery, Installation shot, 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Grauel, courtesy of slow gallery.

This summer I visited slow gallerys’ group show, Rehearsal Attire. It was an exhibit about painting and something about what slow’s Director Paul Hopkin said has stuck to my ribs. Hopkin talked about how many Chicago painters created flat canvases, with a picture plane that stands parallel to the viewer, suggesting this predisposition might have something to do with our immediate landscape — the way we live in a flatland, on urban streets crowded with buildings. By comparison  Southwestern painters are prone to pictures with expansive skies and topographical landscapes  stretching indefinitely out. Hopkin admitted that conversations like that — about horizon lines and abstraction — led Fischer and Hopkin to organize Rehearsal Attire together. In this case, however, landscapes were not expressly present, nor limitless topographies. Rather, Fisher’s abstract paintings hung alongside Meg Duguid, Mindy Rose Schwartz and Charles Fogarty. Duguid disassembled a wall in the gallery and packed it in a suitcase. Fogarty removed a wall from his studio, on which he had painted a gingham cloth and re-situated it inside slow, beside a pile of campaign-like baseball hats that read “LUNCH”. Mindy Rose Schwartz sculpted a figure out of plaster cast with an unprimed, and partially stitched canvas face; in another work a delicate series of hoops reach off the wall at variant angles. Between the hoops’ bounds, flowers and thread weave in abstract, figurative compositions. I was drawn into these works with many questions — questions about limits, deconstruction, assembly and abstraction, questions that brought me to Andreas Fischer’s studio, where we discussed his approach to painting, and how Rehearsal Attire came about.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don't Already? 23" x 21" Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don’t Already?
23″ x 21″ Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

Caroline Picard: How do you think about horizon lines in paintings? Can you have multiple limits operating at once in the same piece?

Andreas Fischer: Things like horizon lines and spatial boundaries come from  conventions embedded in the images I have been using.  The starting points for all of my recent work are what I would call conventional everyday image types -the kinds of images that are so present that they often get taken for granted or ignored.  At the same time, though, they have a problematic status because they are completely  contested territory even though they might look stable.

On  one hand I am using various aspects of the conventional states of these images, which are socially determined. On the other hand I am  materializing a reaction by trying to reconstruct these images, which I see as an example of how any individual might react. So, yes there are definitely multiple limits and they are directed by moving changing negotiations that I see as a kind of intersection of one idea of what is social and another idea of what is individual. Painting in this sense is a kind of materialization of reception or reaction — action painting in a sense, but not as a statement — maybe more like the way an electronic instrument might monitor a changing environment.

CP: Wait — that’s exciting. How is a painting like an electronic instrument? Is it responding to you or the viewer?

AF: Well, I think of painting as decidedly not static and that is a big reason I am interested in it.  I do think that so called fixed images are different from what we more clearly accept to be in motion.  Paintings are moving perhaps more slowly and can be understood as attempts to visualize actions in a heightened way.  Literally and chemically paint is  moving and changing over time from the moment pigment is ground, through the gesture of applying paint, to the drying; shrinking; aging and cracking that paint undergoes over time.

More importantly, though, a painting is an  action or gesture that begins to happen under certain circumstances and changes as the context around it changes. Our perceptions and interpretations of paintings change as the changing chemical compounds intersect with worlds that are always trying to figure themselves out. In this sense painting is like an electronic instrument in that it is a kind of sensor and feedback system that outputs interpretable data as the world moves — the meaning of the painting (or its output) changes as the stuff around it changes.

I am interested in the act of painting as a way of thinking, sorting or  diagnosing.  Both painting and electronic instruments come into being in a sense because of what they need to be able to do with their environments.  Electronic instruments are programmed to track, calculate, and relay data based on socially developed criteria or perceived need.  Maybe we do a version of this too as individuals  and if so I think painting is likely a materialization of this kind of reflection of a larger social environment.

Andreas Fischer, A Friend Who Believes You Are Reading Her Mind Knows This By Reading Yours  21" x 19" oil, acrylic, charcoal, 2012.

Andreas Fischer, “Arrested, Out Around 9:30 ” 19″ x 17″ oil, acrylic, charcoal, cut canvas, 2012.

CP:  How do you think about the logic of a single composition? 

AF: The operating functions for composition and formal relationships for me are negotiation and process. In a sense each work is compositionally and formally its own activity. The kinds of reactions and procedures that an image seems to provoke on a given day especially as these bounce off of different patterns of thought and expectation floating around in the world vary quite a bit. This part of the operation  is not a logical progression — it is more preformative, maybe a bit like the way a player responds to the action in many kinds of sports.

CP: But in that case are you playing against yourself? Like a soccer player bouncing a ball against a concrete wall with static, physical and predictable qualities? Or do you feel like the canvas/paint/medium brush are less predictable and somehow capable of responding to you, like — say — another player on the field?

AF: I definitely experience it as the latter.  What I was thinking about was the way a body navigates and responds to various barriers and desired outcomes in real time — the spontaneous interaction of it all is so much like the act of painting for me.  Maybe the ingredients of painting are not quite like another player, but more like the entire context of the game.  So yes, the medium is not predictable for me.  If I could control it I wouldn’t paint.  Furthermore,  I suspect that I am deciding or acting and reacting coextensively with social interactions I have had or might anticipate having in the future.  I think this is where the distinction between  what is social and what is individual falls  apart in an interesting way because each of these determine the other and maybe there is not really even a distinction in the end.  Maybe we are really post-individual.

"Rehearsal Attire," slow gallery, Installation shot, 2013.

“Rehearsal Attire,” slow gallery, Installation shot, 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Graul courtesy of slow gallery.

CP: How did your recent show “Rehearsal Attire” come together?

AF: Paul Hopkin and I have been talking about doing something for a while and when we started to think seriously about what a project might look like we started trying think of way to  acknowledge conversation as a generative tool. I was making work that was in many was the product of specific conversations I was having with a few people and was very interested in a group show as a way to extend that dialogue.  I think Paul had been on that page for a while before we started working on the project.

Much of art history is really the act of watching very particular materialized conversations between a surprisingly small group of people. One could argue that the real content of much art is the function of conversation or relatively intimate social interaction. I wanted to start acknowledging my work as a set of  indexes of  lines of conversation.  I wanted to take that system  into a gallery and mix it with a different group of people  having different conversations so that one conversational context would bounce off of a few others to see how they would co-mingle and resisted each other.  There are so many amazing ways that groups or specific conversations out in the world intersect with other groups.  There is something fundamentally fascinating about a semi closed circle bumping into another semi closed circle.   That vibration, that negotiation is incredibly exciting to me and has been a huge motivator for my work over the last several years.

CP: How do you see that fitting into the more general dialogue of painting at the moment?

AF: I see a great deal of coolness of one kind or another in painting right now. I might be interacting with that characterization in the sense that, even though I kind of love much of the work I would characterize this way, I am much more interested in a state of being thoroughly tangled in the messiness of thought, struggle, material, and process.  I am probably not anything like cool in my interaction with painting.  I think I embrace a kind of sloppy affirmational complexity that has more of a diving-into-the-muck quality to it.

CP: How do you think about deconstructing frames? Is that something of interest to you in painting?

AF: I love deconstruction and the expectation that it will yield different layers of meaning. But I don’t think of my work in those terms right now. I think the negotiations that I see the work enacting are more like a struggle to bring things together. There is the familiar idea about early modernism that at a certain point painting became more opaque, more interested in its own materialism as a way of enacting skepticism toward unified illusion and its ability to function as a vehicle for certain idealisms, perhaps dangerously so. This is a way of seeing materially oriented painting as engaged in negation, criticism or the act of taking apart to an extent. Now that the idea of a unified illusionistic painting is historical and the more usual way for painting to function is through assertions of materialism over illusion, I think materially active painting has executed one critical task that maybe does not need to be rehearsed as insistently anymore meaning that materialism is a kind of free floating signifier that can attach itself to a much wider range of potential functions.  The range of possibilities for material activity has opened  up.

One of the possibilities can be a link between opacity and the act or struggle to form an image or to produce rather than take apart. Painting can be expected to  create a narrative construction relative to images we know to exist or not. For me the act that is most important is the act of framing in a sense, or getting an image to grow and take shape inside a frame, on a surface, or within a field.  In that case when we watch a painting we are watching something grow.

Andreas Fischer, "A Friend Who Believes You Are Reading Her Mind Knows This By Reading Yours"  21" x 19" oil, acrylic, charcoal, 2012

Andreas Fischer, “A Friend Who Believes You Are Reading Her Mind Knows This By Reading Yours”
21″ x 19″ oil, acrylic, charcoal, 2012

CP: One of the things I often struggle with in abstract painting is how to understand the meaning, or what is at stake in a given work. Taking what you said into account, I wonder if this idea of emergent order (is that an accurate paraphrase for “getting an image to grow and take shape inside a frame”) is at the heart of the matter. Namely, whether or not a painting succeeds and/or fails at that — whether it makes the pursuit of that order interesting, and — if you’ll allow a sentimental tone — heartbreaking (again, because it succeeds, or almost succeeds)?

AF: I totally agree with what you are suggesting at least in terms of how I would like my work to live or die.  Heartbreak could very well be a part of it all.

I like that you use the term emergent order as well.  I understand that to be a bottom up kind of growth based on a kind of exchange and growth where no one entity is in charge, is designing or directing the process or even knows what is going on, but great innovation or development takes place anyway.  I think social interaction that flows beyond individual intent or understanding (or maybe just determines it in the end), but operates none the less is totally fascinating and it might be that many kinds of paintings are symptomatic of this kind of function somehow because they happen through a group of impulses, gestures, thoughts, urges, curiosities that just move around an individual  kind of unknowingly.  There is an argument about Cezanne, for example that his supposedly individualistic innovations in paint handling are really just marks that anyone could make, which means that Cezanne is not an old fashioned modernist genius, but a kind of repository of commonality and his brilliance is really in his assertion of a shared, common, everyday kind of simple mark that anyone could make.

In the end if all of these interactions somehow reflect something valuable  then they work.  And as you suggest, maybe if this kind of thing is true then it establishes a different way for painting to function than relying on what we might have called meaning in the past.  Maybe it is not really about the question of where or even if it ends up, but a kind of empathetic struggle to move toward something.

Design & Curation Repost: “Sinister objects demand attention just as much as beneficial ones”

October 2, 2013 · Print This Article

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In the first of his monthly columns for Dezeen, V&A senior curator Kieran Long argues that today’s obsession with authorship and celebrity “leads to serious imbalances in the way we see design in the world” and calls for an overhaul of the way design is curated in the twenty-first century.

Long, who was an architecture journalist before being appointed to curate design, architecture and digital at the V&A last year, points out that museums like the V&A focus on handmade, one-off objects at the expense of the mass-produced, anonymous objects that predominate in the real world. “The museum is more or less silent on the era of extraordinary Chinese manufacturing we are living through,” he says.

Below he sets out “95 Theses” for contemporary curation, including provocative statements such as “Ugly and sinister objects demand the museum’s attention just as much as beautiful and beneficial ones do” and “Museum curators have as much in common with investigative journalists as they do with university academics”.


Every morning, on the way to my office, I pass a sign that reads: “Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” At the Victoria & Albert Museum, the building is always telling you to do something. The didactic, Victorian and Edwardian decoration asks you to pay attention to nature, to design and manufacture, to the provenance of objects, even where your food comes from. But this particular sign is deeply serious in its upper-case, gilded typeface. It can be seen only by V&A staff, and most often by the people who empty the bins in the service road at the back of the museum.

As a motivational slogan, it’s espresso-strength, but it also betrays an emphasis at the V&A on the handmade, the artisanal and the one-off that design institutions, the media and designers themselves share. An object that an artist’s or craftsperson’s hand has touched has far more chance of making it into the V&A’s collection than something mass-produced or anonymous.

In our China gallery, for very good institutional reasons, there are no contemporary, mass-produced objects. The twenty-first century is represented by artisanal glass and works of conceptual furniture design: the museum is more or less silent on the era of extraordinary Chinese manufacturing we are living through. Dezeen has a similar emphasis: while the site is catholic in its tastes, the anonymous, the mass-produced and the semi-designed are suppressed in favour of the work of a fairly coherent group of designers.

There are all sorts of pretty reasonable explanations for this. The most banal is, of course, that star designers are click bait: celebrity matters, especially in the media. On the other hand, some might argue that designers’ work is simply better than the anonymous manufactured stuff that surrounds us. It’s easier to love the milled aluminium monocoque of Jonathan Ive’s Macbook than the awkward black plastic housing of a traffic light.

The emphasis on the authored leads to serious imbalances in the way we see design in the world. In future months, I will use this column to try to broaden the conversation about what design is, to try to move beyond a myopic interest in what designers and architects do, toward understanding what their work tells us about the world we live in. The others writing here (Sam, Alexandra, Justin and Dan) are all much better at this than me: I’m looking forward to reading their work. read more

Repost: Ana Mendieta: death of an artist foretold in blood

October 1, 2013 · Print This Article

The following article about Ana Mendieta has been circulating quite a bit lately, and as such I thought I’d repost it here. Bear in mind, I’ve copied an excerpt beginning a third of the way through the original. The original begins with a long description of her devastating death out of a 34th floor window in Manhattan. As her tragic end  seems so often to eclipse her narrative, I was especially excited to read more about her life (which is where this excerpt begins): 

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

by 

published on The Observer, 

Until recently, the question asked by those feminist protesters might have been amended to “Who is Ana Mendieta?”, so unknown was her art outside the rarefied world of feminist art criticism. But, as the recent big show of her work at the Whitney Museum in New York and theimminent retrospective at the Hayward gallery in London attests, Mendieta is undergoing a reappraisal as a pioneering artist whose work, as the Hayward’s artistic director, Ralph Rugoff, notes “ranged nomadically across practices associated with body art, land art, performance, sculpture, photography and film”.

Cuban-born and American-raised, Mendieta described her work as “earth-body” art. From 1971, when she had her first solo show while an MA student at the University of Iowa, until her death, she created a diverse collection of work that included silhouettes of her body created in mud, earth, rocks, wild flowers and leaves, performance pieces that evoked the folk and occult traditions of her native Cuba as well as her beloved Mexico and subversive self-portraits that played with notions of beauty, belonging and gender. In her performance pieces, where she sometimes used blood “as a very, powerful magical thing”, she evoked the power of female sexuality as well as the horror of male sexual violence. In her photographic self-portraits, she pressed her face against glass to distort her features or pictured herself dripping in blood or disguised as a man with glued-on facial hair.

Mendieta’s art, like her spirit, was fuelled by a restlessness rooted in her exile from Cuba. Friends described her variously as “sparky”, “provocative”, “tempestuous”, “outspoken” and “fiercely ambitious.” After her death, many saw, in her often dark and ritualistic art, a foreshadowing of her fate – she once staged a performance in which visitors came upon her prone under a blood-splattered white sheet. Others claimed her as the freest of female free spirits in a male-dominated art world. The curator and scholar Irit Rogoff, her as “essentialised through an association of wild appetites and with unbounded female sexuality.” It is only now that the power of her art is finally taking precedence over the stereotypes that were thrust upon her and the darkly dramatic manner of her death.

Mendieta was born in November 1948, the second of three children to Ignacio and Raquel Mendieta, a well-off, upper-middle-class couple. Her father, a supporter of Fidel Castro, was made an assistant in the post-revolutionary ministry of state in 1959 but, disillusioned with the anti-Catholicism of the new Cuba, later became involved in organising counter-revolutionary activities. As did his two daughters, Ana and Raquelin, aged 12 and 14. Fearing for their safety, he arranged for their passage to America, in 1961 through Operation Pedro Pan, a scheme organised by a priest in Miami that allowed around 14,000 children to leave the country and enter the US under the guardianship of the Catholic church. “For Ana, it was an adventurous thing,” her sister Raquelin later remembered, “When we arrived in Miami, she kissed the ground.”

Her euphoria was short-lived. After a time in which they were given over to the care of an Iowa reform school, where beatings and confinement were common punishments for the slightest misdemeanour, the sisters were separated and spent several years being shunted from one foster home to another. Ana felt abandoned by her family and isolated from her homeland. She did not see her mother and brother again until 1966, or her father, who was jailed for disloyalty to Castro, until 1979. He died soon after arriving in America.

“You have to understand she came to America with nothing,” says Victoria. “That sense of exile was something she carried with her as well as a fierce independence of spirit. She would talk about it sometimes when she’d had a few drinks. I mean, coming from the heat and fire of Cuba to puritan Iowa would leave its mark on anyone and she had that survivor’s spirit.

“She was driven in everything she did and that made her feisty and combative as well as great and generous company.”

Mendieta began making art at the University of Iowa, where she had a decade-long affair with the artist and academic Hans Breder, perhaps her most important formative influence. It was Breder who drew her attention to the notion of cross-disciplinary practice, citing the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein and the Viennese actionists as creative touchstones as well as organising visits by contemporary avant garde artists such as Hans Haacke and Vito Acconci. read more

Week in Review: Tactile Representations

September 30, 2013 · Print This Article

Spencer Finch

The podcast! This week: Duncan and Richard talk to Spencer Finch about his current exhibition “Study for Disappearance.”

What is the color of the threshold – of that liminal space before day plunges into night? Spencer Finch attempts to answer this question through his most recent body of work created specifically for Study for Disappearance, his fourth solo exhibition at Rhona Hoffman Gallery.

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An essay by John Preus about making a table:

Quilting, a designation generally reserved for things made of fabric, is the result of surplus parts. It is not quite an assemblage or collage, although that history certainly relates to what is interesting to me about the table. An assemblage has to incorporate disparate parts, disruptions, things that were not meant to be together, a forced marriage, so to speak. Being that all of the table parts are wood, it isn’t suitable to describe it as an assemblage or a collage. And it is not marquetry, which is an image or pattern-making technique using veneers of different colors to develop a picture. Quilting takes parts of other things to make a new thing. I would venture to guess that it comes out of a utilitarian folk tradition in which materials were limited and people had to make do with what was around. That may have been true long ago, but I am sure that quilting happens now more among folks with time to kill, than among low income folks trying to save material, textiles being as inexpensive as they are.

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I put together a list of articles written about the Expo art fair spree here.

Gallery at 1001 N. Winchester, Summer 2005

Gallery at 1001 N. Winchester, Summer 2005

Britton Bertrand thinks back on 2005:

The years 2005 and 2006 were ok years for Chicago Art. It seemed to be an upswing couple of years when apartment galleries and art interest were peaking. (These things come in waves – I’d put us in a upward motion now after reaching the bottom in 2011.) The MCA was showing interesting work (a Dan Flavin Retrospective, Deb Sokolow and William J. O’Brien had 12 x 12’s), blogs were percolating with critical activity (anyone remember panel-house.com or iconoduel.org?) and this new fandangled thing called a podcast had people sitting with their bulky desktops and REALLY listening.

Good Morning! installation shot of fabric sculpture by Amanda Browder

Good Morning! installation shot of fabric sculpture by Amanda Browder

Amanda Browder says GOOD MORNING New York:

“Good Morning!” is a fabric installation that will be draped on the facade of the building located at 72 East 4th Street, NYC. All the fabric is donated by people from the neighborhood, as well the generous support from Materials for the Arts. 

read an interview with Browder about the piece here.

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More on the subject of John Preus — Thea Liberty Nichols posted an incredible essay about Preus’, who’s work she recently curated at the Experimental Sound Studio:

John Preus is an artist, musician, carpenter, woodworker, and magpie. In the long-standing tradition of Chicago artists scavenging for “trash treasure,” he lets serendipity and the thrill of the hunt guide him in sourcing discarded materials. Each new piece is a design challenge, contingent on entropy and surplus, to revive what others have cast-off or given up on. His materials offer up an infinite number of solutions which he is constantly attempting to “extract and exploit.”

Catechumen (Baptism), Ernesto Pujol, 2009 (Photo by Ernesto Pujol)

Catechumen (Baptism), Ernesto Pujol, 2009 (Photo by Ernesto Pujol)

Juliana Driever posted an artist profile about  Ernesto Pujol:

Pujol is a site-specific public performance artist and social choreographer. He has a long record of intellectual and interdisciplinary art practices which have dealt with concepts of collective and individual and collective identity, the sacred, social and political issues, and public/private space. Since the late 90′s, Pujol has also been working on public group performances, where the focus has rested with action, movement, the journey – and the central concept of the “artist-as-citizen.” Additionally, he is the founder of The Field School Project, where  young and emerging artists are individually mentored in site-specific practices.

Double Zero (Hannah Ireland & Annie Vought). "Cha cha cha changes." 2013. Video.

Double Zero (Hannah Ireland & Annie Vought). “Cha cha cha changes.” 2013. Video.

Atlanta-based Meredith Kooi writes about a photo show curated around feminism, performativity, and photography organized by the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery:

The works in the show by the artists Jill Frank, Mónika Sziládi, and duo Double Zero (Hannah Ireland and Annie Vought) examine how to make a photograph of someone, a person, a woman (perhaps) and what that means. One of the organizing principles of the show – performativity, a buzz word indeed especially since the 1990s with Judith Butler’s work on gender – finds itself in relation to photographs that draw attention to the process of their making. Alongside considerations of gender and femininity as performative gestures, the works in the show investigate the apparatus of photography and imagistic representation itself – Jill Frank’s work in particular. Adding to this work by Frank is the Untitled (Projection) series by Steffani Jemison presented in her solo exhibition, When I Turn My Head, in the upstairs gallery at Hagedorn.

Picture 1

The American Dream: The (W)holy Grail presented by 6018North, featuring work by Work by Christine Tarkowski, Jason Reblando, LaMont Hamilton, Kirsten Leenaars, Lise Haller Baggesen Ross, Vincent Tiley, Erol Scott Harris II, Macon Reed, Chicago Studio, and more. 6018North’s event with be located at 1050 W. Wilson.

Stephanie Burke’s TOP 5, baby.

Tercer Cuerpo, courtesy of the MCA

Tercer Cuerpo, courtesy of the MCA

Monica Westin posted an interview between Yolanda Cesta Cursach and Tolcachir about Tolcachir’s upcoming performance at the MCA:

 Tercer Cuerpo is partly about labor and identity, particularly the disappearance of sustainable, meaningful jobs for people. What happens to these characters, and us, when we must find meaning in our lives apart from a career or calling? The always-already obsolescence of the form of theater makes the piece of interest to representing labor in contemporary performance and medium specificity in dealing with contemporary collapses of space and time. But the company Timbre 4 is also a landmark for contemporary Argentinan art practices; their home base in the working-class Boedo neighborhood of Buenos Aires has become a hotbed and model for independent, experimental theater and performance.

Saturday closed out, as per always, with some Endless Opportunities —