For my time in Kansas City, I have created for myself a program of full emersion. I am doing my best to live, learn, read, hear and see this city inside out. From my outsider-on-the-inside position, I am looking deep down inside of Kansas City for themes currently pulsing through its contemporary art and culture scenes.
My first day at work, my boss and Charlotte Street Foundation Co-Director Kate Hackman loaned me The King of Kings County, an extraordinary novel by local author Whitney Terrell. Teenager Jack Acheson, this bookâ€™s loveable narrator, takes the reader on a vivid journey that roars through mid-century downtown Kansas City, Missouri, into the development of its expansive Kansas suburbs.Â In the mid-1950s, Alton Acheson â€” part con man, part visionary, and Jackâ€™s dad â€” begins developing Interstate 70 and building a suburban empire as the freeway exits the city amid the cornfields of Kings County, Kansas. As Alton bluffs his way into prosperity, Jack becomes an accomplice to his grand ambitions. But when greed, corruption, and organized crime combine to create an urban nightmare instead â€” abandoned buildings, ghettos, and slums â€” Jack is forced to reexamine not only his father’s legacy, but also that of his city and its community. Though fictional, this incredible story draws extensively from a sordid history of urban culture, as well as the race relations and class conflict that come with it, to examine the making of Kansas Cityâ€™s so-called American Dream, one whose contradictions continue to surface in every American place to this day.
One reason I find The King of Kings County so fascinating is that the story and Jack Acheson could be based in any city. Â Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, among others like Kansas City, have dreamed the big dreams of industrial Modernism to simultaneously magnificent and disastrous results. To me, a Midwesterner but non-native, Kansas Cityâ€™s artists and cultural organizers seem eager to seriously investigate, to look deep down inside of their hometown in their efforts to explore it inside out. (Since this is my first Bad @ Sports blog post and because they are thematically relevant, please forgive me two bitsâ€”another to come in the next paragraphsâ€”of shameless self-promotion:) With this observation in mind, I curated Have I been here before? this past November, my first exhibition for Charlotte Street Foundationâ€™s la Esquina gallery. Through images, writing, and events, this show wondered whether Kansas City â€˜placesâ€™â€”some strictly based in Kansas City, some less soâ€”could be those that make up any town. Have I been here before? set up some interesting questions for me (and I hope for the audience): Even with rigorous study and years of analysis, can one truly know a place? And furthermore, does oneâ€™s knowledge of that place color their understanding of every place?
Jill Downen, an artist who recently migrated West along Alton Achesonâ€™s I-70 from St. Louis to Kansas City, understands places by their insides. She looks deep down inside to see the architectural bones and tendons that make up a locationâ€™s structures. In many cases, those insides are sculpted, agile muscles trained to carry the weight of societies for years to come. In others, insides are aged and weak, crumbling under those same societies and the changes, like those led by Alton, they impose. For the most part, Downen recreates these insides full-scale, filling whole rooms in galleries and museums across the country with few giant sculptures. Opting for a bit more intimacy in Three-dimensional Sketchbook, the artistâ€™s first solo show in her new hometown at PLUG Projects, Downen has set up a series of small-scale models that invite viewers to look deep down inside both structures and her studio practice. With each miniature architectural ligament or joint, this installation shows just how hard Downen studies, analyzes, and tries to know a place.
(Second and final shameless self-promotion you have to forgive me for:) Composite Structures, the second show I have organized for la Esquina, features contemporary artists who meditate on the designs and architectures of Bauhaus Modernism and the International Style. This exhibition consists of two parts: Mending Fences, curated by yours truly, which showcases Midwestern artists who apply multiple layers and manipulationsâ€”some conceptual, some formalâ€”to the ideas of Modernist architects which feature prominently within the Midwestern urban landscape; and Low Accumulations, curated by Los Angeles-based curator and co-director of Actual Size L.A. Lee Foley, which includes Los Angeles-based artists who use assemblage and design to reflect a post-structural viewpoint and an urban sensibility unique to Southern California. In these paired presentations, we the curators show how artists and architects alike investigate places inside out in their efforts to know what of any given place works and what does not, what can be carried forward, and what must be left behind, cast out and/or obliterated for its failures. As the title of this show suggests, these artists rely on their own expert knowledge of the legacies of older places to create new and improved ones.
Much like Jack Acheson, Kansas City-based artist Anthony Baab reexamines the legacies of places that enjoy legendary status in art and architectural history. Baab looks inside out, on top of, from behind, and underneath the dense structures that make up any given place and its monumental systemsâ€”sculptures, buildings, cities, and so on. For his solo exhibition A Strenuous Nonbeing on view now at Grand Arts, Baab documented a number of places, extracted from them certain architectural elements which he then layers together to build/rebuild another place (a gesamtkunstwerk much like Kurt Schwittersâ€™s Merzbau) of his own volition. This presumably giant structure is as much like every place you have ever been as it is like no place you have ever been. However, the viewer never actually experiences this new structure firsthand because Baab presents it only through photographic and video documentation. With this process that only allows mediated looking, Baab illustrates that no matter how closely, critically, exhaustively one tries to look at a place, whether it be Kansas City, Los Angeles or Berlin, one can never truly know it because time, space, and humanity always render it new and unrecognizable.
Though perhaps in vein, I am willing to continue to search deep down inside Kansas City in my efforts to recognize the unrecognizable before time turns it into something else altogether.
-Jamilee Polson Lacy, Charlotte Street Curator-In-Residence
This post initiates what I hope will be a series of posts made in response to the question: â€œWhat can be done with dance?â€. The question is taken from the book, â€œHow to Do Things with Dance: Performing Change in Postwar Americaâ€ by Rebekah J Kowal. In the book Kowal suggests that the political potential of choreography to enact real societal change exists as much on the street as it does on the stage. I wonâ€™t go into too much detail about the book, as I will be posting an interview with Kowal shortly, but I would like to linger a little while on this question of doing. Following Kowalâ€™s lead I would like to consider the potential of dance as extending beyond the â€œpower of embodied actionâ€. Let us take for granted, just for now, Â this particular kind of power in bringing about experiential or social change in order to consider other aspects of dance. Like poetry, dance is a way of making graspable what might otherwise elude us. It is a way of capturing the wordless sensations that arise in the body at any given moment.
While I may be inclined, from time to time, to believe that what constitutes the world is nothing more than a series of words, names really, I am also quick to point to the pleasure of unknowable sensations or passions. This is what dance does. It gives us access and makes available that which we feel but do not know. Choreography, in this vein, is a way of working with newly acquired bodily knowledge. In this way, dance is perhaps more grounded than poetry, in that what is being expressed is rooted in the architecture of the body. This of course only leads us to more questions: What is the relationship between the architecture of the body and the space in which it moves? and in the context of my initial inquiry, how might dance help us re-imagine this relationship?
Very often, when speaking about performance, we speak of the space of the event. That rather fluid relationship between the invisible boundaries of the performance arena and the bodies that occupy it. This is the basis for many conversations concerning theater, dance, and other body-based performance practices. Conceptions of space, as they attempt to describe a kind of container, allow for the conceptualizing of bodily volumes. They allow us to speak of the mobility of bodies as it pertains to the environment in which they move. While there is certainly a value in thinking of the relationship between the body and space as one of volume to container, it is also problematic in that it most often privileges an unrealistic idealized body.
Space as it exists conceptually promotes an occupation of itself by a certain kind of body. A body that is best represented by the athletic body. While this may not be the image of interest for most performers the image of the idealized body has a particularly strong hold socially and is continually circulated through the design and conceptualization of space. Day to day routines are policed by the proportions of the spaces in which they take place. Door frames, floor tiles, counter tops, the boundaries of our movements are dictated by standardized measurements. Proportions that are more often than not disproportionate to the bodies that they contains. So internalized are these dimensions that they are manifested non-consciously in the very way that we imagine space around us. To overcome these biases and to allow for other or differently abled bodies is to reconceptualize the relationship of the body to space.
The dancing body is not immune to these prejudices but dance as a practice of acquiring new insight, new knowledge, allows us to use the body to think around our internalized prejudices. The dancing body, for example, does not occupy space so much as facilitates a collaboration between space and the body, it pushes itself against the space that envelops it and in turn that space pushes itself against the body. The body leans against the wall and the wall leans away. Weight is distributed, balanced and shared. The dance is made in collaboration with its environment. It is in this spirit of collaboration, that we begin to find the seedlings of a new way of identifying the performance space. With this dynamic relationship in mind the dancer imagines space as the limbs of another dancer, the back of a chair, the side of the body, an immobile leg, a sleeping hand. The imagination then elaborates and the process of choreography itself becomes about finding ways to express two sets of information, the choreographers and the dancers, and in so doing the hierarchy of values that determine the acceptability of bodies has begun to disintegrate in the wake of collaboration. We have used dance as a practice and a metaphor to circumvent internalized prejudices and to imagine new ways of being in space. I am reminded here of Cornel Westâ€™s description of Percy Shellyâ€™s poet.
â€œHe is talking about all human beings who decide to muster their imagination and empathy to conceive of a better world, given the social misery and suffering of this world.â€ Â
Perhaps, this is what we can do with dance.
– Anthony Romero
by Abraham Ritchie
When is the proper time to review an exhibition? Itâ€™s a seemingly simple question that has become complicated because of another question: what constitutes an exhibition? Concluding on February 17, the Industry of the Ordinaryâ€™s sprawling retrospective Sic Transit Gloria Mundi pushes these questions to their limits, mirroring the shift in contemporary practice from traditional expectations.
Industry of the Ordinary (IOTO) is a collaboration between artists Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson, and as this exhibition demonstrates, IOTO is also a collaboration between their collective and other artistic collectives, the artists and the viewers, the artists and the general public. The objects on view reflect these interactions: photographs document various interactions both with a participating audience and with the unsuspecting public; an entire section is set apart by a kind of wooden mobile home-like structure that contain contributions from a healthy percentage of Chicagoâ€™s art world.
Given the artistsâ€™ wide-ranging connections to the art community it seems relevant to say that I have almost no connection to IOTO aside from meeting Mr. Brooks twice. However Bad at Sports as an entity does, and so may some of its constituent members, depending on the person.
Throughout the course of the exhibition, framed as a mid-career retrospective, a multitude of events have been scheduled and taken place. These have spilled out of the main exhibition hall into other galleries, into the interstitial spaces of the building, and to other locations throughout the city. Theyâ€™ve branched off into multiple sub-eventsâ€”the month-and-a-half performance series from the Happy Collaborationists featured no less than seven artists.
It should be abundantly clear that these events are to be considered just as much a part of the exhibition as the physical objects on display, which are themselves often documents of those events. Certainly a visit to the Chicago Cultural Center could yield a variety of experiences depending on the day, and the gallery has refigured itself over the course of the exhibition. A recent visit on a weekend day was the kind of experience that would be typical of a mid-career retrospective, with documentary materials and art objects occupying the space, whereas at the opening the art itself was set in motion, literally being actively created.
The crucial point above is that the exhibition becomes self-generative and therefore is not complete until the end. This is, of course, in contrast to the traditional art exhibition that is at the outset self-contained and complete. Therefore, one can only review and assess an exhibition like this at the end, when all of these elements have been realized.
This seems to be the essential point that the Wall Street Journal ignored to their own detriment.
Guest Post by Jane Jerardi
Miguel Gutierrez comes to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago this weekend with one of his newest works,Â And lose the name of action.Â The evening-length piece features a striking cast of note-worthy performersÂ â€“Â MichelleÂ BoulÃ©, Hilary Clark, Luke George, Miguel Gutierrez, K.J. Holmes, and Ishmael Houston-Jones. Inspired by JÃ¸rgen Lethâ€™s filmÂ The Perfect Human, the elusive logic of dance improvisation, philosophical quandaries about the brain, and the 19th century spiritualist movement, the piece draws connections between the analytical and the unexplainable, grappling with the limits of language and the ever-present spectre of death. It features music by Neal Medlyn, lighting design by Lenore Doxsee, and film/text by Boru O’Brien O’Connell.
Often cited as a provocative voice in the contemporary dance and performance scene, Gutierrez — like many in his generation — works across mediums.Â His poems appear as published performance texts and he designs solo performance works as well as projects with collections of performers and collaborators under the moniker the â€˜Powerful People.â€™Â Â A Guggenheim Fellow, his work has appeared as such venues as the Festival Dâ€™Automne in Paris; the TBA Festival/PICA in Portland, OR; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN; UNAM in Mexico City, and ImPulsTanz in Vienna, among others. Equally admired as a teacher, he has built a following for his improvisation/choreography classes as well as his â€˜DEEP Aerobicsâ€™ workouts. In mid-January, I met Miguel Gutierrez at the Abrons Arts Center amidst the first weekend of theÂ American Realness FestivalÂ â€“ an annual festival of contemporary dance and performance in New York. We chatted in a quiet spot near the dressing rooms about his upcoming engagement at the MCA â€“ including the powerhouse cast performing, the ghost hunt they went on during a residency to build the work, and the limits of language when it comes to dance.Â Here are some excerpts from our conversationâ€¦
Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY, January 13, 2013
Jane Jerardi: Maybe first we should start first with you just talking a bit about the genesis of the project youâ€™ll be performing at the MCA, And lose the name of action?
Miguel Gutierrez: Sure.Â I think Iâ€™m going to paint my nails as we do this [pulls out two shades of blue metallic nail polish] if thatâ€™s okay with you.
JJ: Sure.Â Talk about mind and bodyâ€¦!
MG: It feels like the right question to paint your nails toâ€¦Â Well, the piece really came out of a couple of things.Â In some ways it was an extension of Last Meadow [Gutierrezâ€™s previous piece], which is unusual for me, because usually when I finish a piece I want to change gears.Â But, by the time we got around to finishing Last Meadow, I realized I was only beginning to understand what I was doing.Â Towards the end of the project, I was introduced to this book The Meaning of the Body, by Mark Johnson, which calls for getting rid of the mind/body split, once and for all.Â Itâ€™s beautifully stated, but reading it as a dancer, there was a moment where I thought, â€œThis seems fairly obvious.â€Â For a person who has any kind of relationship to somatics, you of course recognize that the mind and body are connected; that perception is an embodied practice, and that all contexts are experienced through a sort of corporeal interaction. I thought to myself, This sounds like a contact improv class. And I thought, why is this new? I think it was that initial indignation that led to the piece. I felt like why isnâ€™t this something that is known? Â The second impulse for the work, was my dad.Â My dad had a series of neurological problems in 2008.Â He had a series of blood clots in his brain that were note properly diagnosed for several years. He had stroke-type things and then seizures, which then progressed during my research for And lose the name of action.
JJ: That sounds scary.
MG: Aside from the fact that it sucked, I think a couple of things came out of it. Here was a person I knew in a certain way, and suddenly he was changing. It sounds sort of basic, a basic experience of change. I say basic, but it was a quite radical. Suddenly, I was subjected to doctors telling me, This is whatâ€™s happening, This is what’s not happening â€“ but no one knows whatâ€™s happening. Everyone is guessing.Â You start to see that that the way we constitute a sense of self and reality are deeply subjective. And, out of your control. Youâ€™re in the hospital with your dad and thereâ€™s nothing you can do, aside from being present.Â At the time I was thinking, â€œWhat is it that I can offer here? As a dancer? As a person with some naÃ¯ve study of somatic practices?â€ I can be present.Â I can be an emotional support. I can be resonate and present in a way that is specific to what I do. It felt clear, but I felt very conscious that I donâ€™t share a language with these doctors.Â I canâ€™t assume they know of specific somatic practices or say, â€œHey, have you heard of the Feldenkrais Method?â€ or â€œDo you know about Body Mind Centering?â€
JJ: You realize how marginalized some of these movement practices are.
MG: Absolutely. I mean marginalized isnâ€™t even the word.Â Theyâ€™re invisible. I started to see how when people talk about brain, they are talking about mind. Lots of words are being used interchangeably.Â Thereâ€™s a lot of lack clarity in definition between disciplines.Â How is it that we have the same vocabulary but we arenâ€™t using words in the same way?Â I started to examine the value system around my teaching and practice.Â What is valuable about an improvisational performance practice?Â It is a kind of knowledge and a way of knowing, but quite different than other modes of knowing.Â And I though about Why am I so invested in this â€˜unknowing knowingâ€™? Â Why am I so mistrustful of alleged truths? That was all the stuff that led me into And lose the name of action. Then, I started thinking about ghosts and the paranormal. What about an immaterial body?Â What about a discipline of study that doesnâ€™t even presume that the body has to be tangible anymore? When we had our first residency we went on our first ghost hunt.
JJ: Tell me about that.
MG: We went on this ghost hunt with paranormal investigatorsâ€“crazy ladies in Tallahassee, FLâ€¦Â which sounds funny, but are these â€˜paranormal investigatorsâ€™ wrong?Â For them, it is true.Â If they see a ghost or hear a voice, if theyâ€™re having that experience, then thatâ€™s their embodied truth.Â Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going on here in this conversation of perception and truth. If I experience my father as my father even if heâ€™s in a coma, is he not my father? If I feel that this is blue [pointing to his nail polish] and this is a lighter blue than the other blue [pointing to another bottle of darker blue nail polish] and I have a certain feeling about it. Am I wrong? Because thereâ€™s actually no way for me to definitely know how blue this is.Â Â Itâ€™s all these kinds ofâ€¦
JJ: Big questions.Â Really big questions.
MG: So, yeah [laughing] thatâ€™s what the show is about.Â [Joking] Itâ€™s just about a couple small thingsâ€¦
JJ: So how did this all play out in your explorations in the studio?
MG: A lot of talking, a lot of improvisational explorationâ€¦ In the piece, the bodies are the proof of themselves.
Because of the way that the piece exists â€“ even though the audience is onstage, even though people are really close to us â€“ it feels like something is at a distance. I had originally thought it would be really great to make a piece that didnâ€™t involve bodies at all.Â I mean why do there have to be bodies?Â Itâ€™s so weird and silly â€“ why are there bodies on stage at this point in history?Â Canâ€™t we just goâ€¦
JJ: Totally virtual?
MG: Yeah â€“ not even virtual or holograms â€“ butâ€¦ there are people that are doing that â€“ work thatâ€™s about post-human bodies â€“ but, I am still invested in the interpersonal dynamics of being in the room with people. Thatâ€™s what keeps me interested in my work.
JJ: I think it goes back to the value thing.Â Whatâ€™s at the core of what you do?
MG: And where do you build knowledge? Where do you build a sense of how you understand things and how you perceptively locate yourself in the world? When I look at dance, I can understand it. What does that mean? Not one specific, concrete meaning.Â Rather, as Iâ€™m watching the dance, I am understanding it and grappling with comprehension.Â And that perceptual act becomes a way to construct meaning.Â That doesnâ€™t necessarily translate easily into language. I mean I like words. I can talk. But, dance actually offers another perceptual experience in time. I donâ€™t think this is exclusive to dance, either. Mark Johnson argues that reality is actually an aesthetic experience. He doesnâ€™t use this exact language â€“ but weâ€™re choreographing our way through our lives. And, that feels really powerful in relationship to what performance or a body in action can do. It doesnâ€™t always happen. Most of the time, dance is written about exclusively as a visual rendering but, thatâ€™s not the whole pictureâ€¦
Working with Deborah Hay was pretty instrumental for me.Â Something she would say is, â€œThe movement is just a costume for perception.â€Â And, I feel thatâ€™s really true. Thatâ€™s my experience of dancing actuallyâ€¦Â So much of what intrigues me about dancing is about contending with myself in the moment.Â And all the fucked-up-ness of that question.
JJ: â€œContending with things in the momentâ€ is the way that people talk often about improvisation. Youâ€™re working with a pretty incredible set of improvisers as collaborators performing in the work.Â I wondered if you wanted to talk a little bit about that?Â I mean itâ€™s a very diverse, powerhouse group of people.
MG: Yes.Â I wanted to have a group â€“ well first, that werenâ€™t all young 20-year olds.Â I wanted a diverse age range for this piece. Â I hadnâ€™t worked with a group of people who were older than me before.Â And, I wanted a group of improvisers who could own themselves in a very clear way. I wanted to work with people who seemed restless or curious.Â And, I feel like thatâ€™s pretty true of this group!
JJ: So, youâ€™re working with MichelleÂ BoulÃ©â€¦
MG: Hilary Clark, Luke George, KJ Holmes, and Ishmael Houston-Jones.Â At first, I was a little like â€“ oh my god, who am I to tell these people what to do? It really did feel that way.Â Which was great, because I wanted to be challenged directorially.
JJ: It seemed to make a lot of sense to me because youâ€™re dealing with a kind of big existential topic â€“ life and death, philosophical truths such as â€˜person-hoodâ€™ and â€˜being.â€™ It requires a certain maturity.
MG: Yes.Â It feels important that the audience is looking at people who have contended with things. I also think that I was going through something about casting in general. This thing that often happens in the dance field is people donâ€™t take into consideration the representational value of the bodies that are there.
JJ: Which is kind of saying, maybe the visual does matter.Â The way that we read bodies matters.
MG: Absolutely.Â Bodies come marked. But, it feels like often the problem with the visual rendering thing is that people ignore it in the most important aspects in some ways.Â Because they think â€œIâ€™m dealing with abstraction.â€ Or, something neutral. I know that when I first went into dance as an adult, I was excited about how it contrasted to theater, because I didnâ€™t feel like I could get type-cast in the same way. I didnâ€™t have to audition to fulfill just one thing. It wasnâ€™t like â€“ â€œOh, Iâ€™m that Latino kid.â€ So, itâ€™s funny to have come full circle and now become hyper-conscious about who is on the stage.Â But also, I think now more than ever â€“ the way artists work â€“ youâ€™d be hard-pressed to find a choreographer whose not working explicitly collaboratively with their dancers. Although, I sort of suspect thatâ€™s always been true.Â Thereâ€™s a real thought around how you have people involved in your process.
JJ: I wonder if we could talk about some of the other collaborators involved and, some of the sources because in a way you could think of sources as collaborators.
MG: Somewhere towards the beginning of the process I read Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. I realized that writers give themselves permission to do so much.Â You really can go there.Â You can interrelate different things.Â A novel â€“ or that kind of novel letâ€™s say â€“ doesnâ€™t aspire to be minimalist. Certainly thereâ€™s editing. But it doesnâ€™t see reduction as the only compositional value to explore.Â As someone who has struggled with living in an aesthetic climate where minimalism is privileged above all else, Iâ€™m excited to encounter work that deals with interrelating or association. I started to realize that what we were making â€“ in a sense â€“ was a novel. For example, each dancer wears multiple costumes in the piece â€“ Iâ€™d never done that before.Â Or, even having people leave [the stage space].
JJ: By having people leave and re-enter there could suddenly be chapters.
MG: Yes, I really feel like the piece does unfold in that way.
JJ: Even though a lot of the piece comes from the idea of embodiment, youâ€™re also using text in the piece. Could you could talk a little bit about how the text figures into the work? What drew you to using text?
MG: The bulk of the text it written by Boru Oâ€™Brien Oâ€™Connell (who also collaborated to create video projections).Â Some of the text is an appropriation of George Berkeleyâ€™s writings.
Text is often used as the locator of meaning. And, if it exists in a performance â€“ thatâ€™s when weâ€™re like â€“ thereâ€™s the meaning!Â That definitely happens in this piece. But, it also functions as a texture. It functionsâ€¦almost like a kind of perfumeâ€¦.
JJ: Thatâ€™s a nice image.
MG: â€¦A kind of experience thatâ€™s not even exclusively about it being attached to understanding.
And lose the name of action appears at the MCA, Chicago January 31 â€“ February 3, 2013.Â For more information and tickets: http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2013/884Â This performance is part of the IN>TIME Festival.Â http://www.in-time-performance.org/
Jane Jerardi is an artist working in the media of choreography, performance, and video installation.Â Currently based in Chicago, her work has been presented at such venues as Transformer and The Warehouse (Washington DC), Defibrillator (Chicago IL); Danspace Project at St. Markâ€™s Church and the LUMEN Festival for Video and Performance (New York), among others.Â She is one third of the cohort that runs Adult Contemporary, an alternative art space in Logan Square.Â She teaches at Columbia College, Chicago, where she is also on staff at the Dance Center.
While the Chicago art scene may still be reeling from the AFC Midway coverage, divided opinions on EXPO and the domination of the Whitney Biennial by Chicago curators, it’s a new year and B@S is looking forward to a 2013 full of surprising exhibitions, breakout successes and hurt feelings. Here’s a recap of the most interesting Chi tidbits as far as I can tell.
#Seen on Instagram
Last week, Red Eye Chicago posted a list of 15 musicians to watch in Chicago. Though I’ve never even heard of most of them, there are a couple notables. A personal fav, Gel Set, made the list at #11. Also making the list at #4 is Supreme Cuts, a Chicago duo who apparently “will never move to Brooklyn under any circumstances.”Â SC’s AustinÂ Keultjes was recently spotted on SAIC dropout and NY based performance artist Mykki Blanco’s instagram feed.
Former Chicago artist turnt “mini-film” babe
In other superstar sightings, everyone is in the new SSION video forÂ Luvvbazaar. It’s the best and gayest dance party you’ve ever virtually attended, featuring none other thanÂ 2012Â SAIC grad and LA transplant, Marcel AlcalÃ¡, shirtless and werkin’ it. Before becoming a profesh video ho, AlcalÃ¡ organized the Mega Mall Exhibition Series and moonlighted at Roots&Culture. Additional cameos include Colin Self, another long lost Chicago luminary, andÂ House of Ladosha, who I fucking LOVE.
Aunt Flo meets The Whistler
Since talking about your period is always prurientÂ in my book, I’m particularly excited about the upcoming flow atÂ CRIMSON GLOWÂ at the Whistler this Thursday night (January 24th). Arrive at 10pm to catchÂ Melina Ausikaitis, a story-telling musician who is not to be missed. Her performance last September at the recently concluded New Capital Projects was nothing short of a miracle.
If you’re looking for a job (like I am), forget about the Chicago Artist Resource.Â LVL3 is looking for an intern.Â ResponsibilitiesÂ include sweeping and mopping the gallery and updating their mailing list. If you’re looking for studio space on top of sweeping, I hear Peanut Gallery is also hiring, sort of. The gallery’s post advertises “valuable arts administration skills and networking opportunities in exchange for covering 25% of the rent.”
It’s not me, it’s you
In other non-essential news, it’s almost almost Valentines Day and Heaven Gallery in Wicker Park isÂ commemoratingÂ this non-event by exhibiting collaborations by local art “power couples.”Â IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOUÂ will feature work from couples Culp/Foch, Gent/O’Brien, Chitty/Baird and Green/Mike(?).
Real Shit opens February 3rd
Speaking of openings in February, the award for best exhibition title next month goes to Shit is RealÂ atÂ Devening Projects. Not only does the title rule, the artists featured in the show are pretty rad, too.
Performance Art continues to confound
Also coming up (wait, already happening?) is the IN>TIMEÂ city-wide and winter-long performanceÂ festival. I’m notÂ quite sure whats up with this, all I know is “performance festival” screams nudity and controversial boredom. What is performance art? What isn’t it.
Thankfully, some things never change: This is still the most entertaining Facebook feed in 2013.
Finally, in “real” news, I am seriously horrified about the mega-fluÂ going around this season. As we say in this column, shit is real, and none other than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s own music director, Riccardo Muti, had to drop out of the company’s upcoming Asia tourÂ due to a particularly virulent case.
Clogging up my inbox
Oh yeah, one more thing: What’s up with this Michelle Grabner tat pic? And why can’t Shane Campbell send out one email listing all his space’s openings instead of one email for each of his three spaces?
Got any T? email me!