Pretty sure I pronounced Vesna’s last name wrong… Opps.
But here it is the long awaited conversation and the return of a former host.
From the International Museum of Surgical Science…
Vesna Jovanovic is a Chicago-based visual artist who specializes in conceptualizations of the human body. Using spilled ink as groundwork, she creates drawings that often formally resemble medical illustration while concentrating on what is usually left out: how it feels and what it means to have a body as well as how the body is culturally perceived. With drawing as a bodily act and medical illustration as a visual trope, Jovanovic brings embodiment, biopolitics, phenomenology, and various other ideas and theories of the human body into her work.
Portrait by Bob Mishlove
This week, we join Brian and Patricia as they chat with Bay Area artist, doyenne, and badass Catherine Wagner following a decadent champagne brunch in her studio to ring in the New Year. For over thirty years Catherine Wagner has been observing the built environment as a metaphor for how we construct our cultural identities. She’s examined institutions as various as art museums and science labs, the home and Disneyland. Ms. Wagner’s process involves the investigation of what art critic David Bonetti calls “the systems people create, our love of order, our ambition to shape the world, the value we place on knowledge, and the tokens we display to express ourselves.”
While Ms. Wagner has spent her life residing in California, she has also been an active international artist, working photographically, as well as site-specific public art, and lecturing extensively at museums and universities. She has received many major awards, including the Rome Prize (2013-2014), a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and the Ferguson Award. In 2001 Ms. Wagner was named one of Time Magazine’s Fine Arts Innovators of the Year. Her work is represented in major collections nationally and around the world, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, SFMOMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, MOMA, MFA Houston. She has also published several monographs, including American Classroom, Art & Science: Investigating Matter, and Cross Sections.
This week: About a year and a half ago we mourned the passing of a true Chicago legend. Barbara DeGenevieve was an epic instructor, a committed boundary tester, and an enthusiastic gender warrior. Lisa Wainwright did a great job memorializing her on our site and this September Iceberg Projects mounted the first exhibition in honor of her legacy. Dr. Dan Berger, David Getsy, Doug Ischar, and our own Duncan MacKenzie gathered to discuss her exhibition, her story, and what made her the force she was.
Yes. Four white men whose names all begin with D got together to discuss a great woman. Yes we know. Take your fingers away from your keyboards.
David Getsy Just dropped a new book and announced another. Check it out…
Our initial Memorial…
Epic Chicago cultural legend Anne Elizabeth Moore joins Duncan’s Columbia College class “the Late, Late Afternoon Show” for an invasive journey through her history. Abigail Satinsky joins Bad at Sports for a farewell Chicago as she confesses her move to Philadelphia.
Moore the warrior of comics, punk rock, anti-capitalism, journalism, and Cambodia’s future, recounts her world.
Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet is composed of forty speakers arranged in eight groups of five, configured as a large oval facing each other in the center of the room, and resting on stands so they are roughly just above eye level. The Motet, as Cardiff referred to it in our conversation, is a reworking of the English composer Thomas Tallis’s Spem in Alium (1570), which translates as “Hope in Any Other” and is sung in Latin by a choir of forty voices. The composition is arranged so that the choir, like the speakers, is divided into eight groups of five singers; each group consists of a soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, and bass. The groups alternate singing: first one, than another, sometimes alone, and at a few moments, all together, rising in a crescendo that breaks open the room to a place beyond the physical world. To hear the Motet in its entirety is profound. Spem in Alium is considered one of the greatest works of English music. The Forty Part Motet is equally a contemporary masterwork. It was a privilege, then, to sit down with Cardiff on November 12, 2015, to speak about her practice. – Patricia Maloney
Janet Cardiff lives in British Columbia, where she works in collaboration with her partner George Bures Miller. The artist is internationally recognized for immersive multimedia works that create transcendent multisensory experiences and draw the viewer into often unsettling narratives. Cardiff and Miller’s work has been included in recent group exhibitions and biennales such as Soundscapes at the National Gallery, London, the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, and dOCUMENTA (13). Representing Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale, Cardiff and Miller received the Biennale’s Premio Prize and Benesse Prize. Recently, the artists debuted new site-specific commissions for Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, the Menil Collection, Houston, TX, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.
The Forty Part Motet is on view at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, in San Francisco, through January 18, 2016; it is co-presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.