Work by Tom Torluemke.
Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Reception Sunday, 3-5pm.
Curated by Carrie Gundersdorf and Lorelei Stewart, with work by Jessica Hyatt, John O’Connor, and Steve Roden.
Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. Reception Friday, 5-8pm.
Work by Janie Stamm.
AdventureLand Gallery is located at 1513 N. Western Ave. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.
Work by Sarah Mendelsohn.
The Plaines Project is located at 1822 S. Desplaines St. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.
Work by Fred Burkhart.
Alibi Fine Art is located at 1966 W. Montrose Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.
The philosopher and the poet differ in that the poet knows (rather she feels-knows) the closure that is the defining characteristic of a system is fictional (in more or less interesting ways) … a philosopher may intuit this self-blinding circuit of dialectical thinking as well, but it is the bane of her rigor. Of course there are poet-philosophers and this is not meant as an exclusionary provocation.
A system without a philosopher is like a spinster without her butterflies.
Thomas, well, whether thought makes a thing real or not depends on whether one feels-thinks that our very perception or thinking itself is a medium. If it is, it would seem that such porousness of being would precede language as a mediation of our experience.
Them’s the breaks: are we little perception centers whirring or are we little nodes of sociality cross-pollinating with words?
Scott, I don’t think there’s anything less poetic about gravitas per se than there is about coco puffs or butterflies. Pop culture syntax and content has its effects on us because of advertising (which is surrealism in service of capital).
Yes, Jane, but what if “progress” leads us to logical positions regarding nuclear bombs such as: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)?
All philosophy is over (in the sense that all systematic thinking seeks knowledge of its own end in order to close the book on knowing), otherwise it is open to what I would call “collateral meaning” and this would make it proximal or poetic and not rigorous or scientific thinking.
Blake was wiser than most. But wisdom (perceived as a generic artifact) has its motifs and cul-du-sacs. Poetry insists on a constant revaluation of values. Poetry is in that holiest of lines of work: the seeking out and killing of idols.
It’s not that I disagree with your articulation or examples. I like both.
It’s that method (weather the dream-method of poetry or the fallibility-method of science) seems to be one’s only way to combat the totalizing instinct. Whether the totalizing instinct is negative as in fascist or racist or classist essentialism or positive as in “the Taoist way” or “the unified theory in physics” is irrelevant to the effect of totalization: erasure of difference.
And the liquidation of physical or conceptual difference is a problem for those who are different or those who think differently. Whole-istic thinking is tempting, as you point out. But, I would add, whole-istic thinking (history is a metaphysical category, after all) can be lethal as much as it can also seem to be necessary.
Jane, my goal is not to sound naive (all forward motion must be toward a better future and so on) or like a know-it-all (since I know nothing but I do enjoy thinking with people (that’s why I teach by asking questions)). It’s bad to be naive because it keeps us from asking the critical questions: what if I am that asshole who thinks everything is moving in the right direction when the effects of my positive outlook are sponsoring the killing of people? But that question and many like it are not enough if they lead to guilt-suppression mechanisms like recreational shopping (or donating or giving alms).
Yes, it is a violent world after all. But once we buy into the idea that we can know it “all”, the mystical function totalizes our potential experiences as this or that knowable purview. We know very little: this then, I claim, is the method both the man of letters and the man of numbers would do well not only to abide by but to use.
It’s a tough proposition because when a question is a demand, isn’t this when it becomes an inquisition? And that wasn’t a very pretty way to learn. I’m saying I don’t have the answers. I’m saying human enthusiasm makes me nervous. Asshole poets (citizens too) should take a basic ethics class, would be my response to your first question.
January 14, 2013 · Print This Article
The Home Depot is to many contemporary artists in 2013 what the art supply store was in 1913 – a place to wander aimlessly when ideas aren’t coming, hoping for a Eureka. To this day a Home Depot excursion still raises my heart rate like a dog about to be let out into a new park without a leash. Only, in New York, the excitement is partially offset by the maddening chaos within.
A glance into the parking lot of the Red Hook, Brooklyn Home Depot will tell you just about everything about the routine chaos: shopping carts strewn about its potholed lot and neighboring streets, some overturned, others stripped of their hardware; cars parked without regard for painted spaces, hatchbacks popped open selling everything from tamales to batteries to magazine subscriptions; desperate bands of unemployed laborers swarming for work. If anyone at the Red Hook Home Depot has any patience left after navigating the hazards in the parking lot, that patience will dwindle precipitously while fighting for position inside. It’s an environment that rewards the strongest and most brazen, and as a result, Red Hook Home Depot has evolved into a place where only the fittest endure. And so goes New York in general – for all that you relish about the diversity of ideas, people, food and culture, who isn’t amazed that the city doesn’t occasionally slip into some kind of Hobbesian free-for-all? When that melee does break out, my money is on the Red Hook Home Depot as ground zero.
My last trip to the Red Hook Home Depot was the final straw. I was there to get a half-inch piece of 4 x 4-inch plywood cut into 16 equal pieces – a job that in the right hands should take 10 minutes. Only, the employee who manned the ripsaw willfully resisted helping me for half-an-hour. When I finally badgered him into cutting the wood he did the job so haphazardly that it was kindling grade when he gave it to me.
Meanwhile, my Home Depot in Grafton, Wisconsin is laid out and maintained with the care and precision of a Prussian military unit. Not a single Toyota Sequoia, or Ford Escape SUV is parked out of place in the parking lot. Even the bags of street salt are stacked by the entryway with OCD attentiveness. Shopping carts have proper alignment, are in one piece, and always sorted into distinctive subsets – carts, separate from lumber trucks, separate from flat beds.
Two weeks ago I decided to head into that temple of a Home Depot for those 16, 12 x 12-inch squares that were mangled by the guy in Red Hook. Music was immediately audible on the PA system. In New York there is only the din of a thousand languages in an angry competitive blender. It was so quiet I could identify the song with Shazam. If you’re curious it was “Drops of Jupiter,” by the band Train. I grabbed a shopping cart and celebrated the calm by popping some Evil Knievel wheelies down the lighting aisle. Compared to the Red Hook disaster zone, Grafton is the Bonneville salt-flats; open, hazard free sailing.
Hazard-free except that every orange-cloaked employee insisted on helping me until it hurt. For all the Red Hook aloofness and apathy, the Grafton team is a community of customer service fiends, hell-bent on delivering home improvement to its customers. I couldn’t even load a 4 x 8-foot piece of half-inch plywood onto my flatbed before a dutiful employee intervened clumsily, grabbing the bulky slab and insisting on dragging it to the ripper. I told her I needed 16, 12-inch squares and she disappointedly informed me of ‘blade loss.’ I tried to tell her it didn’t matter; that I just wanted something better than an arbitrary Red Hook butchering I got the week prior. With willful altruism, she went on measuring and cutting my wood with the care of lung surgeon. An hour later the simple project had turned into a solipsistic crusade.
“Yeah, it’s tough given the blade width…you get a lot of loss. I’ll go find some scraps and we’ll see what we can do for you”
“Yeah, but for my purposes, what you’re giving me is more than fine…”
“Have you tried Fillingers in Milwaukee?
“I don’t need anything that professional for these test panels, really, because I got a guy in New York who makes the real ones…”
“Fillingers is the best, though…let me get you their number.”
I told her not to worry, but she was gone in a flash and so was most of my afternoon.
Eventually she came back with a slip of paper with a number on it.
“A. Fillinger Inc. 414-353-8433″
And before I could finally break her tackle, she launched into a story about her brother, an artist, who paints wildlife, but on canvas, and time passed slowly.
In the end, Grafton took every bit as long as Red Hook, only I got a stack of wood panels. So I had that going for me.
I was driving from Wisconsin to Brooklyn a few weeks later, as I do three or four times a year, panels in the back seat, and I got to daydreaming. I imagined the car cruising along this fake customer service continuum between Wisconsin and New York, kind of like the Griswolds’ Woody in the original Vacation. It occurred to me that there should be a place in Eastern Ohio equidistant from Grafton, Wisconsin and Red Hook, Brooklyn, with a customer service sweet spot. With all the politeness and personal care of Wisconsin and the naturally selective, catch-as-catch-can rigor of New York.
With the help of an iPhone, I calculated this mythical Arcadian Depot to be in Streetsboro, Ohio: store #3859. As I drove, I imagined I was Francisco Coronado looking for a lost city snow shovels, window glazing and table saws.
As I dreamed further, I could almost see it, a mirage in the distance as I cruised along interstate 80. Yes, there it was: a glowing orange sign signaling a corrugated monstrosity rising from a tower of basalt, knifing through a deep, gorge that somehow managed to cleave a nation, founded equally of helpers and fighters, givers and takers. And inside that warehouse swarmed a team of stoic, but still dutifully conscientious employees who wanted to help me just the right amount.
Happy New Year! I have scoured the Internets for you, which included twitter, and look what the cat dragged in. Jason Lazarus+Photography+Johalla Projects = all kinds of awesome.
Information below. Good luck!
Filter Photo Festival is pleased to announce an open call for photographic work for a juried exhibition, “Archetype Drift.” Filter’s 4th juried exhibition will run concurrently with the Society for Photographic Education’s (SPE) 2013 National Conference. The exhibition will be held at Johalla Projects, a gallery located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, and will run from March 4th – March 23rd, with an opening reception on March 6th. Archetype Drift will be juried by artist, curator, writer, and educator Jason Lazarus.
- February 4th: Deadline for submissions
- Mid-February: Entrants are notified of juror’s decision
- March 4th: Exhibition opens
- March 6th: Opening reception
- March 23rd: Exhibition closes
Theme: Archetype Drift
“The illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen.” -Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
Photography can be a painful mirror.
Because of its illustrative tendencies and mnemonic capacities, photography enables us to tell the stories we want to tell with a hammer that is the frame. What happens when the medium gets in the way of the most important narratives?
Photography can be a seductive enabler that, at its worst, allows us to fetishize, beautify, and conduct shallow investigations. Meanwhile, paradigmatic changes in history and culture metastasize alongside new technological ways to make, edit, and distribute images. Are photographers pushing envelopes of meaning and relevance? Are they even keeping pace?
With the ubiquity of images high and low, how does an image-maker create cultural value in 2013?
Archetype Drift is a call for new methods of photographic making, editing, and presentation. It is a call for risk taking, chance operations, relabeling, and letting go of the comfortable. It is in itself an experiment and a (momentary) mirror.
Michigan Avenue can be a frantic place, especially on the southwest corner of Michigan and Monroe. You have The Art Institute of Chicago to the south and the spectacle of Millennium Park to the north. But if you look up you will see that overlooking them both is the quiet oasis of the Pritzker Military Library. I walk past this sparkly new library everyday on my way to work, but it wasn’t until recently that I made time in my schedule to check it out in person.
The event that finally pulled me off the street and up to the second floor entrance was the exhibition Don’t be a Dope: Training Comics from World War II and Korea (through March). I have a deep love of training materials. They’re so reflective of their time and often more instructive about the culture than they are about their supposed subject matter. Many of the posters addressed the kinds topics you would expect, like don’t contract VD or get drunk in bars and spill military secrets. There were some surprises, though. One poster cautioned against carelessly spending all of your pay because you won’t have anything when you get home. The one I was most tickled by urged men not to fly foolishly to impress girls. Honestly, I didn’t really think that would be such a huge problem that the government felt the need to address it in a training poster. Many noteable names are featured: Will Eisner, Al Capp, and Arthur Szyk. Perhaps most famous is Theodore Geisel, our own Dr. Seuss. His poster warns us of the perils of the adorable little bug “Ann.” That would be the Anopheles Mosquito that spreads malaria. Despite the warnings and her lethal nature, I can still see a little Cindy Lou Who in her.
The second show currently on exhibit is She’s a WOW!: Women’s Service Organizations in World War II (through summer). This show highlights the role of women during WWII, a time when women were consigned to auxiliary roles. Still, these jobs were pivotal and most all branches of the military had their own women’s corps. This history is told through a series of stories of individual women. Pictures, interviews, personal histories are all included to reveal the myriad reasons these diverse women chose to buck the prevailing cultural convention to join a service organization.
In addition to the physical space, The Pritzker Military Library has a sizeable collection of online resources. There’s a searchable gallery of military posters going all the way back to the 1700s. I lost an hour just looking at the posters from WWII. If after seeing an exhibit you’d like to know more, there is supporting material available. For example, Don’t Be a Dope has a downloadable bibliography that is particularly useful for those interested in learning more about the work. There are also oral history podcasts and recordings of library events.
The space is spectacular and the staff is friendly. There is a librarian with whom you can make a research appointment. As a bonus, there’s a military-themed movie every Saturday at 1 o’clock—films you wouldn’t expect like White Christmas (1954) and The Magnificent Seven (1960). The library even presents new films. The documentary From Hell to Here (2012), which chronicles the challenges of a veteran battling post-traumatic stress disorder, screens January 26, and will be followed by a Q&A with director Rachell Shapiro. The next exhibit starting spring 2013, will be of iconic WWI posters. Think The Christy Girl and Uncle Sam. The Pritzker Military Library is located at 104 S Michigan Ave. There is a $5 admission fee, but is free with military ID.