It’s been a possibility for awhile now, but nonetheless I was surprised and saddened to learn that I Space Gallery will officially close its doors on December 31st. Last ditch efforts at fundraising, which once looked quite hopeful, ultimately could not overcome the hurdles presented by economic hard times, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s ongoing budget crisis and the University’s admissions scandals. Gallery Director Mary Antonakos will also lose her post. Antonakos tells me that a new UIUC Gallery is slated to open nearer to campus, which means students will still have a University venue in which to exhibit their work – just not one in Chicago.
The Gallery’s last two exhibitions, “The Philosopheâ€™s Tango: Permanence and Flow, The Last Works of David Bushman 1945-2008,” and “Architecture of Crisis:
Roger Hubeli, Julie Larsen with Aptum Architecture In collaboration with Beat Steuri,” will have their openings on the evening of November 20th.Â “Its been a very tough and challenging couple of years,” Antonakos told me via email, “but Iâ€™m going to try to go out by celebrating what weâ€™ve accomplished.”
Check out these enthralling, atmospheric, super-sinister art videos that were part of an installation at Galeria Animal, Santiago, Chile by the artists Niles Atallah, Cristobal Leon & Joaquin CociÃ±a. Those chilling whispered voiceovers are probably going to give me nightmares. Which reminds me – only two more days till Halloween, creeps! (Videos via Beautiful/Decay, natch).
On this week’s pick we bring you a clip from the 1930’s film ‘Le Sang d’un Poete’ or ‘The Blood of the Poet’ by Jean Cocteau.
“Technically, The Blood of a Poet reflects Cocteau’s trials and errors as a novice filmmaker who had to turn irreversible mistakes to his advantage and improvise every celluloid foot of the way. During shooting, he used the dust raised by studio cleaning men to enhance the mysterious atmosphere of the final scenes. Special weightless effects were obtained by camera trickery to show the little girl flying up to the ceiling and the poet moving painfully along the corridor wall. Once Cocteau discovered that he could turn shooting disasters into happy accidents, he was off on a career of making films that carried his cachet of surprises…”
GUEST POST BY DAMIEN JAMES
The Yes Men, hoaxsters who have elevated civil disobedience to an art form by taking on the biggest, most socially irresponsible corporations and the government that allows those corporations to screw the people, will be making appearances in Chicago this week for the local premier of their new film, The Yes Men Fix the World.
On Thursday, October 29th at 7:30pm, theyâ€™ll be hosted by Lumpen Magazine at Co-Prosperity Sphere, where The Yes Men will present their recent projects and hold a workshop to plan an action for Friday, October 30th, after the premier of their new film at the Music Box Theater.
If you havenâ€™t seen their work, you should. If you have, you probably understand how important it is. The Yes Men might just have the right amount of courage, conviction, and insanity (think Ralph Nader meets Philippe Petit) to truly enact some kind of positive social change, but they canâ€™t continue to do it without public support. In fact, they can barely afford to pull off their stunts, much less share them with us through their films.
The Yes Men recently posted a project on kickstarter.com to raise $30,000 for prints of their new film, which is in danger of not being seen by enough people. Through kickstarter, anyone can pledge from $30 to thousands, and pledges are only collected if the project gets completely funded. If not, no one loses a cent. If you can only pledge $10, convince two of your friends to do the same. If you can pledge more, you might just win a Survivaball! The project ends December 31st at 4:39pm EST.
Writing in Artworld Salon, Catherine Spaeth reflects on political nostalgia and Nancy Spero’s legacy:
“Nancy Speroâ€™s death the Sunday before last invites reflection upon what it means for an artist to be politically engaged at this time. Today the New York artworld appears to be more at home with the post-feminism of Lisa Yuskavage, Marylin Minter and Vanessa Beecroft. It may well be that, above all, it is Nancy Speroâ€™s importance in the history of political engagement and feminism for which she will be remembered.”
Read the full piece here.