This Week: Guest interviewer Lisa Dorin talks to German artist Jana Gunstheimer (see the blurb shamelessly lifted from the AIC website, below). ALSO we get two different perspectives on the fight over the Public Art Program and how they handle the selection and approval process. Kathryn talks to Olga Stefan Executive Director of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition at Monday’s protest rally, and Duncan talks to Gregory Knight, Deputy Commissioner/ Visual Arts of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs after the vote was in. This conflict has been actively discussed on our blog, see what the hoopla is about!
Richard spent a lot of time chuckling to himself about the music cues in this weeks show.
German artist Jana Gunstheimer combines her academic training in ethnology with a refined figurative drawing practice to observe and comment on aspects of her own culture. Gunstheimer responds to the transformations she sees taking place in contemporary German society including postindustrial desolation, drastic unemployment, and rising levels of aggression among people of her generation by way of a semi-fictional organization she calls Nova Porta. Complete with a logo, Web site, and an actual membership, the organization offers People without Social Function a semblance of structure through group cohesion and rigid hierarchy.
Adopting impenetrable rituals, tireless evaluation procedures, and managed leisure, the organization’s stated goal is risk management and its activities are driven, if not wholly fabricated, by the artist. Under the conceptual framework of Nova Porta, Gunstheimer effectively parodies hierarchical structures, bureaucracy, and, most importantly, society’s need to define one’s worth in terms of work.
Focus: Jana Gunstheimer is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. In one all-encompassing installation, the exhibition features exquisitely rendered, photo-based grisaille watercolors on wood panel, a large-scale paper cutout, a site-specific wall drawing, and a newspaper intervention work that all reference the initiatives of Nova Porta, adapted to the specific context of Chicago.
There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too.
And up in the nursery an ubsurd little bird
Is popping out to say cook-coo cook-coo, cook-coo
Regretfully they tell us cook-coo
But firmly they compell us cook-coo
To say goodbye cook-coo…
So long farewell, auf weidersehen good-bye
Update it has been confirmed that Edward Lifson has left Hello Beautiful as can be read here
Nothing is absolutely sure right now but WBEZ has redesigned it’s website and in the process there is no mention of Edward Lifson. Try to find his name anywhere and you come up with nothing. As you can see in these two photos of the website before and after it has gone from “Edward Lifson brings you in monotone polyphonic sound! Edward Lifson’s Hello Beautiful!” to “Hello Beautiful………….chirp…….chirp”. The Edward Lifson blog is not referenced and according to Alison Cuddy on this weeks show Edward Lifson is “out furthering his education on the arts”.
If it was a vacation they would have said vacation this isn’t Pro Wrestling where you have to have a fake injury to keep the “plot” moving while you bask in the Jamaican sun for a few weeks. Is he out like Kane walking the earth learning about art from the people that cross his path (and solving crimes on the side?) or is it more likely that with the new look comes some changes for WBEZ only time will tell. Until it does and we can in fact say goodbye to Hello Beautiful, it’s 1980 tone music opening and it’s monotone euphoria of this weeks “Hello Fellow!” we will count the seconds till it is over just as we do when we actually listen to the show.