Work by Learning.
Fill in the Blank Gallery is located at 5038 N. Lincoln Ave. Reception Friday, 7-11pm.
Work by Nancy Rosen.
The Family Room is located at 1821 W Hubbard St., # 202. Reception Friday, 6-11pm.
3. FLAT 7 at Floor Length and Tux
Work by Julie Rudder, Kendrick Shackleford, David Moré, Catie Olson and EC Brown. This fish is not the work, it’s just FLAT’s awesome logo.
Floor Length and Tux is located at 2332 W Augusta Blvd, 3F. Reception Saturday 7-10pm.
Shameless self promotion, but it’s going to be an awesome show. Co-curated by Andrew Blackley, Stephanie Burke and Steve Ruiz. Featuring the work of Duncan Anderson, Susan Giles, Anna Kunz, Oliver Laric, and Nathaniel Robinson.
LVL3 is located at 1542 N Milwaukee Ave, 3. Reception Saturday, 6-10pm.
Bring a T-shirt to silkscreen. Work by Tony Tasset, Pamela Fraser, Rebecca Mir, Aay Preston-Miint and others.
He said, She said is located at 216 N Harvey Ave, Oak Park. Reception Sunday, 2-4pm.
The madness of Artopolis is over my friends, and I’m glad for it, it was a long weekend. But this by no means indicates a lack of awesome art. This weekend is surprisingly busy, and here’s what I think shouldn’t be missed:
1. Immersioni/Immersions at Johalla Projects
A primarily, though not exclusively, video based exhibition jointly curated by Anna Cerniglia and Susanna Horvatovicova, and featuring the work of Elise Blue, Ben Russell, Rakele Tombini, and Chiara Tommasi.
Johalla Projects is located at 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd fl. Opening Reception Friday, from 7-11pm.
2. Alphabetization at Noble & Superior Projects
An exploration of language curated by Ania Szremski, and featuring the work of Brandon Alvendia, Scott Carter, Eric Fleischauer, Brookhart Jonquil and Daniel Lavitt.
Noble & Superior Projects is located at 1418 W. Superior St. Opening Reception Friday, from 6-10pm.
3. The Home Front: What You Can Do! at Pritzker Military Library
WWII motivational propaganda posters. Have you started your war garden?
Pritzker Military Library is located at 610 N. Fairbanks Ct., 2nd fl. Show begins May 7th.
4. Flat 6 at Floor Length and Tux
Experiments in spicy with Jon Bollo, Luca Scala, Jonathan Ozik, Matty Colston, Catie Olson, and EC Brown.
Floor Length and Tux is located at 2332 W. Augusta, #3. Reception Saturday, beginning at 7pm, DJ at 11pm.
5. As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I at Western Exhibitions
Creepy sculpture and flat work by Rachel Niffenegger. John Parot’s show Hobbies also opens at Western Ex.
Western Exhibitions is located at 119 N Peoria St. 2A. Reception Saturday, from 5-8pm.
Guest Post by Jennifer Breckner
Some Notes on Hosting
Brian O’Doherty, in his seminal 1976 book, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space, takes the traditional gallery space to task, critiquing the manner in which its white walls became the de facto authority that conferred the status of art upon any object that resided within its space. Serving as a template, the white cube format—white walls, rectangular or square shape, wooden floors, and lit from the ceiling—may be utilized anywhere and continues to be implemented widely, including in most of Chicago’s beloved apartment galleries. What are some tactics for moving beyond this model in these types of smaller domestic environments so that a more equitable space may be envisioned?
Presented as neutral but being far from it, the sanitized, white-walled space came into being during Modernism and quietly claimed more and more power over time so that eventually it became more important than the art that was displayed within. “We have now reached a point where we see not the art but the space first,” asserts O’Doherty.  The white-cube model continues to be the premier method for the display of art within institutions such as the formidable museum, blue chip commercial gallery, and even the not-for-profit “alternative” gallery. Its structure conveys knowledge and authority; it asks of the viewer a quiet, almost religious-like devotion. While it often is a useful background for artwork to be seen on, the white-walled gallery may also be a place of exclusion and judgment where privilege, breeding, economic status, educational background, and social cache allow various stages of access and exclusion. It is a space of contention, often leaving visitors in the precarious position of questioning their right to be there.
If this type of space is rife with anxiety and power, then shouldn’t the apartment gallery be an antidote to this situation since the power within these spaces resides with individuals who have broader latitude and more autonomy—because the stakes are not as high as the commercial gallery or museum—to experiment with setup? Yet most Chicago apartment gallerists seem interested in perpetuating the white cube and all its inherent structure and exclusions, even if the directors are not consciously aware that they are doing this. In large part, the use of this modernist template is due to the fact that most apartment gallery owners are renting the space that they live in and serious changes to the infrastructure of their domestic space could have a negative effect on their lease. Or perhaps they do not see the gallery space as elitist and find it useful to follow the professional set-up. More importantly, though, the institutionalization of exhibition methods has infiltrated even the tiniest self-produced endeavor and carries such weight that many individuals see their apartment gallery as a calling card to gain entrance to the realm of more professional institutions.
There are many of these self-initiated exhibition venues that do away with the materials of everyday life and gravitate towards the white cube blueprint. An article on Chicago’s apartment galleries mentions an owner who was pleased that the exhibition part of her living space resembled a commercial venue and that all of the evidence of people living there had been removed out of sight. This kind of approach is a mistake for how can one’s living space compete with the likes of a commercial gallery? Instead of the domestic space striving to be more commercial and always falling short of the pristine effect and voice of authority that the museum or formal gallery embodies, the focus should be on finding inventive and innovative strategies of display that mingle art with living materials. Read more
Guest Post by Caroline Picard
On the matter of public (1) space : or my apartment gallery is an arctic explorer
“‘Oh, you have a roommate?’
“ ‘Yeah, she’s actually here right now, but she’s sick….Don’t do that—she’s trying to sleep.’
“I heard them but pretended to remain asleep by keeping my eyes closed; [closing your eyes] is what passed for privacy then. My ‘room’ was in a corner of the kitchen on the other side of a folding screen. If you were tall enough, you could see me from either side at any time. The above exchange took place during the installation of a show when I happened to have a cold. I lived at the Green Lantern from 9/06 to 8/07. Recently out of college, I moved to Chicago to get my bearings. I had just spent two years living in the French countryside with no heat, no car, no Internet, no noise, no zines, no sushi, no shows, no jargon. When I moved in, I had never owned a computer. Suddenly I was in the middle of an art scene. Read more
December 9, 2009 · Print This Article
Guest Post by Eric May
(Ed. Note: May’s essay takes the format of responses to a series of questions about Chicago’s apartment gallery scene, posed by EC Brown of Floor Length and Tux).
Do these space have real cultural or regional impact? Does anyone really care if Chicago has 2.3 trillion small project spaces?
The overall arc of sixty+ years of independent art spaces in Chicago clearly has significance in that it’s become the tradition it has, and an activity that folks here seem to stay interested in. Beyond that, the factors of cheap rent, lack of venues, and DIY spirit lend to the reason why every other undergrad starts their own space and we end up with 2.3 trillion things going on. I think that perhaps one of the strongest cultural benefits is the self- education of young folks in organizing- something risky and entrepreneurial. It almost doesn’t matter if their project is “successful”- at least they’ve gone through the motions of taking on something bigger, outside themselves, and collaborative. And who will see all these activities? I think that’s up to the folks running these spaces and how hard they are willing to work to promote themselves and stay dedicated. Some survive, some don’t- lesson learned. A recent train of thought has questioned whether these spaces are a mere surrogate for the healthier, better supported art venues of the bigger cultural centers- a last ditch effort for artists to get their work shown. All said, in the end of the day, the work gets shown. Chicago can have a really healthy community-supported art scene. Regional impact beyond our own metropolitan area? Folks that I know in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kansas City, St. Louis, Ann Arbor, and Minneapolis pay attention to what happens here. I know people that, inspired by the independent space scene in Chicago, have embarked on their own spaces in their home cities. Flyover maybe, but at least Chicago’s got the busiest airport (do we even anymore?). Beyond that? Eh. Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask – I’ve been here my whole life! More press would be helpful… Read more