Episode 562: Judith Brotman

November 8, 2016 · Print This Article

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Judith Brotman and co host Meg Duguid. SAIC Low Res MFA as sponser…

I will make a real show note after this lecture at Nashville Public Radio with Seed Space.

This week we catch up with Judith Brotman during her major show at the Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery at Columbia College Chicago. The final show for that configuration of the gallery (which is rumored to have a rebirth coming in January.)

Judith also celebrated an opening of a two person exhibition at the Riverside Art Center a week or so ago with Fraser Taylor.

This week’s sponsor is the School of the Art Institutes Low Res MFA program get your application in before December 1st for priority scholarships but they are accepting applications through January 10th.

http://www.saic.edu/academics/graduatedegrees/lowresmfa/

http://judithbrotman.com/home.html

http://megduguid.com/home.html

http://seedspace.org/

http://www.colum.edu/adgallery/

http://www.riversideartscenter.com/judith-brotman-and-fraser-taylor-missed-and-other-connections/

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TOP V. WEEKEND PICKS (10/20-10/27)

October 20, 2016 · Print This Article

Mark maker, mark maker, make me a mark.

The intentionality of mark making creates a moment where something about the mark maker’s being is revealed.  Captured in the mark itself are a litany of codes and codifications that stand beside something unique to that artist’s gesture.

 

1. The New Graphic Method

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October 23, 2016, 1-4PM
Work by: Julien Prévieux
Julius Caesar: 3311 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

 

2. Missed (and Other) Connections

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October 23, 2016, 3-6PM
Work by: Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor
Riverside Arts Center: 32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546

 

3. Nothing Twice

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Work by: Magda Dudziak and Annette Hur
October 21, 2016, 7-11PM
Heaven Gallery: 1550 N Milwaukee Ave, Fl 2nd, Chicago, IL 60622

 

4. Past.Present.Future

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Work by: Julia Arredondo
October 23, 2016, 12-4PM
The Hermosa Walls: 2306 N Keeler Ave, Chicago, IL 60639

 

5. Catch as Catch Can

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October 22, 2016, 7-10PM
Work by: Kate Perryman
The Learning Machine: 3145 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60608

 

Hey Chicago, submit your events to the Visualist here: http://www.thevisualist.org




Top 7 Weekend Picks! (9/5-9/7)

September 4, 2014 · Print This Article

1. Various Fades at Johalla Projects

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Work by Stephen Eichhorn.

Johalla Projects is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception is Friday, 7-10pm.

2. The Passenger at Aspect/Ratio

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Work by Bryan Zanisnik.

Aspect/Ratio is located at 119 N. Peoria St. Reception is Friday, 5-8pm.

3. Burn It Down at Heaven Gallery

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Work by Academy Records, Benjamin Zellmer Bellas, Judith Brotman, Ann Chen, Laura Davis, Meg Duguid, Jason Dunda, Andreas Fischer, Charles Fogarty, Jeffrey Grauel, John Henley, Andrew Holmquist, Carol Jackson, Kevin Jennings, Larry Lee, Jinn Bronwen Lee, Steve Reber, Daniel Schmid and Mindy Rose Schwartz.

Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Friday, 7-11pm.

4. Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse at Gallery 400

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Work by the Los Angeles art collective My Barbarian.

Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. Reception is Friday, 5-8pm.

5. DESIRE(D) at Mana Contemporary

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Work by the Industry of the Ordinary 2014 Summer School: Lucas Ballester, Tory Cheney, Allana Clarke, Andi L. Crist, Marlo Koch, Rian Lussier, Cynthia Post Hunt, Emma Saperstein, Emerson D’Artagnan Sigman and Valentina Vella.

Mana Contemporary is located at 2233 S Throop St. Reception is Friday, 7-10pm.

6. This May Have Happened at David Weinberg Photography

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Work by Daniel W. Coburn, Susan Annable, Robert Shults, Matthieu Brouillard, Stacy Kranitz, Shannon Benine, Joey Potter, Paul Thulin, Elaine Miller, Larry Chait, Jessica Sladek, Eileen Keator, Amy Friend, Rachel Loischild, Joyce P. Lopez, Amy Becker, Kurt Simonson, Mateusz Sarello, Dan Streeting, Kevin E. Lyle, Matt Rahner, Ben Altman, Stefan Petranek, Lex Thompson, Amiko Wenjia Li, Cynthia Henebry and Jaclyn Wright.

David Weinberg Photography is located at 300 W. Superior St. Reception is Friday, 5-8pm.

7. Wolf Peach at Packer Schopf Gallery

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Work by Lauren Levato Coyne.

Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception is Friday, 6-9pm.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (2/14-2/16)

February 13, 2014 · Print This Article

1. Take Aim at The Hills Esthetic Center

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Work by Hope Esser and Daviel Shy.

The Hills Esthetic Center is located at 128 N. Campbell Ave. Reception Friday, 7pm-midnight.

2. Paul’s Not Gay at slow

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Curated by Molar Productions, with by work by Benjamin Bellas, Judith Brotman, CC Ann Chen, Meg Duguid, Andreas Fischer, Jeffrey Grauel, John Henley, Andrew Holmquist, Greyson Hong, Theodore Horner, International Chefs of Mystery!, Carol Jackson, Carron Little, Nicholas Lowe, Ryan Noble, Susannah Papish, Steve Reber, Oli Rodriguez, Joshua Slater, Rafael E. Vera, Rebecca Walz and Ryan Michael Pfeiffer.

slow is located at 2153 W. 21st St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

3. Soft Drugs at DfbrL8r

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Work by Kendall Babl, Sarah Berkeley, Buki Bodunrin, Meg Dugid, Julia Klein, Nicole Marroquin, Mothergirl, Sabina Ott, and Erik L. Peterson.

DfbrL8r is located at 1136 N Milwaukee Ave. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

4. Six Sigils for Saint Lucifer and Other Works at Peanut Gallery

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Work by Erik R. Peterson.

Peanut Gallery is located at 1000 N. California Ave. Reception Sunday, 5-9pm.

5. Capture Effect at 3433

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Work by Anastasia Samoylova and Julie Weber.

3433 is located at 3433 Kedvale Ave. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.




Judith Brotman: New Beginnings, Happy Endings

October 30, 2013 · Print This Article

 

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“The 93 Dreams of Summer,” mixed media with audio, 2013.

 

For over two decades now Judith Brotman’s practice has hinged on relationships built between people. This has taken several forms over the years, and hopefully you’ve had the opportunity of seeing some of her recent work at Bike Room in “I Dozed, I Napped, I Writhed, I Dreamed (reviewed here by Bad at Sports’s own Caroline Picard); at Slow Gallery with “New Word”; or at Gallery 400 in “Whisper Down the Lane.”

For the exhibition “New Word,” Brotman used the Jewish Kabbalistic prompt of finding a word to follow for the rest of your life as an impetuous to generate 1000 new words, including some of the following examples:

skibbring (milestone)

curloup (turnip)

bettergeal (cousin)

squobe (Nutella)

ifflorgi (synthesize)

Brotman relinquished some control over the piece’s manifestation by “not touching the work,” tasking the organizer of the exhibition to fabricate the piece by inscribing the words on the wall for her. Although many of the words are humorous sounding, and the project on the whole involves a certain amount of playfulness, it forces a certain obligation and responsibility on the viewer as well.

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“New Word,” words written directly on gallery wall and scratched off when selected by someone, 2013. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman.

 

In her piece “93 Dreams of Summer” from “Whisper Down the Lane” she generated several texts, related to koans in both their brevity and enigmatic nature, and created a sound recording of her reading them which viewers were invited to listen to over headphones. The phrases, while often absurd, are also witty and poetic, reflecting the skill and comfort with which Brotman writes:

 

Dream 6. You invent a machine that can play the violin, devein shrimp, and shred documents all at the same time.

Dream 27. You live in a world where there are restrictions to saying “Good job,” to your children. Saying it too often leads first to fines, then imprisonment, and ultimately the death penalty. You breathe a sigh of relief.

Dream 55. You are twelve years old, and God comes to visit dressed as a lawn chair. You say hello and sit down.

Dream 87. You legally change your name to “Tater.”

 

In both these exhibitions, Brotman engages language— either via the written word, or words read aloud— and they also both feature words or texts generated by her. Although she has stated she’s as influenced by visual phenomena as she is by literature, Brotman also views both works as engaging with that same, singular, overarching concern that continues to occupy her regardless of the medium she is experimenting with— relationships.

Her interest in relationships has translated into a focus on narratives, especially love stories. Brotman’s tastes run the gamut from day time soap operas to tales of unrequited love, or unconventional, odd ball works that, while they’re well known pieces of literature, may not typically be thought of as love stories (take Frankenstein for example, one of her favorites).

The pivotal moments, or moments of drama that these stories often hinge on, draw Brotman to them, and while she can appreciate the tension and theatricality that arise from their seemingly unending series of climaxes, she’s as equally taken with “the possibility that things will go wrong…”

In a cruel example of life imitating art, Brotman had just such a pivotal moment this past summer, in the form of a hand injury; “…(I) lost the use of my wrist and I couldn’t make anything and I didn’t know if it was going to come back, and it was very depressing… and people were saying to me, this is going to be an opportunity, and I… wanted to punch them, with the good hand (of course).”

This did lead to an opportunity however, and it took the form of a long-term project that, although she claims to have no idea how it may develop over time, imagines it going on, “for the rest of (her) life.”

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“The Reading Project,” Rebecca Duclos reading to Brotman in her home, 2013.

 

The parameters of the project involve Brotman visiting the homes of friends and near strangers alike. She asks them to read to her aloud for forty-five minutes to an hour while she audio records them and takes some still photographs. There’s a certain amount of latitude in what they may choose to read, but Brotman requests that it be a text of meaning.

“Careful what you say, because… when I started at the School of the Art Institute in the late eighties I said there is one thing I will never, ever do, and that is performance,” jokes Brotman. And while her artistic overture is somewhat fluid in this project, she is still interested in the same kinds of dramatic tensions and relationship cultivation.

Generosity seems inherent in the act of inviting someone into your domestic space, thoughtfully selecting a text of meaning, and then sharing both your time and energy in reading it aloud, but the work is complicated by some of the quieter, darker reasons for Brotman’s impetus for the project— a cultural critic of a fast paced, compartmentalized, multi-tasking society that listens to books on tape, reads off a tablet, and texts or emails instead of making face time.

Although the project is only newly underway, Brotman has noticed that it asks a lot of her as a listener as well, and requires a heightened level of “focus and presence.” The project seems to repay careful, thoughtful and active listening, but Brotman is honest about stating that, “…pivotal moments may or may not happen.” Although the action of being read to is repetitive, there’s so much variation within each discrete event that it’s difficult to generalize. She does go on to say that, “…many of the readings have been exquisite and some have not been. Sometimes I can’t wait for it to end— and that’s usually when the reader can’t wait for it to end—…. And then sometimes it really is like a little love story… I have this feeling of being carried away, there’s this falling in love moment, that, I don’t know what else to call it, I’m inspired, I’m excited, I’m curious, I leave feeling like I have 300 times more energy then when I came in.”

The act of reading aloud to someone is usually an intimate affair, but Brotman is experimenting with performing the readings publicly, and recently had the opportunity of being read to for part of “The American Dream: (W)holy Grail” in Edgewater. And although previously her site-responsive installations constructed largely from objects crafted from paper were exceedingly fragile and ephemeral, she is deriving a certain amount of pleasure from  the act of archiving, cataloguing and retaining these readings. It’s clear that the performance itself, rather then it’s mere accumulation, is still what’s most compelling to her though; “it has stripped down to the core what I care about most.” Perhaps as the project marches on, she will find herself generating love stories instead of merely listening in on them.

 

Interview conducted in October 2013.

The author would like to thank Judith Brotman for her assistance.

All images courtesy of the artist unless otherwise noted.