Work by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MFA students.
Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Friday 6-9pm.
Work by Rebecca Shore.
Corbett vs. Dempsey is located at 1120 N. Ashland Ave. Reception Friday 5-8pm.
Work by Andy Hall and Kaylee Rae Wyant.
Roots and Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Friday 6-9pm.
Work by Jesus Mejia.
The Plaines Project is located at 1822 S Des Plaines St. Reception Friday 7-10pm.
Curated by Michael Workman/Antidote Projects
Antena is located at 1765 S. Laflin St. Reception Friday 6-10pm.
Julius Caeser is a space tucked into a warehouse; very small, very white, very tall ceilings, half a wall of exposed brick. The show, Hear Here, features collaborative works by Kaylee Rae Wyant and Jerome Acks III, that I had read in an essay on the back of the show poster by Wyant, sought to be both”critical and patriotic”. Her essay questions artistic models based on 60s reactionary politics, and their relevance in the contemporary political climate. Interesting.
The show had a total of four pieces; two paintings, a beast of a sculptural canvas work in the center of the room, and a sculpture standing near the entrance.
Red Hat appears to be a painting on raw canvas. Upon closer inspection, it is revealed that the gnome-like red hat is actually sewn into the canvas, and the face wearing the hat is thickly rendered in dark paint. The red insert interrupts the canvas, but it is so seamless that you could easily write it off as a straightforward painting. I find that in a lot of collaborative work there is some sort of a game of figuring out which hand created which aspect of the piece, and that was definitely not a part of this show, as far as I could tell.
Making a Face (portrait of Simone de Beauvoir), is a classic bust portrait of (apparently) Simone de Beauvoir, and on top of this is a hard geometric shape of some red reflective material. Standing in front of the piece, my boobs were reflected back at me (I wonder what de Beauvoir would think…), and half of the bust painting behind it. This is a little too literal for me, implicating the viewer in the work through their reflection.
Liberatus Standing is free from the wall, constructed free standing on the ground, is made from canvas on stretchers but free from paint and dominates the space. The image is a pixilated photograph neatly stretched on the canvas, but with unfinished corners and edges. The piece feels really controlled in its rejection of convention, and uses the structure and language of painting to arouse feelings of revolution. It appears as though it has been twisted on itself, to the point where I had a hard time connecting the image as one in my head. However, I was most attracted to the side of the canvas that didn’t have an image. The back was panels of solid colored material, red, blue, navy, gray, with the seams dangling thread. Visually I found this much more appealing, and even patriotic with its reference to symbolism, flag making etc.
In general, I enjoyed the artists using the structure of painting as a place that had a set of conventions and a history that could be manipulated and questioned, while still paying homage to those same conventions and history.
The show will be up until July 26th, and Julius Caesar holds openings on the first Sunday of every month from 4-7pm. Gallery hours are on Sundays from 1-4.
Here’s what I’d go to, if I were you…
1. Co-Prosperity Sphere
Bert Stabler is bending you brain this 4th of July with SALAD-CHURCH-EXERCISE: A show about self-improvement through self-denial. With work by over 20 local artists, a massive salad potluck, and taglines like, “While large-scale organs of control, such as schools, hospitals, and prisons, enforce the social contract through a restriction of choice and a remote delegation of authority, personal or cultural techniques for redirecting and mastering libido, the inner primordial chaos we carry within, can be found in the options represented by salad, church, and exercise.” How could you go wrong. You can take the Orange Line to Ashland, Saturday from 2-6pm.
2. Julius Cæsar
For the day after Independency Day, lets raise our torn jean jacket clad arms an Question Authority! Mmm…high school. But seriously, Kaylee Rae Wyant and Jerome Acks are doing something cool over at Julius Caesar called Hear Here. Framed as work “examining the many ideals and complexities encompassing freedom, democracy and revolution” it should be interesting to contemplate after a flag choked day of “patriotism”.
3. BEN RUSSELL
How many ways can you put your own name on a show? Well, if you are Ben Russell, as many as humanly possibly. How is “Ben Russell, presented by Ben Russell, at Ben Russell” for ya? Weird thing is, it ain’t a solo show. Ben Russell is a new space in Pilsen, go there and check out work by Marco Kane Braunschweiler, Martine Syms, Paul Chan, Miguel Cortez, Roxane Hopper, Julie Rudder, and Kelly Kaczynsk are doing their performance piece at 9pm the opening night. Drop by for the Sunday opening from 6-10pm.
As a celebration of the closing of the Bucky Fuller exibition, the MCA is hosting Jen & Ira & You at the MCA Meet Buckminster Fuller Meeting the Hippies in Golden Gate Park, a performance piece by Jennifer Karmin & Ira S. Murfin. Ever wondered why hippies loved this son of the atomic age? Well, here’s your chance to find out. The performance is free with the cost of admission, so if you get into the MCA free, you’re good to go.