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.
Saturday Lauren and I went to the Co Prosperity Sphere to check out the NFO XPO. In all honesty I hadn’t been to a Version festival in three years. Three years ago both myself and several friends were stranded in Bridgeport at 2am in the rain and miles from the train (no taxis would come pick us up and the bus had stopped running). So, with that incident behind me, I returned to Version Fest in a car and with a fresh amount of optimism.
The layout of the fair looked liked most art fairs in the sense that each artist/organization/gallery had an individual booth and objects were either being sold/bartered/given away.
Golden Age, manned by the always rad Marco Kane Braunschweiler (pictured right), was one of my favorite booths. They carried work by Robin Camron. I was really into Camron’s “Mind Maps” and picked up her most recent book also titled “Mind Maps” which maps the artist’s thoughts through extended ven diagrams.
Green Lantern and Three Walls held it down in usual fashion. Aaron Delehanty had a psychiatric help booth set up which resembled “Peanuts”. I did not get a chance get Aaron’s advice but I did hear him tell a woman that she needed to “go get a job”. I was also sort of taken with Daniel Mellis’ Institute for Socioaesthetic Research. According to a pamphlet, “the institute is dedicated to discovering the aesthetic possibilities inherent in the research and observation of social structures.” To be honest I was initially attracted to the stock of paper that their pamphlet and business cards were printed on (I spend all day at work talking about paper) but also became interested in some of the services they offered. “The Fourth Amendment on Paper (Bags) Learn about your constitutional rights while enjoying a refreshing beverage at Maria’s (Kaplan’s Liquors),960 w. 31st street. Every purchase comes with the Fourth Amendment and instructions for use on a paper bag. Remember, bags at a liquor store are no substitute for legal advice.”
My overall feeling when I left was that I liked some portions of Version but wished there were more participants. And being the optimist that I surprisingly am, I think that more participation will come over time.