Bad at Sports Hosts Cabinet of Curiosities Tuesday Night at MCA

April 19, 2010 · Print This Article

Photo by Greg Stimac

Tuesday April 20th (tomorrow!) at 6pm Bad at Sports hosts this month’s Cabinet of Curiosities at the MCA, an ongoing “grab bag of ‘un-lectures'” presented by different groups from around Chicago. Bad at Sports has curated an evening on the subject of Magic. Stephanie Brooks will speak on the Magic of Language and Love. Industry of the Ordinary (Mat Wilson and Adam Brooks) will explore the magical through an investigation of God, football, and extra-marital conduct. Elijah Burgher will give a talk on Sigil Magic, a system of spell-casting outlined by early 20th century occultist, Austin Osman Spare, and popularized more recently in occult movements such as Chaos Magick and Thee Temple of Psychic Youth. Ross Moreno will perform magic! And John Neff and Ivan Lozano will explicate the magic of materialist magic – presented immaterially.

Participant Bios:

Stephanie Brooks is a conceptual artist living in Chicago.  She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including exhibits in Berlin, Brooklyn, Chicago, Denmark, London, Los Angeles, New York, Vienna, and Phoenix, AZ.  She is an adjunct professor in the Sculpture department at The School of the Art Institute. Her work is included in the collections of Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Microsoft Corporation, and Philip Morris/Altria. Her recent publication “Love is A Certain Kind of Flower” is published by Green Lantern Press; and upcoming exhibitions include Peter Blum, New York and Portable, Atlanta.

Industry of the Ordinary were formed in 2003. The two artists who make up this collaborative team, Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson, have long histories as visual and performative artists. They bring complementary sensibilities to their activities.Their projects exist in temporal terms but have also been conceived to function on the web site associated with the collaboration, They have had solo shows at the MCA and NEIU Gallery and performed at the opening of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, as well as making work for a wide variety of private, semi-private and public settings. They will have a survey of their practice at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2011.

Elijah Burgher is an artist and writer based in Chicago, IL.  He has most recently exhibited in a solo show at Shane Campbell Gallery in Oak Park, IL and a two-person exhibition at Peregrine Program in Chicago, IL.  He will exhibit work in group shows at Johalla Projects in Chicago and Envoy Enterprises in New York this summer.  He maintains a hybrid studio wall/magick diary blog at  Burgher co-founded and co-edited the now-defunct art publication BAT.  He has written reviews and essays for ArtUS and several small art publications in Chicago, as well as contributed writing to Art:21’s guest blog.  He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence college in 2000, where he split his credits amongst Literature, Visual Art, and Cultural Anthropology.

Ross Moreno earned a master’s degree in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. It was during this time he developed a passion for hotdogs, and he has been living and working professionally in Chicago ever since. Ross’ is a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of American Magicians and recently completed the International House of Pancakes Balloon Twisting Training Program. Ross can be seen performing his unique blend of performance art, stand-up comedy, and magic at different venues all over the city. More information about Ross can be found by visiting his website at

John Neff produces works of art, organizes exhibitions and practices critical writing. He lives and works in Chicago.

Ivan Lozano is a (mostly) video artist currently working on an MFA in Film/Video/New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In another life, while living in Austin TX, Ivan was the programming director for the Cinematexas International Short Film Festival, and an arts writer for various publications.

Episode 220: Liam Gillick

November 15, 2009 · Print This Article

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Liam Gillick. That is right, the man whose imagination can take him anywhere. A transparent master of the question of Modernity? Cat lover? Designer/author/theorist/artist/architect? The son Donald Judd never wanted? Enigma cloaked in riddle? Relational Aesthetic celebrity? All these things and more… We at Bad at Sports try and get to the bottom of Liam’s magic in this hour-long interview.

The last element in Liam Gillick’s 4 part global retrospective, “Three perspectives and a short scenario” will run through January 10th at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Accompanying that exhibition, Gillick has produced “The one hundred and sixty-third floor: Liam Gillick Curates the Collection,” which is also be on view.

Liam Gillick emerged in the early 1990s as part of a re-energized British art scene, producing a sophisticated body of work ranging from his signature “platform” sculptures — architectural structures made of aluminum and colored Plexiglas that facilitate or complicate social interaction — to wall paintings, text sculptures, and published texts that reflect on the increasing gap between utopian idealism and the actualities of the world.

His work joins that of generational peers such as Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno in defining what critic Nicholas Bourriaud described as “relational aesthetics,” an approach that emphasizes the shifting social role and function of art at the turn of the millennium. Gillick’s work has had a profound impact on a contemporary understanding of how art and architecture influence, and are themselves influenced by, interpersonal communication and interactions in the public sphere.

This exhibition is presented in association with the Witte de With in Rotterdam, Kunsthalle Zurich, and the Kunstverein in Munich. It is the most significant and comprehensive exhibition of Gillick’s work in an American museum to date, comprising a major site-specific installation in the gallery ceiling as well as a presentation of his design and published works, and a film documenting projects from the entirety of his career. The MCA is the only American venue for the exhibition. Read more

Episode 219: Jeremy Deller and Esam Pasha

November 9, 2009 · Print This Article

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Jermey Deller

Jeremy Deller. That’s right, this week we have one of the world’s most interesting contemporary artists talking about “What It Is,” a show and tour he has worked on, that appeared at The Hammer, the New Museum and now, Chicago’s MCA, featuring a car that was bombed-out during the Iraq war. He is joined by artist Esam Pasha to talk about “What It Is”

Deller’s work often challenges our assumptions about what “is” and “is not” art and uses the banner term “art” to gain access to, extend, push, and develop local cultures. Deller is also the first Turner Prize-winner to appear in the 230 hours of the Bad at Sports show.

Schedule of Participants at the MCA
Jeremy Deller
Esam Pasha
MCA Release about the show

BAS Halloween Watch: See Frankenstein Performed by The Hypocrites at the MCA

October 12, 2009 · Print This Article


Ah, bloody ladies and their fucked-up bloody baby dolls. I’m still counting down the days to Halloween, and if I can find a babysitter of my own, I am so going to see this woman (actually, Stacy Stoltz as Elizabeth) up close and in person when The Hypocrites perform their version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the MCA Chicago from October 21 – November 1. It will be enacted “in promenade,” which means that performers intermingle with audience member on the same stage. Blurbs the MCA:

Just in time for Halloween, acclaimed Artistic Director Sean Graney and The Hypocrites take on Mary Shelley’s classic novel for an adventurous retelling of Frankenstein. Graney’s world-premiere production is performed in promenade, which places the audience onstage amidst the actors, and combines his inventive and poetic adaptation with the famous 1931 film starring Boris Karloff.

Inspired by the vast scope of Shelley’s novel and the ideas of inventors like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, Graney draws from a variety of literary sources for his adaptation, including Macbeth, Prometheus Bound, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford. Graney’s adaptation combines several historical versions of the gothic tale to craft a contemporary literary monster that captures the pure horror and chilling philosophy of creation carried out in the name of human advancement.

It’s like a high art version of Tony & Tina! But seriously, it’s always fun when audiences get a chance to wander around onstage while the performers do their thing–although I always wind up feeling weirdly embarrassed for the actors when I stand too close to them.  At any rate, you can watch a video of Hypocrities founder and Frankenstein director discussing his ideas about how theater relates to Frankenstein below; tickets are $20-25, for MCA members they’re $16-20, and the student rate is $10.