EDITION #8

April 29, 2013 · Print This Article

Move over, Judy Chicago!

While you were busy rubbing up against undergrads who rock BO like its spring Givenchy at the latest apartment opening, What’s the T? was doing rigorous “research” on how the other half lives. The half that attends a monthly live talk show catered by a guest chef in a West Loop winery.

The April 1st Dinner Party featured actually funny stand-up from Brian Babylon and made me fall in love with Peggy Macnamara. The pork chop was bangin’ and the food was totally worth the price of the ticket alone.

Ted Seymour, resident choreographer at Ballet Chicago, danced the opening performance with Ellen Green at the April 1st Dinner Party.

Unsurprisingly, What’s the T? is particularly star-struck by the inclusion of Jordan, the creator of CandidCandace.com and a social columnist for the Trib at the May 6th installment of the live broadcast event.

Writing gossip and being gossip are usually considered mutual exclusive endeavors, but Candace Jordan has managed to work both sides of the column. Jordan was named playboy bunny of the year in 1976 and currently spends her time covering the juiciest events in town. Michael Jordan’s wedding much?

Brian Babylon being hilarious.

Buy tickets for the May 6th Dinner Party featuring Candace Jordan, Lin Brehmer of WXRT, and Nick Bowling, Associate Director of the Timeline Theatre. Hosted by Elysabeth Alfano at City Winery.

.gif of the week

Peep this outtake from Kris Harzinski & Will Haughery’s May 26th exhibition at ACRE.

Telephone Cords Snap Back

Local fav, Gel Set’s new video for “disconnected” features everyone you’ve ever seen at party and really works the telephone cord trend.

Karthik Pandian’s Rhona Hoffman exhibition has also been trending hard, recently inciting a comment war on New City’s website. The Incomparables Club featured a circle of red telephone cord placed aptly above the desk, which can still be seen in Pandian’s on-going video installation, Reversal in the upstairs gallery.

The Weatherman Report

Georgia O’Keeffe, Yellow Jonquils # 3, 1936 © The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Dan Wayne.

SMALLTIME ARCHIPHILE:

Home Away from Home

Gems are few and far between in terms of iconic architecture. Most of the time, our cities are made up of small insignificant cumulative buildings occupying neighborhoods and defining local character. But this building in Lakeview doesn’t HAVE character; it IS a character, an odd-one-out for that matter.

This polarized 3-flat near the EL on Sheffield is shaped by typical Chicago lot restrictions, but not by local vernacular practices, like red bricks or Chicago Windows. This residence looks like it should be in South Beach, not North Lakeview – a conglomerate of White and Grey masonry blocks in alternating horizontal lines; copious amounts of Miami Vice Glass brick; 90s laser-beam graphics on the long elevation; ‘hi-tech’ Kubrick bubble windows; a diagonally cut front entrance; and fucking shark fins on the parapet roof profile. I can’t believe I just described a building like this AND it’s real. It’s odd placement near a major transit point and its non-Chicago skin make it stand out, but not in the way that suggests it got lost in the wrong neighborhood. It’s as if this building is doing it’s own thing and feeling really comfortable, like dancing with it’s eyes closed and pretending no one’s watching.

As an object, this looker is not a place you can hang at, since it’s a private residence. Maybe you can make friends with the inhabitants of this time-and-place machine. Imagine hanging on the asymmetrical rear patio decks on a warm summer night, sipping on your cold fruity drink – if you get blasted enough, it might feel like Miami Beach with your eyes closed…but then the train will pass by and you’ll realize you’re in a fucking spaceship.

Grade A diamond in the rough.

Address: FIND IT YOURSELF!

What the T?!

What happened to G.R. N’Namdi Gallery?




EDITION #3

February 18, 2013 · Print This Article

Watch out QT

Following a preview launch at the closing of 24hours/25days at New Capital, Forever and Always, the joint curatorial venture of Billy Joyce and Brook Sinkinson Withrow debuted at their Pilsen location last Friday night with a screening of Dreamgirl by Sarah Condo work and a musical performance by Younger.

Forever and Always curators Joyce and Withrow by Matthew Joynt

While the Forever and Always main focus is on programming (they have a lecture by Willy Smart scheduled for March 5th), the space features an ongoing “exhibition” of artwork as well. Whether or not this is a clever ploy to decorate the curators’ apartment remains unclear.

“Its not like someone is trying to hide that it’s an apartment. The art is just where it is. It’s like a return to not giving a shit.” – unnamed source (Michael Kloss)

Blog Roll

Can’t get enough irreverent internet in your tumblr digest? Is The Jogging becoming too relevant for your taste? Enter #NYCartlife. Just a couple SAIC to NYC transplants and their NY Advanced Painting analogs posting selfies and bad art history jokes. #thankmelaterorneveritscool

At last weeks opening for #WITH at ACRE Projects, exhibiting artist, Kristina Paabus, introduced What’s the T? to “#SOYEAHDUH” and we are forever grateful. After doing a little research WTT? learned the blog was created by Wicker Park’s Lisa Frame. Frame is also the creator of “Mugshot-Monday,” which is unfortunately just a bunch of people and their coffee cups.

Temporary Alliegance flag by h.melt (via Gallery400 twitter)

State of IL belatedly endorses love

Following hundreds of Valentines Day’s without half of an endorsement from the Illinois State Legislature, queers and homosexuals alike can finally rejoice as “The Democratic-led Senate delivered a Valentine’s Day victory to gay and lesbian couples [today], passing legislation for the first time that would allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.” Dubbed the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” What’s the T? wonders why the title couldn’t be something catchier like “The Freedom to Love Whomever You Damn Well Please Which Should Have Been Passed 50 Years Ago Act” or “The Let’s Make Marriage Fabulous Again Since Straight People Obviously Don’t Care About It Anymore Act.”

The legislation furthermore provides this blogger with the perfect context in which to repost the recent Temporary Alliegance flag by h.melt. The installation of the flag pole outside of UIC was concieved by Philip von Zweck and functions as an opportunity for others to exercise freedom of expression.

It’s a National Holiday!

In honor of President’s Day, a work by Erin Washington.

Photo by Charlotte Woolf

The Weatherman Report

Claude Monet, Snow Effect, Giverny, 1893

Velez not trying to “slam anyone in particular”

After slamming several prominent galleries, curators and artists in his article “Friends Curating Friends” for New City, local art critic and curmudgeon, Pedro Velez, took to Facebook last week to gloat over his own accomplishments of curating exhibitions and making artists cry while simultaneously chastising more victims.

LVL3 was unharmed.

Velez’s heart failed to grow three sizes that day.

Terry Myers offeres one of the most not-crazy responses to Velez’s article on the illustrious and longwinded Foumberg thread:

What could Nadar have been thinking when he offered his photography studio for his friends to have their first show in Paris? And what about the activities of all of those friends at the Cabaret Voltaire? Not to mention that pointless “Freeze” show in London. Shocking, but thankfully none of these artists had to call themselves curators.

Trending:

All images taken during the opening of the The Couples show at Heaven Gallery last Friday night, unless obviously from @richforever.

Thorne Brandt & Lindsey Regatta

Hornswaggler Arts

LVL3 turns 3.

Gallery finally lives up to its name

LVL3 is turning three(3) years old and to celebrate, curators and co-directors, Vincent Uribe and Allison Kilberg, are showing five artists who have been with them from the beginning: Michael Hunter, Paul Kenneth, Easton Miller, Liz Nielsen, and Kate Steciw.

I heard there’ll be Hunx.

Lucas Blair & Montgomery Perry Smith

Aron Gent & Betsy O’Brien




Raychael Stine at McAninch Arts Center Lobby Gallery

October 19, 2010 · Print This Article

I’ve written a piece on painter Raychael Stine in this week’s issue of New City.  I’ve been interested in Stine’s work ever since she was included in Columbia College’s Object of Nostalgia exhibition last year. She has a nice selection of paintings up in the lobby gallery at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage through December. Here’s the intro to the piece; just click on over to New City to read the full profile:

“There’s a lot of excess baggage that comes with being a young female painter who makes paintings of her dogs. Just ask Raychael Stine. A 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s MFA program, Stine is sometimes asked if she does commissions—“I have a Chihuahua too! Can you paint him?” When she was an undergrad at UT Dallas, Stine was referred to as “The girl who paints her dogs.” Even more vexing is the persistent assumption that Stine’s representational approach to painting is something she has yet to “outgrow,” as if it were not, in fact, a tactic she has consciously chosen for its ability to encapsulate emotionally inchoate and often covertly personal subjects within forms that have themselves been cast off as degraded, subservient, less-than.”

Raychael Stine. "Food For the Moon," 2010, oil and acrylic on canvas

Can I also just add that the exhibitions Barbara Wiesen has been organizing at the McAninch Arts Center have been rocking my world as of late? What I especially admire and appreciate about Ms. Wiesen’s programming of the Gahlberg Gallery space is the consistent attention she is paying to Chicago’s mid-career artists. The College of DuPage, which is located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, can be a bit of a hike to get to – but the exhibitions here are never less than totally worth the effort, and as a perk parking is free and easy-peasy.




Hot (okay maybe only lukewarm at the moment) Topic Alert: the Crisis in Art Criticism

March 26, 2010 · Print This Article

Jenny Holzer, Television Texts, 1990. © Video Data Bank Chicago.

This week New City published an essay by its arts editor Jason Foumberg on the state of art criticism amidst the rise of blogging, online websites, and other forms of interactive media titled The State of the (Visual) Art. I didn’t read this as a piece on the status of art criticism in Chicago per se, as I think some may have, but rather as about the difficulties of defining (much less practicing) this thing called ‘criticism’ at all in online, social-media driven contexts. Foumberg’s essay is part of a larger series of articles at New City that are exploring the state of criticism in the age of Yelp!,  Amazon book reviews, and other online social feedback devices. The other pieces can be found here, here, and here (this last one is about Yolp!, a Jersey Shore parody of Yelp that’s really funny). The comments that ensue are interesting, but there aren’t a lot of them and there’s not too much back-and-forth…yet. But today Christopher sent me a link to Michael S. Thomas’ blog Stagnant Vowels, in which he’s posted a response, of a sort, to the New City article, which immediately bumped Mr. Foumberg’s piece up to “hot topic” status in my mind. (Thomas’ response might itself almost qualify as a good old-fashioned Rant, and as I’ve said before, I am to rants as a moth is to a flame….Jason, in contrast, doesn’t rant: he muses.).

In his post, Mr. Thomas, who was the director of the well-respected and now defunct Dogmatic Gallery in Chicago, calls us out over here at Bad at Sports for basically being slutty opinion mongers on a par with t.v. talk show pundits. He writes:

“The flux or crisis isn’t with experts or authority per say, its in the distribution of opinion as though it were reasoned discourse. It’s in the ongoing creation of model’s for the dissemination of hyperbole without rational checks or balances. Whether it’s Glenn Beck, or Jon Stewart, or Bad at Sports these models can do much to obfuscate legitimate dialogue if not entirely cripple its formation.”

I have to assume he’s talking about our blog in particular, as the podcast’s one-on-one interview format is pretty much the antithesis of opinion journalism. But I want to know — where is all this ‘legitimate dialogue’ (emphasis on the word ‘legitimate’) that we in particular are guilty of obfuscating? Tell me where it’s happening, and I’ll gladly get the hell out of its way!

In all seriousness, though, I don’t at all disagree with Thomas on his larger point. In fact I think most of his post hits it right on the mark, particularly in his assessment that lack of editorial oversight might be precisely what makes online art criticism so problematic (I’m paraphrasing his argument, but that’s what I took away from it). Thomas finds fault with the recently launched Chicago Art Magazine for precisely these reasons, and although I shall remain neutral on the matter of his specific target, I tend to agree with many of the larger arguments he’s making. Such as this one:

“But I would argue that without editorial oversight or a progressive long term vision for growth, an endeavor such as this one is hopelessly mired. After all criticism and opinion are not the same. Amateur criticism is little more than the ALL-CAPS and bold fonts version of a comment roll, and paying said amateur is in no way a transformation of this reality. So what makes a misinformed critic not, a knowledgeable and, or an opinionated amateur? Time, energy, condensed thoughts, research, an apishly large library surrounded by lovely black and white photographs of water fowl, and other bric-a-brac? No its constancy and persistence in the pursuit of understanding and conveying the qualities that define the arcane and metaphorical reality of objects and their surroundings.”

Read more




Wednesday Clips 3/3/10

March 3, 2010 · Print This Article

Matt Saunders, Interview (Hertha Thiele 1975) #2, 2010. From Parallel Plot, February 28-April 11 at The Renaissance Society

I’m bringing this weekly links post back from the dead. There’s too much good stuff out there not to share. So, let us begin:

****Piss Wars: First-person accounts of a performance art kerfluffle involving Ann Liv Young that took place at PS1 Contemporary Art Center last week, over at Art Fag City. Dirty looks, upraised middle fingers, and spilled urine…yup, classic performance art. Follow up reports here and here.

****On the other hand, Wafaa Bilal makes the kind of performance art I can stand behind. Or support. Or whatever. His “….and Counting” will take place at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York on March 8th. In it, Bilal’s back will be tattooed with a borderless map of Iraq–one dot for each Iraqi and American casualty near the cities where they fell. “The 5,000 dead American soldiers are represented by red dots (permanent visible ink), and the 100,000 Iraqi casualties are represented by dots of green UV ink, seemingly invisible unless under black light.” (via we make money not art).

****A really good think-piece on the questionable status of Outsider Art, by Monica Westin, over at New City this week.

****Anaba profiles artist Margo Mensing, who “studies the work and life of an individual who died at her current age… and spends the year creating artwork responding to and inspired by that person.” Fascinating. She’s done Elizabeth Bishop, Donald Judd–and just check out her fantastic, Joan Mitchell-inspired knitted socks!! I am DYING over here.

****Wanna peek inside The Art Institute’s fashion archives?

****Photographer Luisa Lambri, whose work is consistently amazing, has a solo show titled “Being There” that just opened at the Hammer Museum. The Los Angeles Times profiles Lambri here and here.

****This is from way back in October, but still relevant: F Magazine, itself a student-run art journal, has a nice rundown of other local student-run art journals, including where to find them.

****Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy, a new book on the art and history of taxidermy by Melissa Milgrom. (Via Morbid Anatomy).

****A really interesting piece (which includes videos and links) on Manshiyat Nasser (Garbage City), a suburb of Cairo, at Provisions Library.  Garbage City is home to more than 20,000 people, many of whom are Zabaleen (Arabic for “Garbage Collectors”). The Zabaleen gather one-third of Cairo’s trash every day, bringing it back to Manshiyat Nasser where it is systematically sorted and recycled into raw materials or manufactured goods before being resold or reused worldwide.

****In Defense of Anonymity. Joanne MacNeill of Tomorrow Museum says, “Anonymity is a good thing. Don’t conflate it with online trolling, it’s good to have a secret life online.” She elaborates why in her podcast, linked above.