Work by Stephen Eichhorn.
Johalla Projects is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception is Friday, 7-10pm.
Work by Bryan Zanisnik.
Aspect/Ratio is located at 119 N. Peoria St. Reception is Friday, 5-8pm.
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.
Work by the Los Angeles art collective My Barbarian.
Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. Reception is Friday, 5-8pm.
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.
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.
Work by Lauren Levato Coyne.
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception is Friday, 6-9pm.
Work by Jeremy Bolen.
Andrew Rafacz Gallery is located at 835 W. Washington Ave. Reception Saturday, 4-7pm.
Work by Ashley Morgan and Joseph Morris.
ACRE Projects is located at 1913 W. 17th St. Reception Sunday, 4-8pm.
Work by Ali Aschman.
The Annex at Spudnik Press is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.
Work by Robert Agne.
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception Friday, 5-8pm.
Work by Amanda Elizabeth Joseph.
Zg Gallery is located at 300 W. Superior St. Reception Friday, 6-8pm.
Work byÂ Meow Wolf.
Thomas Robertello Gallery is located at 27 N. Morgan St. Reception Friday, 6-8pm.
Work by Ryan Duggan.
Johalla Projects is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.
Work by Daniel Bruttig and Duncan Robert Anderson.
Kasia Kay Gallery is located at 215 N. Aberdeen St. Reception Friday, 6-8pm.
Work by Jeffrey Beebe.
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception Friday, 5-8pm. Â
Work by Casilda Sanchez.
Aspect/Ratio is located at 119 N. Peoria St. Suite 3A. Reception Friday, 6-8pm.
Work by Sarah Kelly, Marisa Williamson, Katya Grokhovsky, Rachelle Beaudoin, Andrea Hidalgo, Roxy Farhat, Em Meine, Cristine Brache, T. Foley,Â Lex Brown, Lilly McElroy, Molly Shea, Shana Moulton, Becky Sellinger, and Rosemarie Romero.
Antena is located at 1755 S. Laflin St. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.
Work by Scott Fortino.
Document is located at 845 W Washington Ave. 3F. Reception Friday, 5-8pm.
Work by Chris Naka
Julius Caesar is located at 3311 W. Carroll Ave. Reception Sunday, 2-5pm.
Work by Miguel Guzman
Paperish Mess is located at 1955 W. Chicago Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-11pm.
Work by recent graduates of the Yale MFA Photography Program: Marzena Abrahamik, Endia Beal, Elizabeth Bick, Johanna Case-Hofmeister, Tommy Kha, Michael Marcelle, Sophie Ruspoli, Justin Schmitz, Sadie Wechler, and Rick Yribe.
Johalla Projects is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.
Work by Plural.
Public Works Gallery is located at 1539 N. Damen Ave. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.
Work by James Pate.
DuSable Museum of African American History is located at 740 E. 56th Pl. Exhibition begins Saturday.
Work by Vesna Jovanovic.
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.
Work by Morgan Sims.
Bert Green Fine Art is located at 8 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 1220. Reception Saturday, 5-8pm.
An artist bought cheap paperbacks for 10 or 25 cents at used bookstores. In little time, the collection grew to 100â€™s. He organized them by genreâ€”suspense, mystery, and murderâ€”and within each genre, he chose a select few, organizing them again, alphabetically by title. He ripped the covers off, stacked them, sealed them together with adhesive, and wielded a knife.
Afterwards he told me he didnâ€™t want to make too many aesthetic decisions based on tone or color of pages. He said he didnâ€™t want to work with high-art, literary-type books. He offered other explanations when I questioned him over Skype, after having met him at the opening of his show at the Packer Schopf Gallery on November 4. He didnâ€™t seem shifty, but then again his show â€œPaper Backâ€ is up there for only two weeks (before it travels to the Pulse Fair in Miami!).
The artist: Brian Dettmer: â€œThis is the first time Iâ€™ve focused on paperbacks in such large pieces.â€
Seeâ€”he admitted itâ€™s unusual. Brian Dettmer’s best known for slicing through vintage reference books, cutting around preexisting images and text, thereby creating intricate layered book-sculptures. But for the paperback book-sculptures in the new show, he’s complicated his readings with the knife, cutting out the letters of phrases. He revealed:
BD: â€œItâ€™s tough working with language in visual art, I think, giving so much focus to such a short phrase. People are going to read into it, no matter what, so I didnâ€™t want them to be too literary or sound too sure of themselves. I didnâ€™t want them to come across as preachy. . . . And I definitely wanted to avoid them sounding too pretentious by being too intelligent or too deep. So the first one I come up with was â€˜I Could Tell You But Then Iâ€™d Have To Kill You,â€™ and then I was thinking about the subjects as well, the suspense, the mystery, and the murder, and I was thinking about this situation weâ€™re in with books right now. We donâ€™t really know what the future is with them. And I wanted to use phrases that everyone knows, and I like this idea of cutting them off at the end. . . . It makes it darker, more open to interpretation. Even though everyone already knows exactly how it finishes, youâ€™re finishing it in your head. Then the middle one â€˜Thereâ€™s Nothing To Fear Butâ€™ that, without the words â€˜fear itself,â€™ seems even more troubling. But thatâ€™s like whatâ€™s going to happen to information if we do stop printing books. Weâ€™re constantly losing files and constantly having to upgrade. . . . Maybe Iâ€™m a bit of a doom-and-gloomer, but if we lose access to inexpensive electricity and information keeps going the way it does, weâ€™re going to lose access to all of our personal and cultural records as well. Weâ€™re continuing to rely on constant electricity. Also thinking about how technology and information are so integrated and how vulnerable thatâ€™s becoming, but those are my own thoughts. They are such open phrases. Theyâ€™re kind of cheesy, kind of funny also, but by putting them on there, people can stop there; they can read into it and put their own interpretation onto it.”
Okay, I agreeâ€”definitely humorous and dark. He continued:
BD: “When youâ€™re on the right side [of each paperback sculpture], you can read the text, but when youâ€™re on the left side, the letters become more visible, but then itâ€™s also controlled the way the actual words are held together.”
Interesting. . . . But what about the notches in the sculptures?
BD: â€œI wanted something to tie the text in with the actual sculpture that would integrate the two, and I was also thinking about this idea that the text emerged from pixels but not literally carving a shape of a pixel. Just letting the text, the architecture of the book, the structure of the page dictate where these little things might go.â€
I asked him to explain something else I found a little odd for him but definitely compellingâ€”the ink-jet prints of visual poems on the walls near their corresponding sculptures. For example, pictured here â€œProse and Poetry of the Worldâ€:
BD: â€œIâ€™ve always found when Iâ€™m isolating specific lines of text, whether it be from an anatomy book or a mechanical book or even a poetry book because all these fields are so specificâ€”once Iâ€™m isolating that textâ€”it takes on a different meaning, the possibilities open up, and so it is a visual poetry. So for this new show, Iâ€™ve been focusing more on text, shifting toward that more. With some of the individual pieces, I then began transcribing the actual text into a printed pageâ€”highlighting that visual poetryâ€”and hopefully shifting the viewerâ€™s focus to that, at least whatâ€™s on the printed page, and then going back and forth between that and the sculpture.â€
We talked about other shifts, more about his works using nonfiction:
BD: â€œThe information [in nonfiction books] is changing over time but, as we all know, the form has changed as well. I think itâ€™s dictionaries and encyclopedias, all of these reference books, that are losing their function the quickest because everything is online. I have 10 or 20 solid dictionaries in my studio right now, but if I need to look up a word, Iâ€™ll go online because I can get directly to it. Same with encyclopedias. Because the information is constantly evolving, but the form itself is evolving as wellâ€”encyclopedias and dictionariesâ€”these text reference books are the first to go as far as the way books are going. Itâ€™s interesting because the content and also the form is constantly evolving and under threat.â€
I asked but shouldn’tâ€”What next, Brian Dettmer? Youâ€™ve really outdone yourself here. What next?
Brian Dettmer may or may not be at the closing receptionâ€”he didn’t know yet at the time of our talking. But the closing reception at Packer Schopf Gallery on November 20 will feature a performance by Coppice, a Chicago-based duet of bellows and electronics. The performance begins at 3:00 p.m.â€”sharp.