10 Shows to See Friday After EXPO

September 17, 2015 · Print This Article

Sensors for the Unsound at Andrew Rafacz Gallery

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Work by Jeremy Bolen

Andrew Rafacz Gallery is located at 835 W. Washington Blvd. Reception 6-9pm.

Seduced and Abandoned at Boyfriends

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Work by Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen

Boyfriends is lcoated at 3114 w. Carroll St. Reception 7-11pm.

Muse at C33 Gallery

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Work by James Kinser and Niki Grangruth

C33 Gallery is located at 33 E. Congress Pkwy. Reception 5-9pm.

APPROPINQUATION at Carrie Secrist Gallery

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Curated by Britton Bertran

Carrie Secrist Gallery is located at 835 W. Washington St. Reception 5-8pm.

Faith & the Devil at Center for Book & Paper Arts

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Work by Lesley Dill

Center for Book & Paper Arts is located at 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Reception 5-9pm.

Urban Interruption and (Re)generation at Glass Curtain Gallery

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Work by Amanda Williams, Emmanuel Pratt and Andres L. Hernandez

Glass Curtain Gallery is located at 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Reception 5-9pm.

My life as an INFJ at Julius Caesar

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Work by Shana Moulton.

Julius Caesar is located at 3311 W. Carroll Ave. Reception 7-10pm.

New Works at Night Club

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Work by Autumn Ramsey

Night Club is located at 3325 N. Pulaski Rd. Reception 6:30-9:30pm.

Theory of Forms at PATRON

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Work by Daniel G. Baird, Kadar Brock, Alex Chitty, Mika Horibuchi, Samuel Levi Jones, Mtthew Metzger, Bryan Savitz, Nick van Woert, Kristen VanDeventer, JPW 3 and Liat Yossifor

PATRON is located at 673 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception 6-9pm.

New Work at SAIC Sullivan Galleries

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Curated by Raquel Iglesias and Jacelyn Keework with work by Bobby Gonzales, Allyson Packer, Linda Tegg, Derrick Woods-Morrow, and Guanyu Xu

SAIC Sullivan Galleries is located at 33 S. State St. Reception 6-9pm.

DEMO Chicago at TCC Chicago and the Archer Beach Haus

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Work by Paula Nacif, Violet Systems, Nanae Shimazu, Christine Janokowicz, Kevin Carey, Lisa Claire Green, Ursula Andreeff, Rebecca Elliot, Maggie Harrington, Julia Kriegel, Coco Menk, Anja Morel, Sawako Okayasu, Vettii, Aaron Von Krupp, Allison Zuckerman, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, Bryan Peterson, Alp Seyrekbasan & Adrien Stein, Reina Taniuchi and Saya Yamauchi

TCC is located at 2547 W. North Ave.; Archer Beach Haus is located at 3012 S. Archer Ave. Reception 6pm-12am.




Tamms to Tokyo

February 12, 2013 · Print This Article

Last month we closed a trio of social justice exhibitions at Sullivan Galleries—and Laurie Jo Reynolds closed Tamms, the state’s solitary confinement prison. Art did that. Artists made work, called others to do so to, and then brought in a population that usually doesn’t come to see shows at SAIC. Why should they? But these shows made art matter because the artists leading these efforts—Tirtza Even and Laurie Palmer, Mary Patten, and Ellen Rothenberg—cared and had practical, human rights goals about which they were clear on both the subject and their commitment.

Laurie Jo Reynolds, “Tamms Year Ten Campaign Office,” SAIC Sullivan Galleries

Laurie Jo Reynolds, “Tamms Year Ten Campaign Office,” SAIC Sullivan Galleries

Tirtza Even, “Preview: An Assembly from Natural Life (work-in-progress),” SAIC Sullivan Galleries

Tirtza Even, “Preview: An Assembly from Natural Life (work-in-progress),” SAIC Sullivan Galleries

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project, “Opening the Black Box: The Charge is Torture,”  SAIC Sullivan Galleries

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project, “Opening the Black Box: The Charge is Torture,”
SAIC Sullivan Galleries

When I read Grant Kester’s essay in a new book, Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA, 2008-2012, my heart sank, twice.  First, to read that for this series artists were to present work on the first Thursday of three consecutive months; it was a program of, for, and by the museum. Oh, there were claims this made the museum more transparent, a late entry into institutional critique, and questioned the “boundaries of art, museum, and broader culture,” but really what it offered were bookings and entertainment, and Kester, too, cites complicity.

The second sinking feeling is worse, because he goes on to list questions he feels are critical to “participatory practices.” Ok, let me pause here: he says participatory, not social practices. It’s not the realm that Abby Satinsky cites as the “Chicago attitude.” But I am not the only one to juggle apples with oranges, and social is the title of the book in which he writes, so I’ll proceed.

Here are Kester’s critical points. (1.) His need to categorize by the structure of the project. (If you must; he’s got four.) (2.) The viewer’s relationship to “the work-as-thing.” Now I am among the first to rally for process-based work, but to say that the history of modernist art “provides a virtualized inter-subjective encounter” and that “these experiences are virtual and aesthetic,” is to have never had an experience with art. Dewey, the spokesperson for art-and-life within a wider understanding of “aesthetic” is rolling over in his grave. This includes a rather wooden description of “plural relationality” that hardly conveys vitality. We have to move beyond the passive/active participant paradigm. Meanwhile the “consciousness” he cites as perceiving other’s actions is not the consciousness to which I aspire and which art can give. This curiously leads him to the tired issue of authorship in collaborative art. (Get over it.) (3.) Finally, ethics. Well, if we were talking about “Opening the Black Box: The Charge is Torture,” or “Natural Life,” or “Tamms Year Ten Campaign Office,” there’d be something at stake. Stop letting Claire Bishop set the terms, Grant (his language aesthetics vs. ethics, hers—autonomy vs. morality). You’re better than that. We are better than that.

I return to my colleague Abby Satinsky’s mention of a “Chicago attitude” that she said she was struggling to articulate. How to encapsulate all that this city spawns and sends out in the world, all that artists do and keep doing here. And with this knowledge of what’s at stake, we don’t have to give up on art, and at the same time, we will never give up on social relations.

 

Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, Hiroshima, 2013. Photo: Mary Jane Jacob

Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, Hiroshima, 2013. Photo: Mary Jane Jacob

So I turn to Japan…bear with me…. because our alliances in this endeavor are wide, and our dialogues on other terrain both contribute to them by our example, while furthering our own understanding of what the Chicago attitude is. (Isn’t that what dialogue does?) I took up this conversation in Tokyo with two Korean artists, Kyungwon Moon and Joonho Jeon, whose News from Nowhere presented at documenta 13 will go a step further with the Chicago Laboratory this fall, and I invite you to Sullivan Galleries to look and participate. But to get to the origin of making art, participation and the society, I started with the question:  What personal transformative or, well, moment of crisis brought you to this point in your work?

JEON: To create art is to contemplate your own circumstances, learning through experience and expressing through art forms. Thus, art must necessarily be intensely private and subjective. I had merely been expressing subjective opinions when I began to doubt whether any of my opinions mattered to the rest of the world.

Homeless village in Shibuya, Tokyo, 2011. Photo: Kyungwong Moon and Joonho Jeon

Homeless village in Shibuya, Tokyo, 2011. Photo: Kyungwong Moon and Joonho Jeon

That prompted me to wonder if I could grasp the true nature of this doubt, and whether I could take it beyond my own personal views and work together with someone else to make it part of the public discourse. That’s why we decided to collaborate and brought in people from fields outside the art world to participate.

MOON: The making of art is commonly thought of as a private act. Working alone used to make me feel a sort of deprivation, as if the only voices I was hearing were my own echoes. While I still acknowledge individual exploration as being inseparable from art, I started this project because I came to realize that collaborative systems are also important, and began to wonder what sort of practical influence a collaborative project such as ours could have on society.

Kyungwon Moon and Joonho Jeon, News From Nowhere, film still

Kyungwon Moon and Joonho Jeon, News From Nowhere, film still

I also wanted to know how art forms would change in the future. What changes in relationships and modes of communication in art itself could affect society in entirely different directions? How will art be transformed in the future? The very process of asking these questions was a way to think about the evolution of art and its future prospects.

MOON & JEON: Having participated in a number of exhibitions together since 2007, we began discussing our thoughts and concerns on contemporary art, including the meaning of art, the expendability of exhibitions, and the absence of the critique. We came to think we should create art that is not only practical but also introspective, that is, in the sense that it would provide us with the opportunity to reflect upon ourselves.

We began asking questions about social function and role of art, looking at values and beliefs, and these led us to ponder: What would other artists in different fields think about our questions? So we organized News from Nowhere as an open discussion platform that reflects on art not just through arts but also through the humanities, sciences, economics, education, and religion.

Kyungwong Moon and Joonho Jeon meeting with Winy Mass, Seoul, 2012

Kyungwong Moon and Joonho Jeon meeting with Winy Mass, Seoul, 2012

Our initial motivation was to break free from art’s polarity of “the self and the other” by listening to others, sharing problems, and finding solutions together. Our priority has been on people’s participation. Each discussion is part of the process, part of the work.

We don’t offer any answers or a particular message. We want to share our discussions, processes, and views with those in the art circle as well as the society-at-large, and re-think and re-flect.  In this project, the word “re-think” does not equate with “reset,” as in starting anew. Instead, our use of “re-” involves empathizing and joining forces with others to think, solve, and share ideas.