Yesterday afternoon we took a trip to the new Black Cinema House space on 72nd and Kimbark to see the 1969 film, Putney Swope. The screening featured an introduction by comedian, Wyatt Cenac, who was wearing a knit sweater like you wouldn’t believe. Cenac’s choice for the screening felt uncanny in the gorgeous new home of the Johnson Publishing House archives, including a very 1970’s light up table from their offices.
BCH Program Manager, Penny Duff, introduces the film with Wyatt Cenac.
After the film was over a robust discussion started on the reception of the film when it was originally released, Robert Downey’s dubbing of Arnold Johnson’s voice, blacksploitation films, hip hop history, education and possible proscriptions for current day cultural production.
Cenac was an excellent moderator, letting others direct the conversation. Amongst other insightful contributions, Pemon Rami, Chicago’s first black casting director and the current Director of Educational & Public Programming at the DuSable Museum, discussed his impressions of the film having seen it in ’69 and again Sunday at the Black Cinema House (he mentioned he was fazed by the “buffoonery” on his recent viewing).
Black Cinema House is hosting more great programming at their beautiful brand spanking new space throughout the rest of the year, including hosting experimental filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu on November 14th. Check out their calendar of events here.
Reading is Fundamental
Both On-line and IRL Reads for your Educational Delight.
Chloé Griffin presents Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller. Tomorrow night get yourself to Quimby’s to see and hear one of our favorite local writers, Britt Julious discussing the life and legacy of actress, Cookie Mueller, with author Chloé Griffin. Tuesday, 7PM at Quimby’s. Free, our favorite flavor.
Inside Views: Micro Publishing at Spudnik Press. Featuring artists Charlie Megna, Veronica Siehl and April Sheridan and the The Perch, this Wednesday evening event is a no-brainer for lovers of community based art making and publications (like ourselves). We’d be loathe not to mention the world premiere of the short animations of Fred Sasaki’s & Fred Sasaki’s Four Pager Guide to: How to Fix You!. The Sasaki guides are already killer, and the film promises to knock you off your socks (and to fix you, of course!). Don’t forget to RSVP!
Fred Sasaki’s “Table of Value” prep for Wednesday. Stolen from the writer’s instagram account.
We’re pretty sure you know what Mexico-based artist Andrew Birk is talking about in his comment above. But if not, here are the pieces on Grabner and Prince. Talk amongst yourselves.
A Poet on Drake’s Poetics. So you know it must be true. Read Dorothea Lasky’s ode to Drake, where she sings the praises of his direct address on the occasion of the Canadian actor turned something like a rapper’s birthday. We feel you, Dorothea. But if you’re looking for some “real” poetry, check out her killer new book of poems, ROME.
The Weatherman Report
Sunday Thoughts by Clay Hickson from the artist’s tumblr.
Happy Dog Resurrects for Film Release
Video Diary Releases Kangaroo Premiere
Talk about a #tbt. When was the last time you visited Happy Dog? The former SAIC party rocking spot is way cleaner than you remember and the bathrooms have upgraded from their former horror-movie quality. Oh, and they hosted last Saturday night’s extravaganza for the DVD & VHS release of Lindsay Denniberg’s Video Diary of a Lost Girl.
Monica Panzarino’s video installation featuring Erica Gressman. Photo by Mikey McParlane.
The evening started with performances by Denniberg and self-surgery maven Erica Gressman aka Boogita. The space was scattered with video installations by Monica Panzarino on stacks of TV screens throughout. Happy Dog’s head dog, William Amaya Torres, had gigantic inverse prints of what appeared to be sketchbook pages installed throughout the house. We hadn’t seen work from Amaya Torres since our days at SAIC together. His prints were bold and appealing, they also had the benefit of darkening the space for the screening.
Alongside VDoaLG in the program was first year UIC MFA, Jimmy Schaus, with a 16 minute short titled Kangaroo. Schaus is the protagonist in the surreal dream scape of a film, which vacillates between the main character’s boring everyday life and the business casual demons who haunt him. Kangaroo impressively manages to riff on VHS effects and color distortion without being cheesy. We hope to see more from this budding filmmaker in the near future.
The world premiere of Kangaroo by James Schaus.
Video Diary of a Lost Girl looked better than ever Denniberg’s handmade VHS packages. We highly recommend getting your hands one of these beauts, even if, like us, you don’t have a VHS player. Yes, they are that cute. We’re not really sure where they’re available aside from in-person, but the filmmaker’s website is probably a good start.
T around Town
Here’s lookin’ at you, Chicago!
We loved this exhibition by Daniel Arnold in Paris London Hong Kong, that’s the Billy Goat Tavern in the photo!
The current crop of Art Admin MAs at SAIC hosted mural making an other arts & crafts at the Logan Square Comfort Station just outside of the penultimate neighborhood farmer’s market.
Greg Stimac and his coy grin at his Document opening on Friday night. We’re so in to those we’re gun sculptures that look kind of like legs!
Sense of déjà vu overwhelming at photo exhibition.
Artist align under themselves for Germanos exhibition.
We’re not really sure how, but Paul Germanos (the man with the camera and the motorcycle) somehow managed to assemble an impressive array of artists and makers for his exhibition at Antena Gallery in Pilsen last Friday night. Artist sat casually under photos of themselves, and as participators ourselves WTT? couldn’t help by snap a few re-takes.
Marissa Lee Benedict and David Rueter pose in front of themselves at Antena.
Daviel Shy and Hope Esser creatively interpret their photo on the wall. Cute!
Erik Wenzel does the Wenzel in front of his small likeness in the corner.
Header features an image from Paul Germanos’ opening at Antena Gallery last Saturday night.
Curated by Dayton Castleman and Matthew Dupont, with work by John Airo, Kristen Althoff, Anna & Meredith, Nick Black, Lisa Brosig, Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildewine, Jessica Calek and Dan Streeting, Abby Christensen, Melissa Damasauskas, Kaleb Dean, Aaron Delehanty, Jim Duignan, Ben Fain, Karl Gesch, Aron Gent, Ricki Hill, Gabe Hoare, David Hooker, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Anais Maljan, John Medina, Thomas Moreno, Heather Mullins, Jake Myers, Catie Olson, Haynes Riley, Blake Russell, Chris Santiago, Rana Siegel, Charles Smith, Bert Stabler, Basia Toczydlowska, Emily Van Hoff, Johanna Wawro, and Jen Zito.
Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Saturday 6-11pm.
This weekend is making up for the last couple slow ones. In all, 35 openings, with shows in all the standard art districts, a few museum events, and an awesome array of shows at the weird-ass venues that make Chicago such a vibrant art scene. Here’s my picks:
“Living Treasure is a shadow of Pentagon Gallery’s first opening Nemesis, A show that engaged cultural others and darkness in music, film, literature and athleticism. Living Treasure attempts to take note from Nemesis but focuses on current global issues and America’s involvement with in them. Each artist transforms ideas of violence, destruction, environment, religion, and sexuality by utilizing different mediums and engaging the viewer to be critical of their own social nature. The show it’s self might seem sinister but stays satirical with subject and matter.” Work by Carl Baratta, Carolina Wheat, Montgomery Perry Smith, Theodore Darst, Ryan Ingebritson & Flash Gordon (1980).
Pentagon is located at 961 W. 19th St., 1F. Reception is PLEASE NOTE: Saturday from 7-10pm.
“The work of all of these artists (who together cover film, sculpture, sound, food, printed matter, painting, photography and video) considers the ephemeral nature of youth and beauty. The work ranges from musings on death to pursuit of an infinite youth, covering all the fleeting affect in between.” Work by Marcel Alcala, Ryan Barone, Lucas Blair, Patrick Bobilin, Connor Camburn, Kevin Clancy, Adam Cruces, Cara Anne Greene, Eliza Koch, Andre & Evan Lenox, Vanessa Macholl, Celia Marks, Ross Meckfessel, Michael Morris, Erin Nixon, Michael Radziewicz, Anna Rochinski, Steve Ruiz, Liz Rugg, Hannah Verrill, Blair Waters, Ali White, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Travis Wyche.
Noble & Superior ProjectsÂ is located at 1418 W. Superior St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm, film screening is Saturday from 7-10pm.
3. A Packer Schopf 3-fer: “South County Scrapbook”, “Gleaners, Hawkers, and Reapers” and “Skivery”
Danny Hein: South County Scrapbook – “My drawings are inspired by romantic memories of growing up in rural Indiana. I always felt there was a lot of mystery there. The figures here represent the land. I think of them as corn-fed-ghosts.”
Catherine Jacobi: Gleaners, Hawkers, and Reapers – “The Histories of Objects are platforms from which Jacobi starts her pieces – considering a narrative that has already existed and one that she will have imagined existed. The novelty of form is that it leads you to believe it will endure. Look at a body, her body – immortality it seems is mortal.”
Nancy Bardawil & Casey Gunshel: Skivery – “Nancy Bardawil started her art career as a painter and a sculptor, but for the last twenty years she has been working in film as a director. Although she’s been painting since she was six-years-old, this is the first time she’s shown her paintings in public. As a child, Casey Gunschel learned to draw by way of National Geographic and Dungeons and Dragons monster manuals. That introduction has inspired a lifetime fascination with animals, creatures and all things wild.”
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception is Friday from 5-8pm.
“ACTION! is a Chicago Art Department exhibition themed around the idea of the Hollywood summer blockbuster movie.Â Since the release of Jaws in 1977, the summer movie season has, for better or for worse, become characterized by over the top, big budget, action, special-effects laden movies that we now know as â€œthe summer blockbusterâ€.Â Â Â The art in this exhibition looks at the summer movie as cultural phenomena and symbol, as nostalgia and memory, and yes even simple, mindlessÂ fun.” Work by Ryan Roberts, Christophe Roberts, Clare Rosean, Nat Soti, Jim Jeffers, Ali Serradge, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Kayce Bayer, Chris Lin, and Kerry Flaherty.
Chicago Art DepartmentÂ is located at 1837 S Halsted St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.
“Visible City: Map Room is part of an ongoing body of work by Aaron Delehanty in which painted images and drawn maps work together to build a mythos of a nonexistent place called Visible City. This exhibition highlights two features of this cityâ€”its urban physical space and its mental spaceâ€”by showing scenes of the city as being designed in harmony with its surroundings. The maps of Visible City are strange and unique, different from your usual map because Visible City is a different kind of human settlement.”
Fill in the Blank Gallery is located at 5038 N. Lincoln Ave. Reception is Friday from 7-11pm.