WE WILL MEET IN EVEN GREATER DARKNESS
New work by WILL HAUGHERY & KRIS HARZINSKI
Curated by ALICIA ELER
May 26-June 10
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 26, 4-8pm
Open Hours: Sundays & Mondays, noon-4pm
1913 W 17th St
Chicago, IL 60608
“…to become a way of feeling that is not painful casual or diffuse and seems to explore some peculiar insight…”
—Frank O’Hara, “Present” (1960)
We will meet in even greater darkness includes a series of collaborative videos and sculptures created by Kris Harzinski and Will Haughery. By literally surrendering inherent differences, they enact a new formula for a relationship, suggesting that a reality exists where intimacy flows freely, uninterrupted by constructed partitions.
Inspired by experiences derived from their curious friendship and a series of actions created at ACRE such as wrestling in the brush, whipping each other in the woods, and licking Nutella from one another’s fingers, works in the exhibition explore methods for destabilizing and undermining boundaries while building new intimacies and modes of trust.
Harzinski and Haughery aim to create their own construction of intimacy, which is experienced as an extension of trust, and has been developed through a series of mutually vulnerable shared experiences. This definition of intimacy forms the foundation of their practice, which pushes the limits of understanding, testing and bending it to see where it leads, and how it gets there.
KRIS HARZINSKI AND WILL HAUGHERY currently live and work in Philadelphia where they create works both individually and collaboratively. Their collaborative work has recently been featured in exhibitions at Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia), the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), and L’hybride (Lille, France). Haughery’s work has been in exhibitions at The Front (New Orleans), Vox Populi and Fjord (Philadelphia). Harzinski is the author of the book, “From Here to There: A Curious Collection from the Hand Drawn Map Association.” His projects have recently been featured at Arcadia University, the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, and the New York Public Library. His current project, Daily Life Storage, collects remnants of queer creativity producing a series of limited edition portfolios.
ALICIA ELER is a writer and art critic whose projects focus on American pop and consumer culture, social networked identities, anthropomorphism in art, queered notions of adolescence, and the invention of childhood. Her recent reviews examine the linguistic implications that result from an oversaturated Internet culture. Alicia is currently the Chicago Correspondent for Hyperallergic, a contributor to Artforum.com, and Editor of the OtherPeoplesPixels’ blog. In Spring 2013, she will curate four shows with ACRE Exhibitions & Residency. Her articles have been published in Art21, Art Papers, RAW Vision Magazine (UK), Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Flavorpill, ReadWriteWeb and Time Out Chicago.
trying to be cute bc the abyss
New work by Ellen Nielsen, Alicia Chester, Oli Rodriguez, Kate Hampel & Aiden Simon
Curated by Alicia Eler
May 24–26, 2013
Open hours: By appointment
3219–21 South Morgan Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Ellen Nielsen, “Ghost,” Inkjet print (2013)
Get ready to dress up for an abyss of cuteness—just don’t forget what Nietzsche says: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster . . . for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” We borrowed the title of this show from a tweet by poet Melissa Broder—where quick quips become comfortably consumable poetics—as a direct nod to the two-day micro-run of this exhibition. Featuring work by artists Kate Hampel, Ellen Nielsen, Oli Rodriguez, Alicia Chester and Aiden Simon, work in trying to be cute bc the abyss deals with issues surrounding queer identities of the past, present and future; sexual subcultures; the relationship between horror and the adolescent crush; the feminine-gendered artifice of nature; and searching for a connection to others through a lens.
Kate Hampel spent her ACRE residency exploring the obsessive relationship between the media and sexualized violence. Her focus has naturally flowed from this work into film and the cult of celebrity. For our group exhibition, she creates Probably a Waterfall, a comfortable viewing area in the gallery space where the filmic oeuvre of the late River Phoenix will play throughout the time of the exhibition, conflating the opposing genres of horror and the adolescent crush. Kate is a Gemini.
More information about Kate Hampel can be found at www.katehampel.com
Ellen Nielsen’s sculptures and photographs are inspired by romantic landscape painting, invasive tent caterpillars, Irish lace patterns and Kate Bush music videos. Interested in exploring the ways in which the constructed rules and aesthetics of gender are mythologized as natural, Nielsen says that she finds it ”strange that nature is often characterized as ‘pure’ and ‘feminine’ when the accoutrements of femininity are totally artificial: fake nails, make-up, high heels, and hairdos.” In her latest body of work, she positions capital-n nature as a theatrical space where doilies, flowers and ribbons perform absurdly against the seemingly natural forest. Ellen is a Pisces-Aries cusp, which imbues her with the knowledge of a wise old one, and the spirit of a child.
More information about Ellen Nielsen can be found at www.ellennielsen.net
Oli Rodriguez‘s The Marking Project is a palimpsest of contortions within portraits and sexual landscapes. These photographs and video installation are markings of routine and ritual, moving through sexualized mundane arrangements. They are actions with razors, plastic wrap and breath play, reveling in urine and beer. These are conceptions of contemporary fetishism exploring the relationship between consumption and pleasure while investigating the visual manifestations of sadomasochistic culture. In addition, Rodriguez, who is a Virgo, shows excerpts from his ongoing work The Papi Project, an interdisciplinary project including 3D photographic sculptures, video, photography and performance. The project vacillates between exploring the effect of technology on gay/queer hook up culture as well as a simultaneous conceptualization of generational loss. The landscape photography investigates locations of previous cruising spaces. With the internet made accessible to the public in 1993 and the concurrent generational loss of queer/gay men to the AIDS epidemic, these locations of cruising were symptomatically reduced then lost. Thus, this project spans the years from 1978-93, roughly the era of the AIDS epidemic in America. The video component initiates collaboration with men that have survived the epidemic. I seek out men who had sexual relations with my Papi (dad) and ask them to have any mediated contact with their consent. These men have full documentative power (videoing us), as well as full power of dictating our interaction. The portrait photography aspect of this project functions as archival art, which depicts the queer nuclear family. The 3D sculptures appropriate from the archive of portrait photographs, reviving these documented historical moments into a fragmented physical contemporary space.
More information about Oli Rodriguez can be found at www.olirodriguez.com
Alicia Chester shot Looking Back (super 8 film transferred to HD video, 2012–2013) at the summer 2012 ACRE Residency. Chester created portraits of residents and the staff by simply asking them to look into the camera, shooting one reel per subject. The project allowed her to work with what she calls “the incongruence of each subject’s still pose with the flow of time presented by the film and, on a more basic level, to get to know everyone at the residency in an intimate space of looking and posing.” Alicia’s Libra nature brings with it an interest in beauty and the sublime. This project is partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
More information about Alicia Chester can be found at www.aliciachester.com
Aiden Simon presents a cluster of small figurative drawings depicting small, squirming elbows, knees and toes. “They are permutations on a form which deal with the delineation of a body,” says Simon, whose work deals with gender stereotypes, trans-identities, memory and the body. A Scorpio, Aiden received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2013.
More information about Aiden SImon can be found at www.aidensimon.com
Alicia Eler, the curator of this group exhibition, is a writer and art critic whose projects focus on American pop and consumer culture, social networked identities, anthropomorphism in art, queered notions of adolescence, and the invention of childhood. As an Aquarius, she has a wide range of interests—aesthetic and otherwise. Alicia is a regular contributor to Artforum.com, Hyperallergic and Raw Vision Magazine, and an editor for the OtherPeoplesPixels’ blog. In Spring 2013, she will curate four shows with ACRE Exhibitions & Residency. Her articles have been published in Art21, Art Papers, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Flavorpill, ReadWriteWeb and Time Out Chicago.
A benefit concert for ACRE
Friday, May 17th, 11pm
1850 S Blue Island
Join us for a night of music and dancing at Landscrape and help us raise funds for our annual residency program in support of emerging visual artists, sound artists and musicians.
Jordan Zawideh (Acid Dreams)
“I am going to call the police, Miss Drew, and turn you over to them on a charge of trespassing, breaking, and entering with an attempt to steal.”
“I wish you would,” Nancy replied. “if it is possible over that dummy telephone.”
― Carolyn Keene, Password to Larkspur Lane
More information about The Hills can be found at www.thehillsestheticcenter.com.
I’M NOT ALLOWED IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET
new work by EMILY CARTER & MEG LEARY
Curated by ALICIA ELER
May 5-19, 2013
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 5, 4-8pm
Open Hours : Sundays & Mondays, 12-4pm
1913 W. 17th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Emily Carter and Meg Leary traveled to ACRE together last summer with the intention of further investigating their respective practices and exploring overlapping areas of interest. This show is their first two-person show with collaborative and mutually informed pieces. The work includes perfomance, sound, video and sculpture and touches on issues of queerness, the body, memory, and space. The title of this show is derived from David Shrigley and Chris Shepard’s animation Who I Am and What I Want.
Emily Carter works primarily with repurposed materials to create characters and environments for short animated videos. This same spirit of collecting and repositioning applies to her treatment of sound. For this show she has created three loosely related pieces: a sound piece with greeting cards, a sculptural representation of an empty grain silo on the ACRE property, and a short animation.
Meg Leary’s work focuses around ideas of the voice and music, transforming both interior spaces of the singer’s body and site specific sound chambers. Her current practice produces ephemeral performances and objects to draw out unexpected sensory experiences. She is a classically trained vocalist, who often references this history in her visual and performance work. For her performance at I’m not allowed in the Golden Nugget, Leary will perform in the viaduct on Damen Avenue between 14th and 17th Streets using voice and objects to expose the acoustical properties of this dilapidated urban environment.
EMILY CARTER lives and works in Chicago. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
MEG LEARY b. 1978 lives and works in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU.
More information about Meg Leary can be found at www.megleary.com.
ALICIA ELER is a writer and art critic whose projects focus on American pop and consumer culture, social networked identities, and queered notions of adolescence. Her recent reviews examine the linguistic implications that result from an oversaturated Internet culture. Alicia is currently the Chicago Correspondent for Hyperallergic and a contributor to Artforum.com. Her articles have been published in Art21, Art Papers, RAW Vision Magazine (UK), Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Flavorpill, ReadWriteWeb and Time Out Chicago.
More information about Alicia Eler can be found at www.aliciaeler.com.
Native American Fax Machine
A game played with 6 or more players.
Each player selects a card with a noun.
Each player has 3 minutes to draw the noun.
The players move the drawings clockwise.
Players then have 1 minute to copy the drawing.
Players pass the drawings until they have made the same amount of copies as players.
The last person to draw the noun has to guess the original noun on the card.
Elisa Harkins is a Native American composer and artist originally hailing from Miami, Oklahoma. In 2010 she had a near fatal bike accident in Chicago, and during her recovery she was confined to her bed where she turned to electronic music as a creative outlet. Her work investigates Native American stories, rituals, and spirituality through a the lens of someone raised on pop culture and computer games. She has shown her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Andrew Rafacz Gallery Chicago, Club Nutz Chicago, ACRE Projects Chicago, Secret Project Robot Room NYC, Flux Factory NYC, Family Business NYC, NADA Miami, Design Miami, Locust Projects Miami, and Mutant Salon at USC Roski MFA Gallery. Harkins was recently accepted to the California Institute of the Arts for the Fall 2013 as a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts Degree. Harkins currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Happy Collaborationists is the curatorial collective of Anna Trier and Meredith Weber. “Happy C” provides exhibition opportunities for performance, installation and media works – including but not limited to solo exhibitions, public programming and private event planning. Together Anna and Meredith also collaborate on their own performance art practice under the name Meredith and Anna.
More information about Happy Collaborationists can be found at www.happycollaborationists.com
A certain flair. Drama queens.
Carol has been making fragments of stage architecture. Parts of a stage that frame the scene. Proscenium, if you want to get technical. Carol is playing with the early root of the word when the action happened in front of the front—the frontispiece arch became the background. Everything is doubles. Her stage pieces frame and edit in the traditional ways that a stage frames and edits, but her objects also focus or describe gaze in a second manner too. They use illusionistic rendering rules of perspective. The lines converge. But they do it wrong. The perspective is skewed no matter which direction you are coming from.
Carol directs with an iron fist. Feeds you line delivery, makes sure that you get to the correct emotional response. Language that forms responses in your mouth—we understand the moment through these strange words, but they are not language–only sounds. And these sounds that are not words but mean things like words move. Sounds hang in the air for a fleeting moment and then vaporize and are only left as memory. Then cycle ‘round to do it all over again. Emotions on conveyor belts, ready at the check out counter.
Julie’s world’s also a stage. World stage. World power. Power suits and painting. Clothes make the man, but in this case she is tough as nails. Whether I say it out loud or not those nails make me think of iron. The tough doubles.Julie paints a scene. Uses her illusion 2. Her body is her canvas, and it works in that art way and in that theater way. Though Julie’s gaze falls on the most powerful women in the world, she empties the drama of overt politics. Sure, we recognize her characters, but we focus on their vulnerable fashion choices and not the most recent policy decision. Doubling, and double D’s. Decisions of war can be eclipsed by plunging necklines and a rack. When the power suit is exchanged for a flouncy floral and florid formal, that dress becomes as important as a war. At least if we count the headlines.
CAROL JACKSON is a stalwart of Chicago’s art scene. She is known for her conceptually rigorous leather work and sheet music drawings. She has a substantial international resume including shows at the Smart Museum, Gallery 400, Three Walls, Roots and Culture, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Cultural Center, the Chicago Project Room all in Chicago, 10 in One both in Chicago and New York, Van Harrison in New York, L.A.C.E. in Los Angeles, Kunsthaus Speckstrasse in Hamburg, More Over Gallery in Naples, the Van Abbe Museum in the Netherlands and many others.
More information about Carol Jackson can be found at jacksoncarol.com
JULIE POTRATZ’s work spans across the disciplines of costume design, performance art, photography, and acting. After receiving her BFA in 2008 from the Kansas City Art Institute she went on to be a member of Whoop Dee Doo, a kid-friendly faux public access television show featuring live performances by various local groups and individuals in the community. It is an art extravaganza encouraging audience participation and showcasing the talents of everyone from marching bands to tap dancing grandmas. She has also starred in two feature length independent films written and directed by Laurel Nakadate. “Stay the Same Never Change”, a movie shot on location in Kansas City, MO premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. And ”The Wolf Knife” starring Christina Kolozsvary and Julie Potratz premiered at the 2010 LA Film Festival. She has exhibited at Roots and Culture and Cabin Exhibitions in Chicago.
More information about Julie Portratz can be found at cargocollective.com/juliepotratz
new work by NEAL VANDENBERGH & LATHAM ZEARFOSS
Open Hours by appointment
2130 W 21st St, Chicago, IL
We recognize power as the people, legislation and authority that either have immediate impact on our lives or are things that we hold strong opinions toward because we feel the implications define us as individuals. However, power is most often an invisible force in our lives, a force that requires us to take a position within established structures of control. For the exhibition Commonwealth Neal Vandenbergh and Latham Zearfoss consider methods and modes of control that ask the viewer to consider the creation of subjectivity as a process of both individuation and socialization.
Latham Zearfoss creates an imaginary poll gathering data from the adult residents of a midsized midwestern town. The research for this poll begins with a photographic depiction of an idyllic town set against rolling hills, the subject sample is chosen as much for their idealized image as their average-ness of demographic. The questions that comprise this poll ask the subjects to consider their power to change things in both public and personal spheres and then decide what percentage of these things they would have stay exactly the same. The poll, which is typically used as a tool for analysis meant to extrapolate generalities from a particular sample in an effort to predict the public’s future response to political change, is now an instrument of measurement for the present. Zearfoss’s questions ask the subject to consider themselves as agents of their own moment in history rather than their position for or against possible change in the future or desire to return to the past.
Neal Vandenbergh’s large-scale monochromatic panels reveal their material construction readily. Yellow construction grade paint and reflective vinyl are things that we encounter daily as elements of strategic control meant to direct and regulate our movement as users of public space. In the gallery the panels push out from the wall and into our space forcing the viewer into a close confrontational viewing experience. He further manipulates the space with the placement of light, which when cast on the panels and viewed from a specific angle changes the way the objects are perceived. Positioned directly in line with the light it ignites the reflective vinyl, causing the painted surface to fall into relief. Vandenbergh uses the materials of authoritative control to highlight our creation as a subject of that authority, a process of socialization requiring interaction with a public sphere, but one that is also necessarily tied to individual experience and personal positioning.
NEAL VANDENBERGH is an artist living and working in Chicago. Recent projects have been shown in artist-run and non-for-profit spaces throughout the region including Adds Donna and Hyde Park Art Center. His film and video work has been shown both nationally and internationally. He holds a MFA from the University of Illinois Chicago
More information about Neal Vandenbergh can be found at nealvandenbergh.com.
LATHAM ZEARFOSS is an artist, educator, service industry mainstay, and facilitator of queer nightlife and culture in Chicago. His creative production centers on the various interpenetrations – both historical and mythological – of personal narrative and political discourse. He holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally.
More information about Latham Zearfoss can be found at www.lathamzearfoss.org.
KATE BOWEN is an artist, educator and curator living in Chicago. She is a teaching artist with the high school outreach program Picture Me and an adjunct faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Art. She is the Video Programming Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
More information about Kate Bowen can be found at katembowen.com.
- Echo Scholarship Auction -
Untitled (Apparatus), 2010
screenprint on paper
15″ x 22″
Estimated Value: $350
Aay’s Echo Scholarship is intended to support an artist whose work actively engages queer theory, feminism, or gender-nonconformity.
“Art as a Platform”
Art has been a fixture in Aay Preston-Myint’s life since he was a child. Born to two artistic parents, Aay grew up in the vibrant city of New York. As a child he remembers walking through the dramatic Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and being struck by the beautiful decorations covering the mummies. Art creation has been a constant in his life since an early age; he always knew that he would be making art in some capacity. While attending liberal arts school, his commitment to art rose to a new level and he decided to dedicate his life to that passion. “I just want to do this one thing and it’s the thing I want to do and I don’t want to do that here.” With this realization Aay moved to Chicago and began school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
For Aay art should be appreciated for the labor it demands as well as the messages it transmits. “I think in a heady sense…whatever you make should have meaning and conviction…it should be trying to say something.” A seminal point in Aay’s career was his experience with The Texas Ballroom, a collectively run art space for exhibits and shows, which offered him the opportunity for immersion in an impassioned artistic community. During his time at The Texas Ballroom he worked on Pilot TV, a Transfeminist media conference. This conference resonated with him; not only was it important politically for the queer and art communities, but also because it changed how he thought about his practice. Through this conference he came to think of art as “creating and fostering experiences;” it gave him a new perspective on how art can provide platforms for discussion and change.
During his time at ACRE, Aay helped run the screen printing lab. ACRE allowed him the opportunity to interact with visiting artists, discuss his practice with other residents as well as research and reflect on his own work. Having found ACRE shortly after leaving graduate school, Aay speaks to its value as a community and launch point for his ideas and career. Upon leaving school Aay remembers feeling unmoored. ACRE, he says, offers a built-in community that doesn’t expire like the school community that disperses with graduation. The community at ACRE is enduring; he advises future ACRE residents to not work too hard but rather appreciate the time ACRE gives you.
- Echo Scholarship Auction -
Lunar Glister, 2012
digital print and neon
24″ x 36″
Estimated Value: $1,000
Lauren’s Echo Scholarship is intended for an artist who is attending or has graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art, her alma matter.
By combining elements such as photography, video, and performance art, artist Lauren Payne maintains a freedom to implement different mediums in order to craft site-specific, ritualistic work that strives to engage both herself and her audiences to explore themes that are “about connecting and finding the spiritual relationship with nature.”
In Lauren’s work, a sole implementation of photography can be limiting, so she strives to utilize “whatever medium is most appropriate to convey what she is trying to say,” and the evolution of her practice has, in itself, become a core philosophy. To create a “natural response” to her stories, Lauren adds both time and audio elements to create dynamic and “multi-sensory” experiences, the impacts of which affect both artist and viewer; and these shared experiences, she contends, are as sacred as the human/nature connections she explores.
Hailing from Ohio, Lauren’s participation in ACRE’s residency program was as crucial to launching her Chicago-based career as it was to her general practice (but it should be noted that she continues to feel ACRE’s impact). After graduating from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2011, the decision to attend ACRE seemed a natural choice. There, Lauren was free to explore human interactions with nature and the ideas that have become defining themes in her body of work. Equally important, however, is ACRE’s continued support of its artists at the completion of their residencies. Because of the friendships and communities that are forged amongst residency artists each year and the ongoing exhibition programs in which they participate, Lauren believes that ACRE has provided her with a wonderful and supportive point of entry into Chicago’s artistic community, an opportunity for which she is truly grateful. Lauren succinctly describes ACRE as enlightening – quite a fitting descriptor given the meditative, brilliant, and sublime qualities of her own work.