Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Concerning tomorrow - press

Art Break
Concerning Tomorrow

Burt Michaels

An exhibition called "Concerning Tomorrow" could well be a real downer, but in fact—while there are no feel-good pictures here and much that's dark—the show exhilarates and makes you delighted to be in Chicago at this point in history. (That's no mean feat, given this point in history.) Unlike Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party"—which confirmed for bourgeois Parisians of the 1880s that they were living in the right time and place—these diverse pieces don't romanticize our lifestyle, but rather critique it, with a seriousness and ingenuity that ironically make you feel optimistic about tomorrow.

Take Noelle Mason's series "X-ray Vision vs. Invisibility." The SAIC grad took U.S. government x-ray photos of immigrants being smuggled into the U.S., then commissioned a destitute Brazilian woman to knit the images—for $2,000, precisely what a smuggler charges. The ghostly images, in unsettlingly ornate frames that look like they came from Target, condemn our inhuman immigration laws far more forcefully than ten New York Times editorials.

Elspeth Vance, the youngest artist in the show, presents a hand-woven quilt that at first looks like something from Long Grove or a small-town craft fair, until you realize it's a proliferation of pentagons set amid stars and stripes—a scary, cancerous jumble of pentagons that speaks more eloquently about, and to, the likes of General Petraeus than Pelosi-Reid ever could.

Not all the work is angry. Melina Ausikaitis' "Pastoral Snooze," an elaborate pencil drawing composed of small shapes repeated to build a farm landscape, is restful and amusing. "We didn't want the show to be didactic," Jason Lazarus, fine-art photographer and instructor who curated it, explains. "Much of the work has an ambiguous connection to the future, and there are both real and imagined futures." The exhibit includes photography, sculpture, installations, paintings, drawings and textiles.

Harold Arts, which has run a residency for young artists and musicians in Appalachia for the past two summers and is seeking to expand its presence in the city with studio and gallery space for emerging artists, hosts the show. Most of the twenty-six people represented attended the residency.

"Concerning Tomorrow" shows at Harold Arts, 303 West Erie, through October 12.


Saturday, September 22, 2007


"End of summer romance (the plant on her windowsill)" 16x20" 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

vicks apology, see next post for found abandoned speech note

michael vicks

"Michael Vicks abandoned public apology note in my own handwriting" 42x70" 2007

nirvana entry

trinity, the girl i lost my virginity to and a die hard Kurt fan, introduced me to Nirvana on the tape playing boombox in her bedroom.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

my curatorial creation: Concerning tomorrow opens Sept 14th

Curatorial statement – Concerning tomorrow…

One example of the value of this exhibition for me is the mind-space I was in thinking about Jeff Hadrick’s binder of drawings. Impulsive, obsessive ruminations on the quotidian, I suggested he participate in the exhibition, but I didn’t know quite why it made sense. Days later, it occurred to me that the ritual of his everyday, insular practice seemed to speak to the terror of time passing—a very private, individual relationship with the rubric of our existence.

Working in a variety of media, the participating artists have created more than didactic discourse. creating highly evocative, culturally aware, and bravely imaginative work, these artists not only form complex dialogue about the idea of 'tomorrow', but implicitly involve the viewer to consider their real or imagined tomorrows without limit.

Whether the idea of ‘tomorrow’ is gleaned from the past, an incisive view into the workings of the present, or a complete abandonment in order to occupy imagined worlds, views of ‘tomorrow’ lend themselves to the consequences of daring thinking great artists of all mediums willingly undertake.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

new work

inspirational story at the bottom...

--- clean (one of 3 qualities missing from the contemporary african american presidential candidate, except Barack Obama, according to Joseph Biden, February 2007)

--- bright (one of 3 qualities missing from the contemporary african american presidential candidate, except Barack Obama, according to Joseph Biden, February 2007)

--- articulate (one of 3 qualities missing from the contemporary african american presidential candidate, except Barack Obama, according to Joseph Biden, February 2007)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Joe Biden planned to spend Wednesday focusing on his official announcement that he was running for president, but the Delaware Democrat instead found himself defending remarks he made to the New York Observer about his Democratic opponents.

In the article published Wednesday, Biden is quoted evaluating presidential rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. His remarks about Obama, the only African-American serving in the Senate, drew the most scrutiny.

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Biden issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying: "I deeply regret any offense my remark in the New York Observer might have caused anyone. That was not my intent and I expressed that to Sen. Obama."

Biden also spoke to reporters in a conference call Wednesday afternoon and said the remark was taken out of context.

"Barack Obama is probably the most exciting candidate that the Democratic or Republican Party has produced at least since I've been around," Biden said on the call. "And he's fresh. He's new. He's smart. He's insightful. And I really regret that some have taken totally out of context my use of the world 'clean.'"

Biden said he was referring to a phrase used by his mother.

"My mother has an expression: clean as a whistle, sharp as a tack," Biden said.

Obama, in a brief off-camera interview in a Senate hallway, said he thinks Biden "didn't intend to offend" anyone.

"He called me," Obama said. "I told him it wasn't necessary. We have got more important things to worry about. We have got Iraq. We have got health care. We have got energy. This is low on the list."

"He was very gracious and I have no problem with Joe Biden," Obama added.

Later on Wednesday, Obama, in a written statement, said "I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate. African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."