Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Artists Withdraw from Sydney Biennial on Grounds of Human Rights Violations

Libia Castro, Ólafur Ólafsson, Charlie Sofo, Gabrielle de Vietri, and Ahmet Öğüt have withdrawn their works from the event, due to open March 19th, in response to the sponsorship of Transfield. One of the events top sponsors, Transfield, contracts with the Australian government to manage detention centers for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

The following statement has been released:

“We have revoked our works, cancelled our public events and relinquished our artists’ fees. While we have sought ways to address our strong opposition to Australia’s mandatory detention policy as participants of the Biennale, we have decided that withdrawal is our most constructive choice. We do not accept the platform that Transfield provides via the Biennale for critique. We see our participation in the Biennale as an active link in a chain of associations that leads to the abuse of human rights. For us, this is undeniable and indefensible.

Our withdrawal is one action in a multiplicity of others, already enacted and soon to be carried out in and around the Biennale. We do not propose to know the exact ethical, strategic or effective action to end mandatory detention, but we act on conscience and we act with hope.”

Read the full article here:

More “Required Reading” from Hyperallergic:

Abraham.In.Motion at MCA Stage

Some of my dreams came true on Friday evening at the MCA Stage of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.  I had the privilege of watching Kyle Abraham and his six person ensemble, Abraham.In.Motion meld modern with hip hop dance matched to a mix of all my favorite jams.  Old school and soul favorites like Mary J. Blige’s “Leave a Message,” Johnnie Taylor’s “Cheaper to Keep Her,” and Ann Peebles “I Can’t Stand the Rain” blended into hits from the so-called “urban top 40” category—Beyoncé, Tweet, and Kanye West.

The Radio Show is an ode to the importance of radio to cultural taste and communication—particularly in Black communities in the U.S.  Abraham raises important questions about music and audio as methods of communication, and the airwaves as a platform for discussion and debate.  What happens when media becomes increasingly homogenous and those local stations disappear, as they have been over the last few years?  The Radio Show’s narrative weaves notable tracks with clips from Abraham’s favorite radio station growing up, Pittsburgh’s now defunct Hot 106.7 FM.  The choreography is appropriately sentimental and celebratory.

While the show’s run at the MCA is through, turn that dial from radio-land to the internet to learn more about Abraham.In.Motion:

Violet Fogs Azure Snot at Corbett Vs. Dempsey


Currently up at Corbett Vs. Dempsey is Violet Fogs Azure Snot, a show of new paintings by Molly Zuckerman-Hartung. Still working through formal concerns in the language of abstract painting, she has deployed a new softer palette and less violent gestures. It seems like she has taken a more conservative approach to these new works. I was not taken by the show. With a name like Molly, you would think the work would operate like ecstasy  but leaves me at a minor high. Lets see how she is on her way to the upcoming Whitney Biennial.

Protest Action Erupts Inside Guggenheim Museum


Layered and Exposed at Heaven Gallery



Presented with DOCUMENT, this group exhibition includes Elizabeth Atterbury, Scott Cowan, Owen Kydd, Phillip Maisel, and Erin Jane Nelson.

Layered and Exposed explores collage in contemporary video and photographic practices. The work in the exhibition varies from studio-based constructions, digitally made collages, and visual assemblages made using the camera.

Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 North Milwaukee, 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60622
phone/fax 773-342-4597

Gallery hours: Saturday 1 to 5 or by appointment.

F L A T Gallery

Introducing F L A T Gallery! Chicago’s newest apartment gallery 
2023 S. Ruble St. Chicago, IL

F L A T provides an inclusive platform for Chicago-based emerging artists, which encourages practice-based risk taking.

Building on the existing Chicago apartment gallery model, it aims to stretch and subvert the current theoretical boundaries that exist within the present gallery structure of commercial and nonprofit spaces.

By inverting the physical parameters of the ‘White Cube’ space, the gallery attempts to eliminate the divide between student artists, emerging artists and the academic community.

Artists are provided with a physical and conceptual space that steps away from the current established model used to develop, display and distribute contemporary artistic practice.

Join us Friday February 28th 7:00-10:00pm for our inaugural show:
Visual Ends: The Edge of Perception


More Details:


Austen Brown:
Lauren Pirritano:
George William Price:
Nicole Prutsch:
Tobias Zehntner:

Nicole Prutsch & George William Price collaborative action: 8.30pm

Exhibition Dates: 29th February – 30th March
Opening Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1.00-4.00pm
By Appointment, contact:

Not to Miss: Kendell Geers to speak at Gallery 400

As part of his Visiting Artists Program lecture tonight at SAIC, Kendell Geers ushered his audience through his personal journey—just like most every other lecture delivered in the history of this program.  Unlike all those other artists, however, Geers managed to bond particles of politics, language, culture, alchemy, tarot and mysticism, religion and ritual, and pataphysics. (You won’t be disappointed if you google the last term.)

Haus der Kunst, 2012

Haus der Kunst, 2012

Geers opened his lecture with a forewarning, the he must start by speaking as the archetypal Fool: innocent, trusting, and naïve.  This aptly describes the young Geers, who was born into a working class and typically racist Afrikaner Boer family in Johannesburg.  Geers was but a boy during the Soweto riots of 1976, and the rest of his life and artistic career have been dedicated recalibrating himself from violence of Apartheid.   He ran away from home and army conscription at fifteen, and was a political refugee in the United States through 1989 till Mandela’s release in 1990, at which point he returned to Jo’Burg.

Upon his return Geers famously covered himself in blood taken from his own arm.  He characterized Bloody Hell as a completely intuitive piece—what he needed to do in order to find or create a “new morality, new heritage.”  His performance has clear ties to indigenous rituals related to blood cleansing (including some Congolese rites which he mentioned) as well as medieval Christian ideas and images related to the act of anointing.

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

No longer the Fool, Geers now sees himself as the conscious, cunning, dexterous Magician—a figure who exhibits masterful skill in linking the material and immaterial worlds.  Living up to Sol Lewitt’s maxim that “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach,” Geers’s recent works attempt to merge several concepts that are likely preternatural to some.  POSTPUNKPAGANPOP (2008), for example, forces viewers to encounter themselves in a mirrored floor while moving through several rooms constructed with sheets of South African-made, internationally used razor wire—a material that represents incarceration, prohibition, and violence.  Geers believes that the mirrored floor joins two worlds, two realities: the first being the perpetual self-loathing reinforced by capitalism and never being good enough, and the second being a gateway into other, comingling realities.

Confused?  Good.  Go see Kendell Geers in conversation with Rhoda Rosen at Gallery 400 this Saturday, February 22nd, 2pm.




featuring GERMAN performance artists

THU 02.27.14 @ 8 – 11PM

MARCEL SPARMANN (GERMANY) is a live artist born in GERA, GERMANY. he studied theatre and performance art at THE UNIVERSITY of HILDESHEIM and ENVIRONMENTAL ART at GLASGOW SCHOOL of ART. his specific interest reaches across the media spectrums and includes influences from dance, spatial based art, video and installation. this approach has led him to develop a specific understanding for shared spaces and situations which could be seen as ephemeral intersections between political, philosophical and social based questions. he works as a performer and teacher in solo and collaborative projects all over EUROPE. until 2013 he also worked as a teacher and assistant director for PAS | PERFORMANCE ART STUDIES.

LISA STERTZ is a performer and dancer born in COTTBUS, GERMANY. she studied european media studies at the UNIVERSITY OF POTSDAM and the UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES POSTDAM. currently she is a M.F.A. candidate in performance at the SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO. in her work, STERTZ questions the state of the human body in space, seen in the widest sense. with the help of her self-titled approach to her art “VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS” she aims to direct a focus on either the human body itself or the body in resonance with other bodies, materials and cultures. in more general terms, she seeks to put different ways of perception on display. her work is thus nurtured by solo performances and collaborative works equally. lately she has performed at DOCK11, BERLIN (2014), LINKS HALL, CHICAGO (2013), 6018 NORTH, CHICAGO (2013), SOULKITCHENHALLE, HAMBURG (2013), GRüNTALER9, BERLIN (2011-2013), WITTGENSTEIN HOUSE, VIENNA (2011), HAUTE éCOLE d’Art ET DE DESIGN, GENEVA (2011).

STERTZ’S performance, LEFT OUT, is a critical approach to the notion of ‘capitalism’ and therewith ‘society’ and ‘community’. WALTER BENJAMIN wrote in his fragments that capitalism is a religion without salvation. no hope, but desperation. no salvation, but dept. GIORGIO AGAMBEN picked up this thought and stated is his book PROFANATIONS that we are currently living a shift in value and that in respect to capitalism as religion we would have to “profane the unprofanable”. a capitalistic religion, he says, is about to create an absolute unprofaniable, because in difference to christianity, capitalism generalizes the structure of segregation into all possible fields (not only religion). thus we find ourselves in the sphere of consumerism. we are in this world and we function in this world. – LEFT OUT seeks to draw a picture on that constant dual moment of ‘functioning’ and ‘modes of being’ and, thus, questions the state of living.


Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 9.41.01 AM

ACRE TV launched yesterday (Saturday 2/15) at their new space in Mana Contemporary with PLEASE STAND BY, a broadcast of tv-test patterns/color bars  programed by Kera MacKenzie and Andrew Mausert-Mooney.

The broadcast included moving image work by : Jeffrey Michael Austin, Tony Balko, Jon Chambers, Chaz Evans, Lori Felker, Lindsey French, Mike Gibisser, Cameron Gibson, Daniel Giles, Allison Leigh Holt, Mark Kent, Chris Little, Kera MacKenzie, Jesse Malmed, Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Brendan Meara, Dan Paz, Haynes Riley, Kyle Schlie, Megan Schvaneveldt, Fern Silva, Vincent Tiley, Eric Watts

ACRE TV is a new project run by ACRE to show time-based work. Programs will vary from live and canned videos and performances. If anyone is interested, they’re looking for artists and programmers to make use of and experiment with this platform. Should be interesting to see how this evolves and who gets involved.


The Death of Conceptualism: Christopher Williams and The Great Sorting

The Death of Conceptualism: Christopher Williams and The Great Sorting