Friday March 7th: Filter’s 7th juried exhibition, The Enigmatic Object from 5:30-8:00 PM at Johalla Projects, 1821 West Hubbard Street, Ste. 209 in Chicago.
Kayla Anderson, AREA (Sean Hovendick & John Wesley Mannion), Susan Barnett, Nicola Benford, Christa Blackwood, Bridget Burke, Kai Caemmerer, Jan Cieslikiewicz, William Connally, Eddee Daniel, Adam Davies, Devon Dill, Yorgos Efthymiadis, Juan Fernandez, Maia Flore, Todd R. Forsgren, Emily Franklin, Chelsea Goldberg, Tatiana Gulenkina, Jon Horvath, Jeff Evans, Volkan Kiziltunc, Sarah Malakoff, Jon Malis, Ben Marcin, Phillip Nesmith, Laura Noel, Ryan Oskin, Jeff Phillips, Jessica Pierotti,
E. Aaron Ross, Zack Sabin, Lucas Shaffer, Michael Sherwin, Malika Sqalli, Kate Stone, Joey Tipton, Santiago Vanegas, and Hyounsang Yoo.
A topiary of feathers stands upright on a white table cloth; these are exotic feathers, arranged or self-appointed to sit as a single entity—like an eccentric hat left behind at a wedding party, or a cake not yet cut open, or possibly even an animal that could, at any moment, unfold itself and crawl away. Vaguely familiar wallpaper flurries in the background, further confusing the scale of the objects in the frame.
As with Nicola Benford’s photograph (Burrow 1) the wide range and style of works included in The Enigmatic Object capture strange and uncanny moments latent in the material world. A house has a hole through its center. Spam goes to a reflection disco and the resulting photograph looks like a 70s photorealist painting. A man stands with his back to the camera between two concrete walls. His dime-store, sky-printed t-shirt matches the “real” sky, yet the pile of logs printed on his back point through his body toward the horizon line. Styrofoam hangs at an angle in a black sea, as if orbiting in space. The lines of a possible tennis court appear from the borders of the frame and converge in a perfect angle before extending out to create new shapes that can be only be imagined. Again and again something familiar is pinched by an abstract photographic gaze, undermining any sense of pre-determined banality.
The world examined, captured, dissected through these images is not entirely human, and yet motif play out. A yellow circle appears at variant angles throughout several distinct photographs like an actor in different costumes, just as the forest—or the idea of a forest—shows up surrounding an almost invisible box (Radical Absence), before transforming into patterned wallpaper behind a queuing group of figures (Untitled, Abu Dhabi, 2012), and appearing again as an image that leans against a pack of mentholated cigarettes (Cool Sensation).
This collection of works supplies translations of translations of translations. These are not definitive statements but circular assertions. Whether capturing exterior or interior spaces, landscapes or portraits, the artists highlighted here are not bonded to photographic traditions of the past. With their own voices, they successfully convey unique perspectives of our contemporary world as it might exist in the future, or even how it might exist right now.
ABOUT THE JURORS:
Kyohei Abe is an artist, educator, and director of the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1971, Abe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Trident College in Nagoya. After moving to the United States in 1993, he began studying photography, subsequently earing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the College for Creative Studies and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Over the past ten years, Abe has shown his work extensively in the Detroit area, as well as in New York City; Omaha, Nebraska; Lodz, Poland; Stuggart, Germany; and Nagoya, Japan. Abe’s work belongs to the public collections of the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX; the Detroit Institute of Art; The West Collection, Oak, PA; and numerous private and corporate collections globally.
Abe is a Director and Chief Curator at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography in Detroit, Michigan. He has acted as a portfolio reviewer at national events including PhotoNOLA, PhotoLucida, and the Filter Photo Festival. He recently was a juror for PhotoPlace Open 2012, and has served as a juror for Critical Mass since 2010. Abe is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the College for Creative Studies.
Caroline Picard is a Chicago-based artist, writer and curator who explores the figure in relation to systems of power. Picard graduated from St. John’s College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA. She founded and operated the apartment gallery The Green Lantern (2005-2010), and co-founded the bi-annual directory PHONEBOOK: an index of alternative exhibition spaces. She serves as Bad at Sports’ official Blog Tzar and runs The Paper Cave, an on-line bookstore dedicated to independent presses. Picard has curated shows at The Green Lantern Gallery, The Co-Prosperity Sphere, and The Hyde Park Art Center. A current exhibition, Ghost Nature, is now on view at the University of Illinois’s Gallery 400, and this March, as a visiting curator, she will bring “Ghost Nature : Le Fantôme de la Nature” to La Box, Bourges, France.
Picard has released released 30+ slow-media titles ranging from the first English translation of a 19th Century Polish classic, Kordian, debut novels by emerging writers, collections of arts administration essays and an Arctic newspaper from 1821. She writes regularly for the Art21 blog, as well as Art ltd. Magazine. Recent short stories, essays and comics were published or are forthcoming in Paper Monument, Rattapallax, Artslant, The Coming Envelope no. 5 (Bookthug), Artifice Magazine, MAKE Magazine and Everyday Genius; she has contributed multiple graphic adaptations to the The Graphic Canon project (Seven Stories Press, 2012/13/15). Other books include Psycho Dream Factory (Holon Press, 2011) and The Chronicles of Fortune (Holon Press, 2011).
Picard’s projects manifest in a variety of cross-disciplinary mediums including painting, video, administrative practices, interviews with artists, works of fiction, comics, and critical essays. Her work has been discussed in American Book Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, Time Out Chicago, New City, Art21, Artforum.com, html giant and Punk Planet.
ABOUT FILTER PHOTO:
Filter Photo is an organization dedicated to the development and support of Chicago’s photographic community. Filter’s mission is twofold: first, to connect emerging, mid-level, and professional photographers with gallery owners, educators, academics, curators, and other elite photography professionals from across the country, with emphasis on those of the Midwest, and in particular those of Chicago; and second, to secure Chicago as a vibrant center and destination for the national photography community, in part by uniting the city’s different groups and institutions in one event.
Filter offers educational, networking, and development oriented programming throughout the year, and operates the annual Filter Photography Festival. Now in it’s 6th year, the 2014 Filter Photography Festival will last for five days, from September 24-28. Programming will include an array of workshops, lectures, exhibition openings, master classes, panel discussions, networking events, and the portfolio reviews that remain at the center of the Festival.
One last chance to see Ghost Nature during a Cultural ReProducers event via
a conversation between biologist and artist Andrew Yang and Chicago-based artists featured in the exhibition Ghost Nature: Jeremy Bolen, Robert Burnier, Assaf Evron and Heidi Norton, exploring intersections between contemporary art and the natural world.
Saturday morning, March 1st, is your last chance to catch the exhibition Ghost Nature, curated by Caroline Picard for Gallery 400, and also the very first in a series of events organized by Cultural ReProducers at institutions throughout Chicago, offering free on-site childcare.This event will be followed by a closing reception featuring light refreshments and lots of cute children. more info here.
Some great installation shots of Ghost Nature at Gallery 400 here
The show was written up recently in HEAVE Media:
…this exhibit celebrates the curious artist, the one who dares to ask questions about nature and its interactions with human life. Although we like to idealized nature and give it a sense of order in our lives, humans are limited, and we can only understand so much about the ever-changing, ever-ominous universe that surrounds us. Each artist featured in the show offers another element to the puzzle–another part of the larger natural picture, asking new questions and launching their viewer into new artistic themes.
And again in the Chicago Block in a piece by Emiliano Vasquez-Perrales,:
The exhibit is full of many strange and wonderful works produced by our student artists at UIC, which vary in mediums from film to watercolor to sculptor. One of my personal favorites is a large mural created by Sebastian Alvarez called The Chronosophical Society, Transection. The digital print was transferred to an enormous 8×24 foot vinyl stamp for the purpose of display. It is a cross-section of the city that shows all of our technological endeavors from drilling tunnels, to the creation of sewage systems and electrical systems. Satellites, ships, even our interactions with the natural world, like whales and birds, are also featured. The amazing aspect of this piece is that it is only a prototype for what will later become a three dimensional interactive piece, which I cannot wait to see.
Otherwise Ghost Nature
- was listed at Hyperallergic’s top 10 shows to see this winter in Chicago
- made the top 20 and top 18 list of shows to see in the Chicago
Magazine in January and February respectively
- and was listed on the CAA website as a recommended exhibit
In France there was a modest write up in the local paper as well :
Head up to the Seattle favorite, MOE Bar, for Happy Hour specials including $2 tacos and $2 Tecate, plus short readings from Daniel Borzutzky + Valerie Mejer, Jackie Clark, Joel Craig, Andy Fitch+ Amaranth Borsuk, Carol Guess, and Broc Rossell.
MOE BAR, 1425 10th Ave, Seattle (https://www.facebook.com/
From the conference center, take Pike St. to 10th— 15 min (or less) walk / 10 min bus / 4 min cab.
Presented by Brooklyn Arts Press, Green Lantern Press, and MAKE.
Amaranth Borsuk is the author of the chapbook, Tonal Saw (The Song Cave, 2010); Handiwork (Slope Editions, 2012), selected by Paul Hoover for the 2011 Slope Editions Book Prize; and, together with programmer Brad Bouse, of Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012), a book of augmented-reality poems.
Daniel Borzutzky’s books include The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011); The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007); and Arbitrary Tales (Ravenna Press, 2005). His poetry translations include include Raúl Zurita’s Song for his Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010); and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action Books, 2008). He lives and writes in Chicago.
Jackie Clark is author of Aphoria (Brooklyn Arts Press). She is the series editor of Poets off Poetry and Song of the Week for Coldfront Magazine and is the recipient of a 2012 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Her latest chapbook, Sympathetic Nervous System, is forthcoming from Bloof Books. More can be found online at nohelpforthat.com.
Joel Craig is the author of The White House (Green Lantern Press, 2012). He curates the Danny’s Reading Series and edits poetry for MAKE.
Andy Fitch’s books include Not Smart. But Intelligent: Rethinking Joe Brainard (Dalkey Archive Press) and, with Jon Cotner, Ten Walks/Two Talks (Ugly Duckling Presse). Fitch teaches in the University of Wyoming’s MFA program, and is an interviews editor for The Volta.
Carol Guess is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered and Doll Studies: Forensics. She is Professor of English at Western Washington University, and keeps a blog here:www.carolguess.blogspot.co
Valerie Mejer, born in Mexico City, is a poet and painter. For her book De Elefante a Elefante, she was awarded the Gerardo Diego International Award for Literary Research by the Spanish Government. She is the author of six books of poetry and five translations. Forthcoming works include an anthology of her poems, Rain of the Future (Action Books, 2013) and a long poem, This Blue Novel (2014).
Broc Rossell is a poet from California and the author of the chapbook Unpublished Poems (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2012). Poems and prose appeared in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Harvard Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Laurel Review, Volt, and elsewhere, and he teaches creative writing, literature, and interdisciplinary courses in the English and Humanities departments at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.