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After Today

Friday, May 08, 2015–Saturday, August 08, 2015

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Artists: Marianne Fairbanks, Fultonia, 96 Acres, Jason Lazarus, Cauleen Smith, Jan Tichy, and Amanda Williams.

After Today includes seven artists ’ projects that respond to the city of Chicago’s social, political, and economic conditions. At this moment of rapid change and political debate—with increasing income inequality, in the long wake of the 2008 recession, as neighborhoods across the city continue to transform, with the rise of labor movements, as the tech sector expands in Chicago, with the transformations of Chicago ’s public sector, as wider attention is paid to police violence, and given the long story of race in the city—the artist ’s address the city’s changes and its possible future. The seven artists, all Chicago-based, use a variety of organization and material strategies and focus on topics that range across economic effects, collective action, and how the past and present condition desires for the future—with a number of projects highlighting aspects of the city ’s criminal justice system.

From sculptures incorporating fabrics dyed with the plants surrounding foreclosed homes to audio stories of families affected by the Cook County Jail to a sculpture and photographic portraiture project that is designed as a tool to achieve collective goals, the artists ’ works mark a specific moment in the city—the time we live in—but also address a time that is informed by both the past and future. From where we are now standing (and looking) these seem to be the fateful, decisive, significant moments defining Chicago and how we can live together here.

After Today is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions and events, Standard of Living, that explore shifts in economies and in work. Topics covered in the series include how and where economic exchange takes place, new models for sustainable economies, employment-driven migration, and relationships between place, work, and economic viability, among others. A key component of this series is community involvement. Partnerships, relationships, and dialogues with community organizations, labor unions, and artists help guide the development of exhibitions and events.

After Today was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the School of Art & Art History, the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. The Daryl Gerber Stokols and Jeff Stokols Voices Series Fund provides general support to Gallery 400.

Lorelei Stewart, Director of Gallery 400 since 2000, has organized over 40 exhibitions, including the Joyce Award-winning exhibition Edgar Arceneaux: The Alchemy of Comedy…Stupid (2006). In 2002, she initiated the acclaimed At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago series, a commissioning program that encouraged Chicago area artists’ experimental practices. She holds a BA from Smith College, a BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design, and an MA in Curatorial Studies from Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Erin Nixon, Assistant Director, 312-996-6114, gallery400@uic.edu

After Today

Gallery 400
May 8-August 8, 2015

Changing Chicago 26street

Jan Tichy, Changing Chicago (26th Street), 2011, 8mins. Courtesy the artist and Richard Gray Gallery.

Artists: Marianne Fairbanks, Fultonia, 96 Acres, Jason Lazarus, Cauleen Smith, Jan Tichy and Amanda Williams.

Curated by Lorelei Stewart

A Speculation: Humans are estranged from our origins. We left the commonwealth of Animals and declared ourselves the custodians of that dominion. And now We are Man; and all else is Other. Our knowledge of ourselves is a fog that consumes us. We cannot see past it, because we do not want to look into it. There are more than two points of view, but the fog makes it difficult to see. — Cauleen Smith, on her video Crow Requiem

April 23, 2015—Chicago, IL — After Today includes seven artists ’ projects that respond to the city of Chicago’s social, political, and economic conditions. At this moment of rapid change and political debate—with increasing income inequality, in the long wake of the 2008 recession, as neighborhoods across the city continue to transform, with the rise of labor movements, as the tech sector expands in Chicago, with the transformations of Chicago ’s public sector, as wider attention is paid to police violence, and given the long story of race in the city—the artists in After Today address the city’s changes and its possible future. The seven artists, all Chicago-based, use a variety of organizational and material strategies and focus on topics that range across economic effects, collective action, and how the past and present condition desires for the future—with a number of projects highlighting aspects of the city ’s criminal justice system.

From sculptures incorporating fabrics dyed with the plants surrounding foreclosed homes, to audio stories of families affected by the Cook County Jail, to a sculptural and photographic portraiture project that is designed as a tool to achieve collective goals, the artists ’ works mark a specific moment in the city—the time we live in—but also address a time that is informed by both the past and future. From where we are now standing (and looking) these seem to be the fateful, decisive, significant moments defining Chicago and how we can live here together.

Several artists in After Today focus on homes and the effects of real estate economies. Marianne Fairbanks ’ sculpture Patchwork Pall focuses on the material remains left in the wake of her Humboldt Park neighbors ’ foreclosures. From the overgrown plants in abandoned yards, Fairbanks made fabric dyes to color textiles that she quilted into a pall for the damage wrought in the metaphorical fabric of the community. Amanda Williams uses color to mark absences within a neighborhood. Focusing on the familiarity and memory of iconic colors in the Englewood community, Williams paints abandoned houses there with a single evocative color. Drawing upon the ripple effects of economic and spatial shifts in the city, these works are grounded in their reflections on the impact of rapid and gradual change on memory and space.

Thinking through the possibilities of representing communities, Jason Lazarus is developing Image Monuments, an extended workshop, sculpture, photography, and media campaign project that documents temporary, collaboratively made pop-up sculptures. These sculptures will feature text, images, and signs made by a specific community that visualize the participants ’ individual histories, shared struggles, political ambitions, and visions for the future. On view in Gallery 400 is a scale model of the 32-foot sculptural armature and information on the project ’s process. Lazarus and his collaborators will develop their material in June and erect the sculpture in a public event in early July. The participants and Lazarus plan to use photographic images of the sculpture as a campaign tool to lobby politicians, community authorities and allies.

Jan Tichy ’s two videos Changing Chicago (26th Street) and Changing Chicago (Northerly Island) use another approach to documenting the city, its history, and its inhabitants. Using one long shoot from a static camera, Tichy captures the moments after the end of the “26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade” in Little Village and an enigmatic empty space on Northerly Island. The videos not only reference the city as it is today but refer back to large scale documentary projects launched in Chicago in 2001, 1999, and 1987, the latter of which, titled Changing Chicago, was one of the largest documentary photography projects ever organized in an American city. Also exhibited in After Today is Tichy ’s sculpture Chicago Nature, neon work that responds to the pulse of the city via its connection to a police scanner in Englewood, turning on and off as the dispatch opens and closes the radio transmissions to the officers on the street.

96 Acres examines the social and political implications of incarceration on communities of color, focusing on the Cook County Jail on Chicago ’s West Side. 96 Acres is a series of community-engaged projects led by artist Maria Gaspar with Enlace Chicago, and CPAG. For this exhibition, 96 Acres employs multi-disciplinary practices to create a learning room to exchange ideas and discuss issues of incarceration. With a sound installation and printed materials inside and outside the gallery, 96 Acres aims to generate alternative narratives reflecting on power and responsibility. Similarly, Cauleen Smith ’s “Crow Tabloid” is a newspaper that continues the research for her previous film Crow Requiem in which the metaphorical potential of Crows and Ferguson protests were mourned and re-imagined for liberatory and cosmic potentials. The newspaper explores Chicago ’s psycho-political terrain and ruminates on the current intersections between the criminal justice system, and public policies, which select and deselect human beings based on race, gender, and class. The publication includes drawings, essays, excerpts from scholastic texts, novels, poems, and photos that migrate from topic to topic, like crows escaping municipal hunting season. 8,000 newspapers will be distributed near bus and train stops and bicycle shops throughout the city.

Founded in the 1960s, Fultonia was established by Dr. Alvenia Fulton as the first space in Chicago with an emphasis on holistic healing through diet, fasting, and proper nutrition. The current version of Fultonia is an interdisciplinary and iterative project led by Eboni Senai Hawkins with contributions from a host of collaborators examining the physical and spiritual impacts of healing work across real and perceived boundaries. Their project examines the concept and metaphor of the Mycelium, as it represents the relationships between the individuals, institutions, and networks that formulate a unified whole.

After Today is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions and events, Standard of Living, that explore shifts in economies and in work. Topics covered in the series include how and where economic exchange takes place, new models for sustainable economies, employment-driven migration, and relationships between place, work, and economic viability, among others. A key component of this series is community involvement. Partnerships, relationships, and dialogues with community organizations, labor unions, and artists help guide the development of exhibitions and events.

Related Programs:

Friday, May 8, 5-8pm – Opening Reception: After Today

Dates TBD for the following events:

A performance by Kirsten Leenaars will bracket recent events such as Ferguson and Charlie Hebdo, among others.
Marianne Fairbanks will lead a workshop on fabric dyeing.
Jason Lazarus ’ Image Monuments workshop will unveil a collaboratively designed sculpture in a public event.
Jan Tichy will lead a documentary filming workshop with youth.
Fultonia and 96 Acres will host events throughout the exhibition run.

Additional programs will be announced.

Tours:

Gallery 400 will offer free, guided tours of After Today to the public on the following dates:
Tours available on Tuesdays at 12:00pm and Saturdays at 2:00pm beginning May 26th.
Tour schedule is subject to change, so please check http://gallery400.uic.edu/visit/tours for cancellations or schedule changes.

To schedule a tour that meets the specific needs and interests of your group contact us at 312-996-6114 or gallery400@uic.edu

After Today is supported by the Institute for Museum and Library Services; the School of Art & Art History, the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. The Daryl Gerber Stokols and Jeff Stokols Voices Series Fund provides general support to Gallery 400.

Founded in 1983, Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design. The Gallery’s program of exhibitions, lectures, film and video screenings, and performances features interdisciplinary and experimental practices. Operating within the School of Art and Art History in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Gallery 400 endeavors to make the arts and its practitioners accessible to a broad spectrum of the public and to cultivate a variety of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Gallery 400 is recognized for its support of the creation of new work, the diversity of its programs and participants, and the development of experimental models for multidisciplinary exhibition.

Postcard: After Today

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Poster: After Today

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Join the conversation about After Today by calling our 24/7 response line. To participate, simply call 312-600-7624 and share your thoughts about the exhibition, a story about change that you ’ve seen in the city, and your ideas for Chicago ’s future. Your responses will be recorded and posted online at aftertodaychicago.tumblr.com and in the After Today exhibition.

  • Share your response to a work of art in this exhibition.
  • Tell us about a change that you ’ve seen in the city.
  • After today, what is one change you would you like to see in Chicago?

See the archive of community responses at: aftertodaychicago.tumblr.com

After Today

Curated by Lorelei Stewart
May 8 – August 8, 2015

Exhibition Checklist

Jason Lazarus
Image Monuments, 2015
Wood
31″ x 25 1/4″ x 136.5
Courtesy the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery

Jason Lazarus
Image Monuments (Research Image Archive – Ongoing), 2015
Digital images
Courtesy the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery

Jan Tichy
Changing Chicago (26th Street), 2011
Video, 8 mins.
Courtesy the artist and Richard Gray Gallery

Jan Tichy
Changing Chicago (Northerly Island), 2011
Video, 5 mins.
Courtesy the artist and Richard Gray Gallery

FULTONIA
FULTONIA: Mycelia, 2015
Chair, vinyl
12 ft
Courtesy FULTONIA

Marianne Fairbanks
Patchwork Pall, 2013
Swing set, tarp, moving blankets, cotton, natural dyes
112 x 88 x 70 in.
Courtesy the artist

Marianne Fairbanks
Slow Fade, 2015
Jacquard woven cotton, natural dyes
29 x 20 in.
Courtesy the artist

Marianne Fairbanks
Color Ways, 2015
Cloth, dye, thread, glue
Dimensions Variable
Courtesy the artist

Amanda Williams
In the Darkness that Pervades Us, these Beacons will be Colored to Guide Us, 2015
Paper, graphite, grease pencil, tape, paint
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist

Amanda Williams
FLAMIN ’ RED HOTS, 2015
Orange latex house paint on column
Courtesy the artist

96 Acres
96 Acres: Contesting the Frame, 2015
Multi media installation
Courtesy 96 Acres

Jan Tichy
Chicago Nature (After Nauman), 2014
Neon
62 x 62 x 10 in.
Courtesy the artist and Richard Gray Gallery

Cauleen Smith
Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015
12 drawings, graphite and acrylic on graph paper
9.5” x 11 5.8” each
Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey

Marianne Fairbanks
Dyestuff of Default, 2015
Jars, collected plant material, wool, cotton, silk, acid, vinegar, mordant, sunlight
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist