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I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS

Friday, May 03, 2013–Saturday, June 22, 2013

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Artists: 23E Laboratories, Jason Robert Bell, James Fotopoulos, Kari Gatzke, HALFLIFERS, Lauren Marsden, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Bjørn Melhus, Shana Moulton, Caspar Stracke and MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE, and Jennet Thomas

Covering more than two decades of work, I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE moves beyond the retrospective format to re-examine, interpret, and pay homage to the extensive body of performative video work that the HALFLIFERS (the collaborative team of Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza) has produced since the early 1990s. Employing a lo-fi aesthetic that amplifies the qualities of videotape and forms of its playback, Burns and Discenza perform as characters inspired by genres of speculative fiction, producing a sincere absurdity that reflects on the issues of anxiety and identity in our rapidly changing technological age. Included in the exhibition are the HALFLIFERS ’ re-edit of the collaborative ’s entire video history into a new forty-five-minute loop and an alternative self-portrait that catalogs key materials, sources, influences, and other touchstones in a new book entitled THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS.

Accompanying the HALFLIFERS ’ works are sculptures, videos, drawings, installations, photographs, and paintings by a number of artists who have affinities with the collaborative and who have produced new works mining the HALFLIFERS ’ oeuvre. By subjecting themselves to the reinterpretations and responses of others, HALFLIFERS question their present relevancy while, at the same time, continue to be relevant through their very willingness to adapt.

I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Howard and Donna Stone and Jeff Stokols and Daryl Gerber Stokols provide general support to Gallery 400 programs.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Hl 225x225HALFLIFERS is an ongoing collaborative project created by longtime friends and fellow media artists Torsten Zenas Burns (born 1968) and Anthony M. Discenza (born 1967). Working primarily in video, HALFLIFERS employs a lo-fi, improvisational strategy to investigate issues of anxiety and loss of identity in the technologic age. Drawing upon such elements as cartoons, play therapy, speculative fiction, and the local hardware megastore, HALFLIFERS constructs an absurd, color-saturated alternate. HALFLIFERS projects have been presented at venues around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; DiRosa / Gatehouse Gallery, Napa, CA; Smack Mellon Gallery, New York; the Berkeley Art Museum; the New York Video Festival; the Chicago Underground Film Festival; Video_Dumbo, New York; CinemaTexas; the Dallas Video Festival; the Impakt Festival, the Netherlands; the European Media Arts Festival, Germany; Pandaemonium Festival, London; Microwave Festival, Hong Kong; and many others. Their work was recently included in the book
Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000. In 2011, HALFLIFERS released a two-disc compilation that gathers together for the first time all of the collaborative ’s single-channel work produced between 1992 and 2010, and features rarely-seen documentation of several large scale media installations. HALFLIFERS is distibruted by Video Data Bank, Chicago.

Exhibition Checklist (expanded)

23E Laboratories

We Can ’t Evolve You: 23E Laboratories ’ Research into the Missing Dystopian Future, 2013
Mixed-media installation, dimensions variable
Courtesy H. E. Wyndham

23E Laboratories is the creation as 23E Studios— an international arts collaborative with approximately eighty-five members. The group, founded in 2007, creates feature-length films, installations and artworks that are largely responsive to the site and context of the project. In this exhibition, the collaborative functions under the auspices of a research laboratory, whose members accumulated information in the guise of a global research team. Given a finite amount of data, their team worked to uncover the connections between the world of HALFLIFERS and our own. Synthesized, layered, and connected, the findings are presented in evidence webs, not unlike those seen in crime dramas. The information creates a master web of connections that possibly reveals an underlying pattern, illuminating who, or what, HALFLIFERS is, was, or will be.

Jason Robert Bell
The White Feathered Octopus Tarot Deck, 2013
India ink, watercolor, and liquid paper on card; 78 cards, each 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.
Courtesy the artist

Jason Robert Bell (New York, b. 1972) produces work in a variety of media, from cartooning to sculpture, painting to performance, addressing mystical elements within the contemporary and the future. His art deals with fantasy versus reality, often contstructing new figurative iconographies. In this exhibition, Bell presents The White Feathered Octopus Tarot Deck, a full tarot card deck whose title is taken from a novel the artist wrote during a painkiller-laden three-month recovery from a medical injury. The stream- of-consciousness book oscillates between autobiographies, fictions, and nightmares. Much like Bell’s novel, and in reference to HALFLIFERS’ video practice, the tarot deck was produced in an improvisational manner. Including portraits of figures from the HALFLIFERS’ orbit alongside mythical creatures, the cards will be activated in a “multi-mystical” tarot reading on the evening of Thursday, June 13.

James Fotopoulos

So Be It (And It Twas), 2012
Video, 9:10 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

So Be It (And It Twas) 4, 5, 11, 13, 17, 21, 23, 24, 2012

Charcoal, graphite, pastel, and conté crayon on paper, 17 x 14 in.
Courtesy the artist

James Fotopoulos (Brooklyn, b. 1976) is primarily a filmmaker, but also works in a variety of media, including music, design, and drawing. Because of his multi-disciplinary approach, Fotopoulos frequently collaborates with other artists, filmmakers, and musicians in his work. His contribution to the exhibition centers on The Unknown Collaboration, his ongoing partnership with Torsten Zenas Burns. Burns’ and Fotopoulos’ unmade film, featuring, among other things, androids, aliens, Leonard Nimoy, and iguana sex, serves as the backdrop for Fotopoulos’ So Be It (And It Twas’), which incorporates the sculptures, drawings, and script from the unrealized work.

Kari Gatzke
Mirror #11, 2013
Acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 51 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Reader ’s Friend, 2013
Acrylic on wood panel, 48 x 42 1/2 in.
Courtesy the artist

Kari Gatzke (Holyoke, MA, b. 1969) creates paintings that are inspired by imagery from home, office, and store fixture supply catalogs. The artist investigates how merchandise is uniformly presented page after page, sending the mind into a world of abstraction and prompting one to ask, “What are these things?”. The artist re-scales and re-presents select catalog items in shallow, frontal fields, sometimes in a trompe l’oeil fashion and at other times with highly defined, air-brushed surfaces. The paintings in the exhibition explore the malleable role of objects in the HALFLIFERS’ world, and how the functionality of those objects simultaneously informs and is informed by the cultural and psychological backdrop they inhabit. These works examine how the identities of the the objects open up once removed from their source material.

HALFLIFERS

I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE, 2013
Video, 45:00 min.
Courtesy the artist and Video Data Bank

THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS, 2013
Three hardcover books, each 12 x 12 in.
Courtesy the artist

Covering more than two decades of work,
I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE moves beyond the retrospective format to re-examine, interpret, and pay homage to the extensive body of performative videos that HALFLIFERS—the collaborative team of Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza— produced since the early 1990s. Burns (Holyoke, MA, b. 1968) and Discenza (San Francisco, b. 1967) took the name HALFLIFERS from the Philip K. Dick novel
Ubik, in which Dick uses the term “half-life” to refer to an alternate reality that dead characters experience while in a state of cryogenic suspension. This condition of a phantom reality has been integral to HALFLIFERS’ ongoing explorations, in which speculative fiction operates as a sublimated present, imbued heavily with the psychological weight therein.
Employing a lo-fi aesthetic that amplifies the qualities of videotape and form of its playback, Burns and Discenza perform as characters inspired by genres of speculative fiction, producing a sincere absurdity that reflects on the issues of anxiety and identity in our rapidly changing technological age. Included in the exhibition are HALFLIFERS’ re-edit of the collaborative’s entire video history into a new forty-five-minute loop and an alternative self-portait that catalogs key materials, sources, and influences, and other touchstones in a new book entitled THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS.
Accompanying the work of HALFLIFERS in this exploded retrospective are sculptures, videos, drawings, installations, photographs, and paintings by a number of artists who have affinities with the collaborative. Each of the artists created new work that mines HALFLIFERS’ oeuvre in a variety of ways. Expanding on the centrality of speculative fiction in HALFLIFERS’ practice, some works touch on the tandem themes of alternative realities and calamitous events. Several artists draw inspiration from the unique worldview that is foundational to HALFLIFERS’ work, while others pay homage to particular, iconic elements and objects in HALFLIFERS’ work and history.

Lauren Marsden

The Sightings (1), 2013
Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (2), 2013
Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (After National Enquirer), 2013
Archival pigment print, 11 x 20 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (Snapshots), 2013
31 Cibachrome prints, each 4 x 6 in.
Courtesy the artist

Lauren Mardsen (Guelph, Ontario, b. 1982) produces work that investigates themes of place and time, using performance to express the tensions of such binaries as past and future, fact and fantasy. The artist heightens these tensions by including unusual and misplaced characters and the reproduction of public speeches and media images. These devices create points of anxiety within her work, while infusing it with elements of awkwardness and rebellion. Responding both to HALFLIFERS’ use of speculative fiction and the unique status of objects in the collaborative’s work, Marsden’s photographic series, The Sightings, documents a small swarm of photographers as they navigate between city ditches and Safeway aisles discovering and capturing an assortment of discarded objects and forgotten “monuments” in the world around them.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

Lifers, 2013
Papier-mâché piñatas, each 14 x 21 x 14 in.
Courtesy the artists

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (Brooklyn, b. 1968 and 1967) are multimedia artists who examine the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory, and language. In order to focus on these structures, they often reexamine classic works of science fiction or television, creating sculptural objects, video projections, or live events from their findings. The McCoys have immortalized HALFLIFERS’ as zombie character piñata heads from the HALFLIFERS’ Afterlifers videos from 2004. In the gallery, the zombie heads mingle with piñata self-portraits of Jennifer and Kevin in possible confrontation or collusion.

Bjørn Melhus

Sudden Destruction, 2013
Video, 4:00 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

Bjørn Melhus (Berlin, b. 1966) attempts to interpret and redefine the relationship between mass media and viewership through his videos. Using a variety of representational devices, Melhus creates deadpan depictions of well-known figures, topics, and mass-media strategies. Infusing humor and absurdity into his videos, the artist elicits a variety of emotions, from joy to fear. In the exhibition, Melhus pays homage to the way HALFLIFERS embodies a grotesquely distorted response to media and society within its work. SUDDEN DESTRUCTION reveals the artist disguised as a psychic medium who appears to be only half alive, and yet delivers an apocalyptic message compromising quotes taken from self-proclaimed evangelist prophets.

Shana Moulton

Swisspering, 2013
Video, 9:00 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

Shana Moulton (Brooklyn, b. 1976) creates video and performance works infused with unsettling humor and Pop sensibility. Her evocative, oblique narratives reveal an everyday world that is both mundane and surreal. Inhabiting a domestic sphere just slightly askew, her protagonist initiates relationships with objects and consumer products that are at once banal and uncanny. Moulton’s new video, Swisspering Pines, a reference to her ongoing video series Whispering Pines, is framed by the act of applying and removing makeup. As the makeup is removed with a product called Swisspers, the body is, in effect, carved away. Through this act, Moulton explores Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), defined as the physical sensation of pleasurable tingling that begins on the scalp and moves throughout the body. Moulton describes the relationship between ASMR and carving away the body to reveal spiritual essence as intimately connected to HALFLIFERS’ notions of play therapy and psychic surgery.

Caspar Stracke and MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE (Monika Czyzyk, Martin Kluson, Reija Meriläinen, Joakim Pusenius, and Ruben Ostan Vejrup from Kuvataideakatemia, Helsinki)

Press, Pulldown, Crunch, 2013
Video, 6:50 min. loop
Courtesy the artists

Casper Stracke (New York and Helsinki, b. 1967) is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose work considers themes of architecture, urbanism, media archaeology, and various social aspects of cinema. In Press, Pulldown, Crunch, Strake relied on scripted variations of HALFLIFERS’ conversations to inform the activities performed in the video and to serve as a platform for a dialogue between analog and digital aesthetics. Stracke’s collaboration with his students (the MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE), based t the Kuvataideakatemia in Helsinki) is evocative of HALFLIFERS’ work with students, as well as each other. In the same way that HALFLIFERS’ creates videos without a storyboard, responding, instead, to props and signals, Stracke has created a similarly improvisational collaboration with his students.

Jennet Thomas
I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE, 2013
Video, 6:00 min. loop, with mixed-media installation
Courtesy the artist

Jennet Thomas (London, b. 1963) makes videos, performances, and installations that rely on speculative, experimental writing. Her work appropriates various media genres, including the news, film, and children’s drama. Calling into question what we collectively consider meaningful, Thomas’ work is often absurd and also disturbingly entertaining. I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE incorporates an urgent and unsettling communication that comes from an alternate dimension or, as the artist puts it, “somewhere between your brain and the almighty information cloud.” This message alerts you that something is terribly wrong and immediate action is needed for salvation. A strange man is sent on a dangerous journey in order to stop the error sequence. You are saved, but are you still human?

****

Karpova Tinari, Anastasia. “I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS”, Jun. 19, 2013. blog.expositionchicago.com.

Mickleburgh, Eliott. “Review: HALFLIFERS at Gallery 400”, Jul. 23, 2013. http://chicagoartistwriters.blogspot.com/.

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

23E Laboratories
We Can ’t Evolve You: 23E Laboratories ’ Research into the Missing Dystopian Future, 2013
Mixed-media installation, dimensions variable
Courtesy H. E. Wyndham

Jason Robert Bell

The White Feathered Octopus Tarot Deck, 2013
India ink, watercolor, and liquid paper on card; 78 cards, each 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.
Courtesy the artist

James Fotopoulos

So Be It (And It Twas), 2012
Video, 9:10 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

So Be It (And It Twas) 4, 5, 11, 13, 17, 21, 23, 24, 2012
Charcoal, graphite, pastel, and conté crayon on paper, 17 x 14 in.
Courtesy the artist

Kari Gatzke

Mirror #11, 2013
Acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 51 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Reader ’s Friend, 2013
Acrylic on wood panel, 48 x 42 1/2 in.
Courtesy the artist

HALFLIFERS

I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE, 2013
Video, 45:00 min.
Courtesy the artist and Video Data Bank

THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS, 2013
Three hardcover books, each 12 x 12 in.
Courtesy the artist

Lauren Marsden

The Sightings (1), 2013
Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (2), 2013
Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (After National Enquirer), 2013
Archival pigment print, 11 x 20 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Sightings (Snapshots), 2013
31 Cibachrome prints, each 4 x 6 in.
Courtesy the artist

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

Lifers, 2013
Papier-mâché piñatas, each 14 x 21 x 14 in.
Courtesy the artists

Bjørn Melhus

Sudden Destruction, 2013
Video, 4:00 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

Shana Moulton

Swisspering, 2013
Video, 9:00 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

Caspar Stracke and MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE (Monika Czyzyk, Martin Kluson, Reija Meriläinen, Joakim Pusenius, and Ruben Ostan Vejrup from Kuvataideakatemia, Helsinki)

Press, Pulldown, Crunch, 2013
Video, 6:50 min. loop
Courtesy the artists

Jennet Thomas

I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE, 2013
Video, 6:00 min. loop, with mixed-media installation
Courtesy the artist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
Whitney Moeller
Assistant Director
312 996 6114
gallery400@uic.edu

THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IS COMING…

I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE:

THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
May 3-June 15, 2013

Half Lifers I.S.L.A.N.D.S
Image: HALFLIFERS, I.S.L.A.N.D.S #0.0 Operation Big Combo, 1998-2011, video, 12:00 min. (still).

May 3, 2013—Chicago, IL—Featuring artists 23E Laboratories, Jason Robert Bell, James Fotopoulos, Kari Gatzke, HALFLIFERS, Lauren Marsden, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Bjørn Melhus, Shana Moulton, Caspar Stracke and MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE, and Jennet Thomas, I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS
covers more than two decades of work and moves beyond the retrospective format to re-examine, interpret, and pay homage to the extensive body of performative video work that the HALFLIFERS (the collaborative team of Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza) have produced since the early 1990s. Employing a lo-fi aesthetic that amplifies the qualities of videotape and forms of its playback, Burns and Discenza perform as characters inspired by genres of speculative fiction, producing a sincere absurdity that reflects on the issues of anxiety and identity in our rapidly changing technological age. Included in the exhibition are the HALFLIFERS ’ re-edit of the collaborative ’s entire video history into a new forty-five minute loop and an alternative self-portrait that catalogs key materials, sources, influences, and other touchstones in a new book entitled THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS.

Accompanying the HALFLIFERS ’ works are sculptures, videos, drawings, installations, photographs, and paintings by a number of artists who have affinities with the collaborative and who produced new works inspired by the HALFLIFERS ’ oeuvre. By subjecting themselves to the reinterpretations and responses of others, HALFLIFERS question their present relevancy while, at the same time, continue to be relevant through their very willingness to adapt.

Expanding on the centrality of speculative fiction in HALFLIFERS ’ work, some of the artists in the exhibition touch on the often tandem themes of alternative realities and calamitous events. German artist Bjørn Melhus pays homage to the way that HALFLIFERS embody a grotesquely distorted response to media and society within their work. Melhus ’s SUDDEN DESTRUCTION reveals the artist—who appears to be only half alive—disguised as a psychic medium delivering an apocalyptic message comprised of quotes from self-proclaimed evangelist prophets. Jennet Thomas exhibits I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE, a video-anchored installation incorporating an urgent and disturbing communication that comes from, as the artist puts it, “somewhere between your brain and the almighty information cloud.” The message indicates that something is terribly wrong and immediate action is needed for salvation.

The unique worldview that is foundational to the work of HALFLIFERS inspires many of the works within the exhibition. Kari Gatzke ’s paintings explore the malleable role of objects in the HALFLIFERS ’ world, and how their functionality simultaneously informs and is informed by the cultural and psychological backdrop they inhabit. For the work in the exhibition, Gatzke will create a series of paintings based on imagery from office and supply catalogs. Gatzke is interested in how the identities of these objects are loosened once removed from their source material. Responding both to HALFLIFERS ’ use of speculative fiction and the special life of objects in their work, Lauren Marsden ’s photographic series, The Sightings, documents a small swarm of photographers—“the paparazzi”—as they navigate between city ditches and Safeway aisles, discovering and capturing an assortment of discarded and forgotten “monuments” in the world around them. Shana Moulton ’s new video piece, Swisspering Pines, a reference to her ongoing video series Whispering Pines, is framed by the act of applying and removing makeup. As the makeup is removed with a product called Swisspers, the body is, in effect, carved away. Through this act, Moulton investigates Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), defined as the physical sensation of pleasurable tingling that begins on the scalp and moves throughout the body. Moulton describes the relationship between ASMR and carving away the body to reveal spiritual essence as intimately connected to HALFLIFERS ’ notions of play therapy and psychic surgery.

23E Laboratories, an international collaborative network, creates a research office in which they accumulate information from their global research team, who is tasked with uncovering the connections between the world of the HALFLIFERS and our own. The findings are presented in connecting evidence webs, not unlike those seen in crime dramas. Synthesized, layered, and connected, the multiple findings create a master web of connections that possibly reveal an underlying pattern. Jason Robert Bell presents White Feathered Tarot, a full tarot card deck inspired by HALFLIFERS. On the evening of Thursday, June 13, Bell will perform what he describes as a “multi-mystical” tarot reading with the deck for volunteers from the audience.

Finally, a number of artists have chosen to pay homage to specific elements of HALFLIFERS ’ work and history. Jennifer and Kevin McCoy have immortalized the HALFLIFERS in a special tribute to the HALFLIFERS ’ 2004 video After-Lifers. German-born artist Caspar Stracke uses scripted variations on HALFLIFERS ’ conversations to inform a dialogue between analog and video/digital aesthetics. James Fotopoulos ’ contribution centers on The Unknown Collaboration, his ongoing partnership with Torsten Zenas Burns. The collaborators ’ unmade film, featuring, among other things, androids, aliens, Leonard Nimoy, and iguana sex, serves as the backdrop for Fotopoulos ’s So Be It (And It ‘Twas), in which the sculptures, drawings, and script from the unrealized film collaboration with Burns are reworked into the current iteration.

Related Programs:

Screening of SCHOOL OF CHANGE, REDUX by Jennet Thomas
Friday, May 3, 4:45pm

Jennet Thomas ’ SCHOOL OF CHANGE is a sci-fi musical set in an alternate reality that satirically reflects our current epoch. Once through the rabbit hole, audience members will witness the life of the kidnapped New Girl as she is forced to endure the tribulations of confinement in strange and peculiar academic surroundings. The film ’s playful strangeness delights in disruptive editing rhythms, choreographed movements, unusual special effects, and songs, colliding in the everyday location of the artist ’s former school, with an extraordinarily skewed logic.

Opening Reception
Friday, May 3, 5-8pm

I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE [Activated by Live Performance] by Jennet Thomas
Friday, May 3, 7pm

In conjunction with the opening reception of I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS, Jennet Thomas performs her newly created, HALFLIFERS inspired, I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE.

Something is terribly wrong. That message has been received and you know that some sort of action is required for salvation but you have questions, and fears. Receive answers to your inquiries and learn how to save yourself at Gallery 400 on May 3 at 7pm.

E-DOGZ: Zombie Apocalypse Refuge Center by Eric May and Rimas Simaitis
Monday, May 13, 6pm

When the zombie apocalypse goes down, we’ll all have to think on our toes—watching our backs as we hit the roads, escaping the ravenous army of undead relentlessly pursuing our cranial tissues. The living will have to eat, too, and the mobile kitchen of E-Dogz will be a beacon of nourishment in these end days. Chef Eric “E-Dog” May has teamed up with Rimas Simaitis to equip the food trailer to travel land and sea, feeding the people in these dire times. The zombie plague actually began generations ago, conjured through black magic by Voodoo priests on island nations during the glory days of the high seas. To honor the zombie resistance of yore, E-Dogz: Zombie Apocalypse Refuge Center will host a tiki party to ward off zombies and serve up doomsday cuisine and circuses. This event may feature, but will not be limited to: Spam nigiri, entomophagy, flaming cocktails, and coconut short wave radios.

Loophole Limbo, video screening curated by Abina Manning
Wednesday, May 29, 7pm

Inspired by the actions and tropes of the HALFLIFERS ’ extensive body of work on video, Loophole Limbo delves deep into the archives of the Video Data Bank collection in order to expose, interrogate, and investigate the performative in artists ’ video. Featuring work produced across every decade of video ’s relatively short history, the investigation reveals that artists ’ video is obsessed, alienated, and downright strange…

Featuring work by Dara Birnbaum, Vito Acconci, AnneMcGuire, Tom Rubnitz, Laurie Jo Reynolds, and Bjørn Melhus. Sponsored by Video Data Bank.

The White Feathered Octopus Tarot Card Reading by Jason Robert Bell and Zombies, Identified, a lecture/performance by George Pfau
Thursday, June 13, 7pm

George Pfau will present a slideshow of diagrams, film stills, videos, and animations, drawing focus toward the zombie as a learning tool about identity and the ephemeral aspects of being human. Pfau treats the zombie as a window into the in-between, rather than as a sub-human “other” used to promote negative stereotypes. This project stems from Pfau’s essay entitled “Feverish Homeless Cannibal,” which is being published in the forthcoming book, Zombies in the Academy.

Jason Robert Bell, Mystical Rebel Outlaw Baddasss, whose Advance Thothic Practice in Theatomix will one day rule the world, is seeking volunteers to participate in a “multi-mystical” tarot card reading during the closing of Gallery 400 ’s exhibition, I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS. Bell is seeking 12 individuals, one born under each sign of the zodiac, to bring their energies together and contribute to a tarot card reading utilizing Bell ’s newly created White Feathered Octopus Tarot Cards.

Tours:

Gallery 400 offers guided tours for groups of all ages. Tours are free of charge but require reservation. Please complete our online form (accessible on our website at gallery400.uic.edu/visit/tours) to schedule a tour of I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS. For more information, or to discuss the specific needs and interests of your group, please contact us at 312 996 6114 or gallery400@uic.edu.

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I THINK WE ’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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 College of Architecture 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.

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