Month: April 2017

Movement Matters: J’Sun Howard

Movement Matters investigates work at the intersection of dance, performance, politics, policy and issues related to the body as the locus of these and related socio-cultural dialogues on race, gender, ability and more. For this installment, we sit down with movement artist, curator, poet and Queer Blq Futur narratologist J’Sun Howard to discuss the influences of geography, the role of joy in combating disillusionment and the importance of placekeeping and other practices in the life and work of Chicago’s black and brown artists.   Michael Workman: You don’t hail originally from Chicago, correct? J’Sun Howard: No, I’m originally from Chattanooga, TN. I came here in 2001 to go to school at Columbia College. Here, I started out on the West Side. Then to Lakeview, which was fun, crazy, and full of self-discovery. Uptown was chill and where I began to feel more grounded. I went back to Lakeview after that, and by twenty-three I was done with the bar/club scene. South West Side in the ‘hood, around the Homan Square area was next, I would …

‘Go Fuck Yourself with a Cactus’: On the Politics of Space, Chicago Art, and Mexican Aesthetics with Yvette Mayorga

I watch people warn each other about which Chicago neighborhoods they shouldn’t go to, which streets they shouldn’t live past – all the time. Neighborhoods that are mostly white or halfway gentrified are safe, they tell each other. The neighborhoods I grew up in or live in now, communities of color, are cordoned off as unsafe. I watch people pass on patterns molded by the history of segregation in this city, unaware of the ugliness of what they are actually doing, patterns they carry with them into what they view as this city’s culture. If they’ve never been to certain parts of the city, our aesthetics are alien. But it is impossible to know Chicago art if you don’t know Chicago past the parts that have been marked safe for you. And that is the genius of a show like The Subject is Chicago: People, Places, Possibilities. It challenges passed on patterns and notions of what makes up the Chicago art scene by gathering artists from each of the city’s 50 wards and introducing viewers …

Intimate Justice: An Interview with Claire Arctander

“Intimate Justice” looks at the intersection of art and sex and how these actions intertwine to serve as a form of resistance, activism, and dialogue in the Chicago community. For the first installment, we visited visual artist Claire Arctander in her home studio to discuss her video, sculptural, and performance-based practice. S. Nicole Lane: Let’s begin with the general background questions. Where did you go to school? How did you begin working with film and performance? Claire Arctander: I am pretty much a Chicagoan through and through. I grew up in a suburb. My parents were artists when I was growing up, and my dad is still an artist. He teaches art at McHenry County College, so I was exposed to art. It’s just a typical practice and a way to express oneself. Then I went to undergrad at Northwestern. I always really loved writing, so that’s the direction that I thought I was going to go in. Writing is still important to me, but as soon as I started school there I pretty quickly veered …