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Running Room with Erik Peterson

Tow truck driver picks up i-Go car in front of A+D Gallery. June 23, 2011. (Image Credit: Tempestt Hazel)

I was standing outside of the A+D Gallery for Erik Peterson’s opening for the show Running Room, wrapping up a phone call, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out something was happening and I needed to take notice. Not only had the two people standing outside A+D multiplied substantially, but I also realized that a choreographed dance of man and machines, which I discovered was titled Two Tow’n, was happening before my eyes. Chicagoans are accustomed to the sights and sounds of city life–including tow trucks snatching up cars off of the streets. In this case, however, through the synchronized pick up and drop off of two cherry red i-Go hatchbacks in the same place-marked parking spaces, Erik Peterson created a situation where the population of passersby on the streets around the gallery started to take notice of something that is most often considered expected background activity.

The premise behind Running Room comes from “Karl Kraus’s notion of allowing an idea, place, material, object enough wiggle room to change.” Over the period of four weeks Adam Farcus, Alexander Stewart, Erik Peterson, and Madeleine Bailey will use the gallery and beyond as a testing ground for what happens to art and objects when you leave things to chance, allowing them and encouraging them to change as they will. What they are exploring is not just change depending on unpredictable environmental influences such as audience—or in Erik’s case an outside car sneaking up and parking in the designated spot before the place-marker vehicle could replace the towed one, ultimately disrupting the street location. The artists are also exploring a change in the function of objects and what they could become. This was illustrated through the tow trucks, cars and the tow truck drivers, all of which, in my eyes, became something like dancers performing together on a Wabash Street stage.

Pieces and parts from Peterson's performance "What The Large Glass Company Carries (Remains to be Seen). June 23, 2011. (Image Credit: Tempestt Hazel).

Since the gallery is used as the space for things to occur and not necessarily a place dedicated solely to the exhibition of static work, if you visit when it’s not one of the four Thursday openings you will only see the residue of performances in the form of photo and video documentation, chalk instructions and text on a wall, a large wooden amphitheater-like arena and maybe even some broken glass that says, “Something happened or will happen here.” I encourage you to mark your calendar for one if not all of the next openings happening each Thursday between now and July 14th 2011, from 5pm – 8pm at A+D Gallery. Step into the arena. Step onto the stage.

Note: Quote taken from exhibition description that can be found on the A+D Gallery website.

Exhibition Information:
Averill and Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery
619 S. Wabash Ave.
Tue-Sat: 11-5 | Thurs: 11-8

Adam Farcus
Audience Participation Forum:
Feed Forms and Duck It
Thursday, June 30
5-8pm

Alexander Stewart
Slapstick Hat-trick:
A Program of Short Films
Thursday, July 7
5-8pm

Madeleine Bailey
Closing Reception:
Impalable/Transportable
Thursday, July 14
5-8pm

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