“Brilliant and divisive,” those were the words Catherine Edelman, gallery owner and panel moderator, used to describe acclaimed photographer Joel-Peter Witkin. The latest exhibition at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Joel-Peter Witkin: From the Studio, features more than 25 photographs, 80 drawings, as well as sketchbooks and journals, darkroom tools and cameras, letters, and contact sheets. But it was Witkins mission, “to create photographs that show the beauty of marginalized people,” and how he executes that aim was the primary topic of discussion for the ‘Otherness & Beauty’ panel hosted by the gallery on June 1. The panel included painter, writer and disability activist Riva Lehrer, art therapist Deb DelSignore, and art historian Mark B. Pohlad. Witkin, an American artist based in Albuquerque, photographs his subjects in carefully crafted settings and utilizes manual darkroom techniques to produce surreal images. The subjects are often “intersex, post and pre-op individuals, and people born with physical abnormalities.” Lehrer makes artwork depicting similar marginalized people, with one very important difference—she is a portrait artist. Lehrer works collaboratively with her subjects to …
This is the first article in an ongoing series about Body Passages, a partnership between Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and The Chicago Poetry Center. This series gives brief looks into a 10-month, interdisciplinary creative process between Body Passages poets and dancers, documenting and reflecting on aspects of that process as it happens. Launched in 2017, Body Passages is the brainchild of co-founders Sara Maslanka (Artistic Director of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble) and Natasha Mijares (Reading Series Curator of The Chicago Poetry Center; Natasha also writes for Sixty). This innovative, interdisciplinary partnership brings together artists of various forms—poets and dancers, ostensibly, but many with practices extending beyond those bounds—over the course of 10 months to create original, collaborative work engaging language and movement. The 2018 cohort is comprised of 14 broadly diverse artists at different points in their artistic growth, who are together interrogating this year’s theme—“Activation”—and developing new work in response. Following December auditions, their process formally began in January when selected poets and dancers were assigned into groups and will officially conclude in October with final …
What would the world be like if we eliminated prisons, surveillance, and policing? What types of alternative methods can we seek to pursue justice? What systems can we set in place to encourage people to come clean about their wrongdoings? These questions are at the center of the prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition movement, which aims to dismantle violent systems founded on oppression and inequality, including imprisonment, surveillance, and policing. These questions are also ever-relevant in Chicago, a city with a long history of racist police violence. Do Not Resist? 100 Years of Chicago Police Violence, a recent community-based, artist-led multi-site exhibition that took place across Chicago at the Hairpin Arts Center, Roman Susan Gallery, Uri-Eichen Gallery, and Art In These Times, presented artworks that dealt with Chicago’s history of police violence. The artworks focused on specific victims and incidents of police violence, shifting the dialogue to question the PIC more universally. The final event of the exhibition-related programming, “The Aesthetics of Abolition in the 21st Century,” brought together Mariame Kaba and Sarah Ross to discuss the …
It’s an unseasonably warm December morning and I’m driving cautiously through a Chicago warehouse district, south on Ashland Avenue past an overpass of the Stevenson expressway. The slice of the interstate makes this patch of the city feel like a peninsula, jutting timidly into a convergence of two stretches of the Chicago River. My directions lead me down a small road innocuously named Marketplace Access, past the slick corporate bulk of the QTS Data Center campus, and I’ve arrived. I join a group of about forty light-jacketed companions at Canal Origins Park for a walk through the city’s history of timber extraction with Deep Time Chicago, a collective of ecology-minded artists who want to retrain our awareness to our surroundings, and the artists Sara Black and Raewyn Martyn, whose joint installation Edward Hines National Forest is on view at the Hyde Park Art Center. The park commemorates the point where the Illinois & Michigan Canal once connected the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River drainage basin. It’s an impressive sounding spot, but if I’ve ever …
Two panel discussions that consider how space, architecture, and art are all used together as tools for decolonizing narratives and also for uplifting and sometimes displacing communities.
A discussion that focuses on independent media and folks who are making space for cultural coverage and critical dialogue in print, podcasts, radio, and online publishing in Chicago.
A discussion on how gatherings that harness the energy of party and club environments become spaces for empowerment, resistance and inclusion.
In this archivist tête-à-tête, Stacie Williams and Analú López discuss why artists and activists should be the authors of their own stories.
The opening night of the Chicago Archives + Artists Festival features the screening of a new video work from a collaboration between Media Burn and On the Real Film.
An archivist tête-à-tête with Stacie Williams and Analú López on the significance of and strategies for artists and activists to document their work.
Join us on April 22nd for a panel featuring Fontaine Capel (Hume), Maggie Crowley + Javier Bosques (Produce Model Gallery), Tracie Hall (Rootwork Gallery), Claudine Isé (Goldfinch), Mashuska Matthews + Torie McMillan (+ Gallery), moderated by Caroline Picard (Sector 2337).
Join us on April 22nd for a panel featuring Jane Beachy (Salonathon), Rae Chardonnay (Party Noire), Ciera McKissick (AmFm), Aay Preston Myint (Chances Dances), Eric Williams (The Silver Room), moderated by Abra Johnson (Honey Pot Performance).
Projects and events to keep an eye out for from Sixty this spring.
Karen Finley, Young Jean Lee, and Lisa Lee talk race, class and gender consciousness, the NEA Four, and artists vs cultural worker at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre.
A recap of a tête-à-tête at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) about social media and the nature of images at the intersection of technology, art, and culture.
On a warm Thursday evening, Thelma Golden sauntered across the carpeted stage of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Rubloff Auditorium with an elegant stride. Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum of Harlem, moderated the panel “New Paradigms 2016: An Evening of Art and Conversation.” It showcased seminal artists of color in today’s art world from diverse parts of the globe. Glenn Ligon, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, and Cauleen Smith collaboratively examined how their work reveals the intricacies of the individual and collective histories of the global Black diaspora. Golden asked concise and complex questions that lead the artists to unpack the phenomena of a global Black presence in art making, moving beyond colonial labels such as “African American.” Despite their different aesthetic approaches, all three artists shared the similarity of vouching for the silenced voices in the canon of art history. Their cultural perspectives in art making seamlessly united as they talked about navigating the identity politics of the modern world through their artistic process. This mutual goal shared between the artists revealed …
Excerpts on passive/active Blackness, oversights and gestures of homage from Daughters of the Dust to Lemonade, redefinitions of Blackness, shadows of Black pessimism, and Kerry James Marshall.