All posts tagged: Columbia College Chicago

REVIEW: Tere O’Connor’s Long Run

Part of the difficulty in writing about dance lies in its position along a continuum from literalness to abstraction. The gestures of everyday life might be visibly exaggerated to aid transmitting a story to its audience, or else they might constitute a departure from this story altogether — stripped of its necessary context, the meanings of a given movement proliferate without end. It is such proliferation that fascinates choreographer Tere O’Connor, whose program notes for Long Run suggest that the means for its interpretation are “subsumed into layers of the work and de-emphasized”. Furthermore, when such interpretation does occur (as it must, in an exchange between the dancers and their audience), it should always be provisional: a “fluid and forever open-ended” assignment of possible meanings, to be radically altered as each movement is performed anew. But after dancer Jin Ju Song-Begin performs a brief solo, the piece starts with a group dance to some of the most rhythmic music in the entire score (all composed by O’Connor himself), and for a moment our informed impulse …

Review: Bebe Miller Company at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago

In a Rhythm begins with storytelling, a storytelling which gradually darkens into theater: Bebe Miller steps out onto the stage with her dancers, and begins a short narrative about hearing an audiobook of a David Foster Wallace story. As she continues talking, the lights dim and the bodies around her begin to move – a pleasing, calm split to the viewer’s attention. After all, the David Foster Wallace story, as Miller informs us, “is not a part of this dance.” Soon a single piano note chimes in, and the narrative is subsumed by the familiar structures of concert dance. But they are not so familiar here. Miller is explicitly interested in the choreographic potentials of syntax: in her words, “how we collide with meaning through the juxtaposed dynamics of action and context, in time and space.” Her work, however, doesn’t merely follow through with this curiosity – it explodes it with a rare breed of infectious joy and sharpness. In this world, the casual release-based grace of postmodern movement is immediately followed by jagged, awkward weight sharing; …

Adrienne Ciskey: Invisible Illnesses and the Power of Play

If you suffer with a chronic illness, specifically one that others cannot see, the anxiety of  whether or not others take your pain seriously, on top of the endless physical battle with your own body, is very real. There is a hierarchy of illness in our culture based on assumptions of “seriousness” that is rarely acknowledged or discussed. A social judgment of validity is made about an illness, and if you are a woman suffering from an illness that is not only invisible but also widely unknown then the legitimacy of your pain dissipates quicker than the “no” you hear from the doctor when you ask if there is any known cure for your pain. Living with hypoglycemia and hyperthyroidism, I am no stranger to the slight eye rolls when I vocalize my symptoms and  I often find myself suppressing my needs, emotional and otherwise,  for the sake of avoiding skeptical responses from others. The question I ask myself time and time again is: How can others recognize something like an invisible illness? This question …

Clarissa Bonet: The Visual Artist behind the Camera

At 26 and not even a full year after graduating from Columbia College Chicago’s photography graduate program, Clarissa Bonet’s photographic series City Space has been praised. An award winning photographer, her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Florida, Paris, China, Israel, and published by the award winning photography magazine PDN (Photo District News), the Swiss Magazine Das Magazin, Booooooom, and Feature Shoot…to name a few. Clarissa possesses the ability to create work that is captivating and full of emotion. I had the pleasure of learning more about the visual artist behind the camera.     Sophia Nahli: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer? Clarissa Bonet: I started photography when I was in middle school. We had a little dark room in my school, so I started experimenting there, but I really got into photography when I was in high school. I knew my sophomore year of high school that photography was going to be my medium to work in. SN: Why is photography important to you? CB: That’s kind of a …

Explorations of Identity, Surroundings, & the World with Hannah Dunsirn

Hannah Dunsirn is a photography student at Columbia College, RAW artist, portrait photographer extraordinaire, and an all-around lovely person.  Hailing from a small town in Northeast Wisconsin, Hannah came to Chicago in 2009 to pursue her love for photography.  Hannah was recently featured at the RAW: Natural Born Artists September showcase, “Ensemble,” where she showed a beautiful series of photographs taken while traveling in India this past summer.  Past projects of hers explore the idea of personal identity and the process of adapting and changing the surrounding environment to one’s own, such as a place of employment.  Hannah is also deeply inspired by travel, as many of her photos reflect the discovery of new places, people and culture.  She has also made a zine featuring her series from India, and plans to continue to make zines in the future.  I met with Hannah at Cafecito in the South Loop, where we both enjoyed a delicious sandwich and chatted.  We discussed how she got started, her inspirations, her time at Columbia, and her plans for the …

A Spotlight on Michael "Dos Santos" Tousana

Michael Tousana is an up-and-coming musician and artist from Chicago who now resides in Queens, New York. Even though he is no longer in Chicago, his name is still being blown around the Windy City’s underground art and performance world. His work is hard to ignore. Whether it’s pieces like “Radiant Eyes” with vivid tears of color falling or “Higher Reach” which depicts a hand reaching out for something better, his art is more than eye catching. He has shown with the former art collective Chicago Artists Network (CAN), and his pieces have been on display at the Defibrillator in Wicker Park. Tony Jackson: What is your method? Michael Tousana: I don’t like to limit myself to just one outlet. When I have a certain vision I just put them together. For the most part I create them threw graphic design, painting or collaging images of my own or ones that I find. TJ: What types of art do you prefer and who inspires you most? MT: I like all art as a collective. My favorites as …

And Then She’s Like/And He Goes—And I Asked: An Interview with Chris Campe

And The She’s Like/And He Goes, an exhibition at A+D Gallery,that juxtaposes text-based and sound-based art to expose the rich layers of the media and content. Chris Campe, artist and curator of the exhibition, recently returned to Germany after completing her Master of Art in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In this interview Campe sheds light on curating from abroad, the unique combination of artworks, German compound nouns, and the relationship of letterforms, text and sound in art. Kate Korroch: First and foremost congratulations on the exhibition! Can you tell me a bit about your process in selecting the artists and their specific works? Chris Campe: Thanks! I am very excited about the show – all the more because I moved back to Hamburg before it opened and I haven’t actually seen it yet! The initial selection of the visual artists came about quite naturally – they are all my friends. I love their work and because we all use hand-rendered text in our images I felt …

Sixty on Sixty: An Interview with Andrea Sparr-Jaswa

In the wake of her 30th birthday, I joined Andrea Sparr-Jaswa in her beautifully decorated Logan Square apartment. Andrea is a long time resident of the neighborhood and a contributing writer to the Chicago Arts Archive.   Amidst bites of fudge cake, we chatted about Andrea’s academic background, and her opinions on art, Chicago, and orbital sanders. Sixty on Sixty is a new series in which SIFCers interview one another, allowing readers to get to know the fine folks who bring you the latest from Chicago’s art scene. Tell me a bit about your educational background.  How did you get involved with art history and writing for the arts? I went to college for a while, changing my majors and trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  Art history was always the class that I wouldn’t miss, even if it was at 8 AM.  I always liked writing the papers, and I always enjoyed doing the work.  It always seemed so fascinating to me. For a while I pushed against it, because I …

Talking With Fear About Dying Tomorrow: A Conversation with Matt Austin, Pt. 1

My first encounter with photographer Matt Austin was over two years ago during my time as a student in a photography class where he was the teacher’s assistant.   Since the days of me trying to catch sneak peeks of his work in the photo labs at Columbia College, his work has evolved into something that is less about the photo as a static object and more about how photography functions as a tool within something larger–his life experiences and the experiences of those around him. What we can gain from his practice is not only an appreciation for the moments in life that we often take for granted, but also the opportunity to tap into our own uncertainties and fears of meaningful interactions with unfamiliar people and places through his treks across cities, countries and seas.  His most recent work invites you to tag along as he creates a biography in motion.  In light of his solo exhibition, Talking With Fear About Dying Tomorrow, which opens on March 4, 2011 at Johalla Projects, I …

Art History in Motion: Dr. Amy Mooney

As promised, the art nerd in me comes out at different levels when discussing different topics. Amy Mooney, a professor at Columbia College Chicago, touches the heart of the art nerd in me with her research in the field of visual culture, art education and positive social contributions through art. Along with another thread in the Columbia College Chicago fabric, Joan Giroux, Amy Mooney will be serving as the chair of the panel “Artist Citizen: Catalysts, Collectives, and Utopias” on February 13th. Are you curious about why Prof. Mooney makes the art lover in me burst into song? The following questions I posed to her will bring you clarity… Briefly tell me about yourself. What is your current role in the arts and how did you get there? Currently, I am an associatiate professor of art history, theory, and visual culture at Columbia College. I am on sabbatical for 2009-2010 and have a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Portrait Gallery where I am researching my second book, Portraits of Noteworthy Character. Going way back, I …

10 Minutes with Sabina Ott

It turns out that the Democrats and Republicans weren’t the only ones stepping up to the podiums to broadcast the ways in which they would like to push us forward. In the winter of 2010, the College Arts Association called on its members to vote for the next board members to serve on their Board of Directors. Although she has spent a large part of her life on the east and west coasts, we in Chicago claim candidate, and winner, Sabina Ott as one of our own. What kind of New York turned California turned Windy City perspective will she bring to the CAA? Let’s ask her! What has been your relationship with the College Arts Association? Why should students in the arts know about the CAA? As the premier organization serving artists, art historians, and arts educators across the country,CAA has been invaluable to my practice as an artist, through grant and exhibition calls, job opportunities, and especially Art Journal and The Art Bulletin. I always recommend membership—I first joined in 1995—to my students as a …

Joyce Owens

In February of 2010 the College Art Association held the 98th Annual CAA Conference in Chicago, Illinois.  Before the conference, panelist Joyce Owens took a moment to answer a few questions about the future of her art practice, the Women’s Caucus for Art panel she will be serving on, which asks “Are women only institutions and spaces still necessary?”. 1. Briefly tell me about yourself. What is your current role in the arts and how did you get there? I am a visual artist, a professor and curator for my university (Chicago State University). Huge question; the answers start from childhood. I made art from childhood. Lucky for me, people thought I had “talent” even then and I was not discouraged from pursuing art. I studied art at Yale University (MFA) and Howard University (BFA) and have always taught in schools, city programs and camps. I decided to start curating shows for Sapphire and Crystals when I was the artist who identified the venues, except one time. I had ideas I wanted to implement. It’s …

Challenging the Icon: Riley Henderson

When I first encountered the work of Riley Henderson he had one foot out the door of the BFA Photography program at Columbia College Chicago.  After investigating the contents of his thesis portfolio I was immediately drawn to the scenes he created and the themes he explored through a playful, yet serious, lens.  His work asks the viewer to think about their own relationship to things found at the roots of American culture, but does so by first drawing them in with the use of familiar, seemingly satirical, cues.  To learn more about his background and his work, we asked him a few questions. Tempestt Hazel:  Tell us a little about your self and your artwork. Riley Henderson: Trained primarily in the photographic arts, I utilize many different mediums as a means to question issues of identity in an American context. TH: How does living/working or being from Chicago influence your creative practice? RH: Chicago’s such a diverse city, and yet it’s one of the most segregated cities in the country. This exposure and living …

Et Cetera: Soundsuits, The Dorchester Project, SSCAC, Intuit, and KJ Marshall Speaks Truth…again.

This past weekend there were intimate places in the city where amazing art conversations were being had–all of which you will see in more detail when the Sixty Inches From Center: Chicago Arts Archive and Collective Project is launched in October.  The first of those places was at the Hyde Park Art Center Open Crit with Kerry James Marshall and Dawoud Bey.  Now, much of what KJM said were things that fester in the back of my mind regularly, but how clearly and effectively he articulated the function of art made these ideas come crashing to the forefront of my thoughts.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Open Crit on Friday, Sept. 10. “The truth is the artwork that matters to me, and that matters to the Hyde Park Art Center, is work that’s in conversation with other artwork.  With other painters.  With the history of painting. That’s what really matters.  If its just to satisfy you, if it satisfies your friends, the people in your family, then by all means keep …