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Sixty’s Weekend In Review

Installation shot of work by Theaster Gates at Roots & Culture. February 19, 2011. (Photo Credit: Tempestt Hazel)

Instruments of Resurrection at Roots & Culture

February 19, 2011

by Tempestt Hazel

We are living in a time where you hear the phrase, “It’s been done” quite often.  That may be the case in most instances, but what about those who take work, research, ideas, and concepts that have been explored and use them as a starting point for creating something new?  It is this question that brought together Zachary Cahill, Theaster Gates, Mathew Paul Jinks, Aspen Mays, and Cauleen Smith in the exhibition Instruments of Resurrection at Roots & Culture.  Curator Elizabeth Chodos started noticing a trend in the work of contemporary artists who “breathe new life into historical figures, personal stories, moments in time, or forgotten scientific methodologies,” resulting in a new charge of freshness and innovation in what appear to be dated ideas or memories.  For instance, Theaster Gates explores the legacy of Dave Drake, also known as Dave The Potter, who is an anomaly of 19th century American art history.  Bringing this story to the 21st century, Gates recharges Drake’s sculptures and poetry which were made over 150 years ago through music, performance, new media, sculpture and installation.  Mathew Paul Jinks’ Trauma Narrative Series uses sculpture, photography and the memory of traumatic life experiences to create beautiful metal sculptures that are his reinterpretations of these jarring recollections.  Chodos explains that like the memory, these delicate sculptures are malleable and ever-changing, resulting in different forms each time you attempt to engage the memory (or the metal).  The memories told to Jinks for these particular works stay locked in this state through the accompanying publication for the series and the photographs on display.

Installation shot of photo by Mathew Paul Jinks at Roots & Culture. February 19, 2011. (Photo Credit: Tempestt Hazel)

To avoid spoiling the surprise, I will leave the rest up to you making the effort to see the exhibition.  Just know that if you take a moment to stop by Roots & Culture for Instruments of Resurrection, you won’t be disappointed.

Quote taken from the exhibition synopsis on the Roots & Culture website:

See more photos from the exhibition HERE.

Second Annual Typeforce Exhibition, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, Illinois. February 18th, 2011. (Photographs by Casey Champion)

The Second Annual Typeforce Exhibition

February 18th, 2011

Collaborative piece by Nicolette Caldwell & Casey Champion

The second annual Typeforce exhibition at Chicago’s popular Co-Prosperity Sphere left an element of exploration and celebration that highlighted more than just emerging talent—it showcased the strong support system of the contemporary design community that Chicago is made of. Viewers are invited to explore the syntax of text arranged into “meaning.” This exhibition could also be viewed as an exploration of the contemporary design and typography in a sometimes playful, sometimes calm, and sometimes, aggressive manner.

Second Annual Typeforce Exhibition, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, Illinois. February 18th, 2011. (Photographs by Casey Champion)

The artists gave entirely new (in some cases snarky) meanings to words and prose that we overlook in the everyday. Matthew Hoffman, winner of the creative story challenge, created a tabletop sized wood piece, which simply confronts the viewer with “Sup.” He states the piece was made with “wood and attitude.”  Bill Talsma interprets the mundane activities of his Facebook feed and places them on the highest pedestal: in trophies and engraved medals. Mark Addison Smith provides a snarky commentary on life’s situation in his india ink and bristol board compositions, such as in the illustrated piece “Listen Here, Crazy Lady.”
These are just a few examples of the strengths these designers exude in their foundational knowledge of typographic design as their ability to dive into discursive playfulness. The combination of appropriate visual representation with message conveys the meaning the viewer infers, and the designers in this exhibition successfully embrace this. In theory, the work in Typeforce could be considered a direct reflection of the condition of the progression of contemporary visual communication.

Second Annual Typeforce Exhibition, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, Illinois. February 18th, 2011. (Photographs by Casey Champion)

The second annual Typeforce participants included Andy Luce, Bill Talsma, Bud Rodecker / 3st, Caroline Corboy, Chris May, Emily Vanhoff, Frances MacLeod, Gary Rozanc, Jarred Kolar, Jessica Lynn White, Justin Gilman, Kyle Fletcher, Margo Yoon, Mark Addison Smith, Matthew Hoffman, Meng Yang, Nancy McCabe, Nick Adam, Nicole Briant, Quite Strong, Scott Reinhard, Sean Fermoyle, Sonnenzimmer, Studio 1a.m.,Tami Churns and sponsored by Firebelly Design, Public Media Institute and Graphic Arts Studio.

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