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Chicago

Roots & Culture

Exhibition Detail
Instruments of Resurrection
Curated by: Elizabeth Chodos
1034 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622


February 19th, 2011 - March 19th, 2011
Opening: 
February 19th, 2011 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Remote Viewing, Cauleen SmithCauleen Smith, Remote Viewing, 2010
© Courtesy of the artist and Roots & Culture
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> DESCRIPTION

Featuring the work of Zachary Cahill, Theaster Gates, Mathew Paul Jinks, Aspen Mays,

and Cauleen Smith. Curated by Elizabeth Chodos

 

Instruments of Resurrection explores how artists breathe new life into historical

figures, personal stories, moments in time, or forgotten scientific methodologies.

These resurrections dredge up rich histories and set into swirling motion narratives

that were previously settled into a comfortable story. By bringing back to life

something that was forgotten, hidden away, or misrepresented, these artists are

giving their subjects the opportunity to retell and recast their narratives in the

present tense.

 

Zachary Cahill, The Gift Shop for the Once and Future Revolution, 2010

Part of the larger project USSA 2012, The Gift Shop for the Once and Future Revolution,

is a collection of small sculptures that satirizes prevalent memes in our present political

discourse. Something of an homage to the work of Honoré Daumier and the city of

Chicago, the works reflect a genuine affection for the tourist shop aesthetic while at the

same time attempting a critique of the critique of the commodity fetish.

 

Theaster Gates, Dave: A Legendary Black Clay Superhero, 2010

Gates invokes Dave the Potter, a slave born in South Carolina at the beginning of the

nineteenth century who made pots for the plantation he served. Dave famously inscribed

poetry into the necks of his pots, in an age where literacy for slaves was an offense

punishable by death. Gates uses Dave’ s words in an original choral arrangement, which

Gates then performs in an act of resurrection. A video of the performance will be

exhibited with the sound projected through porcelain speakers.

 

Mathew Jinks: Markers Unfolding, 2011, from the Trauma Narratives series

This work includes booklets of excerpts from interviews Jinks conducted with trauma

victims. Each booklet is paired with a photographic response to these interviews, often

comprised of sheets of brass. In describing the work, Jinks states: “ The syntax and

lexicon of a buried memory image is reflected in the surface of a medium that longs

to forget. The brass twists and contorts in narrative response, the surface of which

bears marks of both touch and decay, held in mimetic grace as the tale of trauma

unfolds. Oligodynamic (cleansing) metal speaks of the burden of consequence, and

the burden of remembrance, it moves between the spaces of words simultaneously

reaching for but not being at a state of ease. The curl of the photographic paper asks

if a return is possible, either visually or historically.”

 

Aspen Mays: Punched Out Stars, 2010/11

For the majority of 2010 Mays used the old dark room of the University of Chile’ s

astronomical department. Upon her arrival the room was in disrepair and full of old

negatives and the discarded archive of the astronomers who now no longer need analog

processes to look at the stars. Mays found a box of 35mm black and white slides of

unlabeled fields of stars and began punching out the individual stars with an office hole

puncher - in an effort to extract, study, and isolate the Chilean scientist’ s discarded stars.

Mays organized the stars in to grids, and in this dual process of destruction and creation,

she found herself mimicking the scientific endeavor to organize and order the cosmos.

Mays exposed these grids of punched out stars on old expired photo paper that she found

in the astronomy labs, reviving the scientific methods and materials that Mays re-tooled

to realize the fantasy she shared with the astronomers of creating new constellations and

ordering the entire universe.

 

Cauleen Smith: Remote Viewing, 2010

Remote Viewing, is a digital film reenactment of an incident that occurred in Sheridan,

Arkansas circa 1959. Smith heard the Reverend James Seawood on NPR’ s StoryCorp,

retell an extraordinary and implausible story of how one town forced out African-

Americans when the schools attempted to integrate. The artist felt that this one

particularly obscene gesture rhymed with the sublime gestures of some land artists of the

seventies like Hiezer and Smithson. The re-enactment of this narrative occurs on a non-

site in San Diego, California before a giant green screen as a way of highlighting the way

in which the artist expropriated Rev. Seawood’ s story as a means of exploiting canonized

modernist practices in the interest of illuminating and centralizing obscured and buried

histories. Remote Viewing part of a series of films, videos and a book which comprises a

larger work entitled Remote Viewing and Other Ways of Seeing, on view at The Kitchen

(NY) until March 8, 2011.

 

BIOS

 

Zachary Cahill

Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited at the Center

for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany (ZKM); Aarhus Kunstbygning in

Aarhus, Denmark; DeVos Museum of Art, Marquette, MI; and The Poor Farm, Maniwa

WI, amongst other. Cahill has upcoming solo-exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural

Center and threewalls . His writings have appeared in the Journal of Visual Culture, the

journal ReThinking Marxism, Proximity Magazine, and Artforum.com. Currently he is

a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts & serves as the Open Practice Committee

coordinator at the University of Chicago and is adjunct faculty in the Department of

Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

Theaster Gates

Visual artist and urban planner Theaster Gates is Director of Arts Programming and

Lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. His creative

practice encompasses a broad range of topics including installation, site specificity,

 

appropriation, and master planning as an arts engagement tool. Using performance and

installation, urban planning and design, and the traditional fine arts, Theaster moves

between many communities, sharing creative practices and presenting a platform that

allows communities to understand how they can successfully sustain themselves. He

offers new ways of opening up challenging issues by presenting them as invitations to

engage difficult information creatively. Using art as a tool for social change gives him

an opportunity to practice urban planning without having to be part of an institution and

allows him to share spirit and love without having to convert or condemn. Theaster has

recently shown in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the Pulitzer Foundation for Art, Museum

of Contemporary Art, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Museum

for Contemporary Craft, Portland

 

Mathew Paul Jinks

Mathew Paul Jinks is an English Immigrant, living teaching and working in Chicago

Illinois. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

in 2005, studying Fine Art Photography, then emigrating to the U.S and completing his

MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Studio Arts, in 2008. Whilst currently

living and working in Chicago Mathew teaches locally at DePaul University and at

The University of Illinois at Chicago. Mathew frequently collaborates with fellow artists,

notably working for Omer Fasts production of Looking Pretty for God 2008 and more

recently with Theaster Gates choir performance at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. He

also records and produces sound for moving image, working often with local film maker

Melika Bass and recently for Mark Jeffries performance group Every House Has A

Door. Mathew is currently working on a new body of work entitled Trauma Narratives;

Relocated, that incorporates performance and sculptural works adapted from collected

narratives of the histories of pre-diasporic immigrants in Illinois. Recent screenings

and exhibitions include, 'Violence' in St Louis and Chicago, 'The Gene Siskel Theater',

Chicago, 'On Sundrun' at Gallery 400, Chicago, 'Art Chicago, Next Art Fair' Chicago.

 

Aspen Mays

Originally from Charleston , South Carolina, Aspen Mays has been living in Santiago,

Chile where she received a Fulbright Fellowship. She received an MFA in photography

from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Mays received a BA in

anthropology and Spanish from the University of North Carolina. Her art work has been

reviewed in national publications including Artforum and Art Papers and she presented a

solo show of her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in early 2010.Mays

was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work with international teams of astronomers who

use many telescopes in Chile’ s northern deserts. In her work, Mays utilizes an array of

photographic techniques as a means of exploring cosmological questions. In doing so, she

attempts to locate both the limits of her own personal understanding of these fundamental

questions of existence as well as the horizons of understanding within larger human

endeavors.

 

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith currently resides in San Diego, California. Her work has been exhibited at

a variety of venues including: "The Fullness of Time" at The New Orleans International

Human Rights Film Festival and The Kitchen in 2008; "Drylongso" at Urbanworld

Film Festival, Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival and Philadelphia Film Festival in

 

2000; Sundance Film Festival, 1999 and Hamptons Film Festival, 2008. She has been

included in group shows at The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Contemporary

Art Center, New Orleans; Mass Art, Boston; The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, Studio

Museum Harlem, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. She was

the recipient of a Creative Capital Film/Video Grant in 2008 and a resident at Skowhegan

School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. Her work has been covered by The New

Yorker, The New York Times, Artlies and The Independent Film and Video Monthly, to

name a few.

 

Elizabeth Chodos

Elizabeth is a recovering creative writer with a special interest in residency programs and

alternative and artist-run organizations. She received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College

in Creative Writing and Art History, and received a Dual MA in Art History Theory and

Criticism and Arts Administration, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is

Associate Director at Ox-Bow school of art and artists’ residency, and was previously the

Executive Director at threewalls where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.

 


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