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Chicago

Gallery 400

Exhibition Detail
The Dragon is the Frame
UIC College of Architecture and Art
400 S. Peoria Street (Art and Design Hall, First Floor)
Chicago, IL 60607


June 29th, 2012 - August 11th, 2012
Opening: 
June 29th, 2012 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
, 2012
© Courtesy of Gallery 400
No Top Needed, Mark AguharMark Aguhar, No Top Needed,
2010, gouache, pencil, watercolor, and ink on paper, 20 x 25 in.
© Courtesy of Gallery 400
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> QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://gallery400.uic.edu/
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
West Loop/West Town
EMAIL:  
gallery400@uic.edu
PHONE:  
312-996-6114
OPEN HOURS:  
Tues-Fri 10-6; Sat 12-6; by appointment
TAGS:  
sound piece, installation, performance
> DESCRIPTION

Artwork from 27 artists inspired by the life and work of the indomitable Mark Aguhar (1987-2012) is presented alongside pieces by this fearless and beautiful artist/activist/goddess. Uncompromising, incisive, and charismatic in her investigations of gender, queer advocacy, and the politics of marginalized identity, Mark deeply transformed the communities of which she was a part. The Dragon is the Frame presents the challenging, compelling artwork she created in dialogue with pieces made by those she was closest to in Chicago. The exhibition format, which intersperses Mark’s works throughout the installation, is an attempt at capturing the way Mark’s communities functioned—individuals in constant communication, always sharing and influencing one another.

Inspired by the life and work of the indomitable Mark Aguhar (1987-2012), The Dragon is the Frame features artwork by twenty seven artists—Claire Arctander, Nina Barnett, Jeremy Bolen, Elijah Burgher, Edie Fake, Pamela Fraser, Tiffany Funk, R. E. H. Gordon, Steve Hnilicka, Kasia Houlihan, Mark Kent, Young Joon Kwak, Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Marianna Milhorat, Tim Nickodemus, Aay Preston-Myint, Juana Peralta, Macon Reed, Colin Self, Michael Sirianni, Nathan Thomas, Neal Vandenbergh, Xina Xurner and Isaac Fosl-van Wyke, Allison Yasukawa, Gwendolyn Zabicki, and Latham Zearfoss—presented alongside pieces by this fearless and beautiful artist, activist, and goddess. Uncompromising, incisive, and charismatic in her investigations of gender, queer advocacy, and the politics of marginalized identity, Mark deeply transformed the communities of which she was a part. The Dragon is the Frame presents the challenging, compelling artwork she created in dialogue with pieces made by those she was closest to in Chicago. The exhibition format, which intersperses Mark’s works throughout the installation, is an attempt at capturing the way Mark’s communities functioned—individuals in constant communication, always sharing and influencing one another.

From this community, The Dragon is the Frame presents artwork as dynamic and multi-faceted as Aguhar’s practice, which included performance, clothing, writing, rope installation, and works on paper, in addition to an extensive online presence through YouTube and her blog, Calloutqueen. The twenty-seven artists’ collective response to Mark’s life and work is just as rich in its diversity. Pamela Fraser’s small painting continues on the exploration of color we expect from the artist. In a photographic series, Jeremy Bolen captures light falling on and through one of Mark’s laboriously created performance outfits, thus evoking both the absence of the performance and the persistence of Aguhar’s creations. Nina Barnett’s effervescent, airy drawings image an abandoned, underground pool discovered on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s campus. The light, almost invisible graphite marks suggest the “quietly powerful, protective side” of Mark to which Barnett connected. Working with the idea of a sigil, a magical emblem encoding specific wishes or desires, a drawing by artist and writer Elijah Burgher references gender transition, tumultuous moments, and unstable futures, using a personal language of magic and symbol shared between the artist and Aguhar. Occupying an entire room, Latham Zearfoss’ sound piece wraps the audience in darkness to elicit an imagined dance, referencing dance communities like Chances Dances. Similarly drawing the viewer in, Aay Preston-Myint’s projected work Peony Mirror pictures a non-reflecting mirror, which simultaneously asks the viewer to imagine a specific body (Aguhar’s) that is missing, as well as imagine the possibility of a utopian or transformed body.

In addition to physical work, The Dragon is the Frame extends beyond the gallery walls through installation, writing, and performance. In conjunction with the exhibition, Gallery 400 will produce a zine titled Houndstooth that visitors will assemble themselves, with contributions from Claire Arctander, Elijah Burgher, Femmily, Tyler Gillespie, R. E. H. Gordon, Peter Hales, Kevin Killian, Kevin Kumashiro, Andrew Mausert-Mooney, Scott McFarland, Juana Peralta, Roy Pérez, and Nathan Thomas.



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