After visiting the Rosler photomontages at The Art Institute, walk west to State & Monroe and travel up to the seventh floor Sullivan galleries to view the excellent exhibition “No End in Sight”. This expansive group exhibition features the sculpture, photos, paintings and projects of several artists and artistic collectives, and was curated by a dozen students* enrolled in SAIC’s Curatorial Practice course.
Aptly entitled, “No End in Sight” is comprised of series of works, ongoing performances, multiples, unending projects and the like. Frequently, audience participation generates new manifestations of works, but other times the artists themselves are compelled to carry out production of a piece indefinitely.
Several works feature the compulsive creation of repetitious objects, with the artist Sighn making another appearance here with an installment of small, wood cut text pieces that read “It’s Ok.” Begun as a way to get rid of scrap wood cluttering his studio, the work has grown into a soothing, repetitive ritual. Each one is hand editioned and his ultimate goal is to some day produce one million of them. With about five hundred on display edged into neat rows and columns blanketing the entire width of one of the far walls in the gallery, the text breaks down into pattern and negative space.
The anonymous You Are Beautiful project, maybe most familiar in its smaller, reflective silver sticker form, is also represented here, in a site-specific installation.
Another noteworthy multiple is the tongue-in-cheek, pint-sized plastic family portraits by artist Josué Pellot. His Boricua Toy Project (an indigenous term for Puerto Ricans) was inspired by similar commercially reproduced figurines he found for sale in a Humboldt Park vending machine. Finding the negative stereotypes those Boricua’s perpetuated offensive, he satirized the originals by creating realistic figurative representations of family and reverse shoplifted them into machines. Bring quarters if you’d like one of your own.
And although not a multiple, the repetitive motion of Jesse Seay’s Mechanical Tide is a soothing, hypnotizing art-tech piece that consists of a ridged board that, by tilting back and forth every thirty seconds or so, sends a wave of small ball bearings rolling back and forth across its surface.
If you didn’t make it to the opening, you missed the excellent performance by artistic team Beau and Lily Sage, replete with patriotic sheet cake, red, white and blue balloons, and a hootenanny atmosphere accompanying their song and fiddle show. The crape paper streamers still ring an empty room in the gallery space, and you can follow their future progress online, as they are a duo to watch!
-- Thea Liberty Nichols
*Curators: Claudia Arzeno, Angela Samuels Bryant, Kelly Chen, Jenay Gordon, Joe Iverson, Alison Kleiman, Katherine Pill, Kat Ramsland, Ania Szremski, Cecila Vargas, He Wang, Jacqueline WayneGuite