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Museum of Contemporary Photography

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Clouded Points of Access: Phantoms in the Dirt at the Museum of Contemporary Photography

by Caroline Picard
What first reads like an astral constellation is in fact a photograph whose blackness is broken only by the erratic swarm of dead insect bodies. Greg Stimac’s Santa Fe to Billings (2009) documents the choreography of the countless lives his windshield intersected on a drive between locales. The momentum of each smash is evident—guts smear and spray across the surface, recording innumerable tiny accidents. To create this piece, Stimac placed an 8 x 10 inch sheet of Plexiglass on the hood of his car. Upon arriving to his final destination—Billings, in this case—he used the car... [more]
Posted by Caroline Picard on 8/9/14
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Against a Constant Sky

by Sarah Hamilton
There are two kinds of road trips: one where you have to get somewhere by a certain time (hotel, family reunion); and the other one where your plans are changeable (misfortune, curiosity). Both have equal ability to produce adventure and boredom, and though the adventure is what you end up taking home to friends and relatives, it’s boredom that’s your constant companion. Once the conversation in the car has died out, or your eyes have tired from reading, you fix your gaze on the horizon, as if your eyes were helping pull the car forward a little faster. As the day (or days) wear on and topograph... [more]
Posted by Sarah Hamilton on 2/15/13
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Exhibit A: "Crime Unseen"

by Courtney R. Thompson
“Crime Unseen” offers a thoughtful multi-dimensional approach to the genre of crime photography. Artists Richard Barnes, Corinne May Botz, Christopher Dawson, Deborah Luster, Christian Patterson, Taryn Simon, Angela Strassheim, and Krista Wortendyke illuminate the place, space, and time of criminal activity as a way to revisit photography’s often complex role in documenting evidence. Barnes and Strassheim dominate the main floor’s central space with mostly large-format prints that contemplate a return to the scene of a crime. Strassheim, a former field worker for the Miami Forensic Imaging Bureau, p... [more]
Posted by Courtney R. Thompson on 11/7/11
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Our Origins

by Abraham Ritchie
If there was one thing that “Our Origins” lacked, it certainly wasn’t ambition.  Confronting the big human questions within the curatorial statement, like “Where do we come from?” among others, Curatorial Assistant Allison Grant was not afraid to take on the most difficult questions.  The resulting exhibition was far-flung, with “Our Origins” coming to mean both human origins and the cosmic origins of the Earth.  The exhibition proved to be at its best when focusing on human origins and it is that artwork that begins the exhibition.  Alison Ruttan shines in several works of hers that are given pro... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 8/22/11
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Generosity of Meaning

by Abraham Ritchie
The West Coast is celebrating one of their most important and deserving artists as John Baldessari’s retrospective “Pure Beauty” is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), through September 12th.  Fortunately Chicago has not been left out in this celebration as the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) hosts “John Baldessari: A Print Retrospective from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation,” an exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. John Baldessari. Studi... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 7/5/10
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Shanghai in Chicago

by Abraham Ritchie
        For most of us, the artists working in China have only been accessible across the internet, magazines, or other media.  Fortunately, there’s been a subtle wave of exhibitions featuring Chinese art in Chicago this year, the most notable being the sculpture in Millennium Park and the large survey at the Chicago Cultural Center “The Big World: Recent Art from China.”  Joining these exhibitions is the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s (MoCP) survey of Shanghai artists, “Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture.”Shanghai has grown into a city o... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 11/30/09
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MP3 II

by Abraham Ritchie
      The three approaches to photography taken by the three photographers currently on view in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s (MoCP) exhibition “MP3II” demonstrate the breadth of current practice, sometimes even spilling over into realms one may not consider wholly photographic. On view is work made in the tradition of American Transcendentalism (John Opera); work that addresses the conflicts in the Middle East (Curtis Mann); work that mines pop culture hits like Dawson’s Creek for the stuff of real life (Stacia Yeapanis). The result, MP3II, resembles our daily lives as we navigate... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 8/31/09
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The Seen City

by Abraham Ritchie
        On view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) until the end of this month is the exhibition of Michael Wolf’s photography, “The Transparent City.” The related exhibit “Work/Place,” accompanies Wolf’s work, and is excellent in its own right and well selected to match Wolf’s imagery and themes."The Transparent City" has been a work-in-progress over several years: in 2005 Wolf, a German-born artist based in Hong Kong, visited Chicago for the first time to present work in a group exhibition at MoCP. Previously, he had been working in Hong Kong creating images that focused on t... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 1/12/09
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Nature vs. Nurture

by Abraham Ritchie
As part of their month-long celebration of Beat culture, Columbia College has had many events focusing on the theme of "on the road."  Aside from the lectures and art exhibitions, the original manuscript for Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, the legendary scroll he continuously fed into his typewriter as he furiously wrote and completed the book over a three-week stretch.  While there is still time to see the manuscript, on view at the Center for Book and Paper Arts (1104 S. Wabash) until November 30th, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) ended its exhibition "On the Road" over the we... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 11/3/08
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Life on the Lawn

by Abraham Ritchie
        On display at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) through the middle of August, is "Beyond the Backyard" an exhibit examining the many roles that the backyard, yard and park play in American life. With a strong emphasis on American photographers, but also including several photographers from abroad, this exhibit primarily investigates the backyard in terms of its American identity from its heyday in the 1950s to the myriad of constructions we project upon it today. It should also be mentioned that this exhibit is a great follow up to the Walker Art Center's "Worlds Away: New S... [more]
Posted by Abraham Ritchie on 7/28/08