Julie Laffin

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Guardian of the Damned, 2008 Color Photo 8x10 © 2008 Julie Laffin
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
northern illinois
Works in
performance, photography, conceptual, sculpture, cultural-center

Selected Performances and Exhibitions

11/09  Site Unseen 2009: Disabling Conditions Curator. Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

10/09  Once Upon a Time and Now. Curated by Susan Sensemann and Barbara Blades. The Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL.

9/09  Shield, The Dutch Theatre Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Performance/installation: Julie Laffin & Clover Morell.

11/08  Site Unseen 2008: the Occupation show. Co-curated with Dolores Wilber. Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

11/07  Thinking the Multiple, Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video Hampshire College Amherst, Massachusetts. Curated by Jean-Marie Casbarian.

11/07  Site Unseen 2007. Curator. Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

10/07  One Nite Stand,  Starline Gallery, Harvard, IL. Group show featuring the work of seven McHenry County, IL women artists.

6/07  Shield, The Prague Quadrennial 2007. Performance: Julie Laffin & Clover Morell with special thanks to Elizabeth Czekner

6/07  Size Matters: Scale in Contemporary Art. The Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana. Installation and photos. Curated by Suzanne Cohen-Lange.

11/06 Site Unseen 2006. Curator, Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

9/06  Liverpool Biennale. Group show featuring performance/videos from, The History of Disappearance series by Franklin Furnace Archive, Brooklyn, NY.

5/06  The History of Disappearance by Franklin Furnace Archive, Brooklyn, NY neon>fdv, Milan, Italy.

11/05  Site Unseen 2005. Curator. Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

9/05  The History of Disappearance, from the series by Franklin Furnace Archive, Brooklyn, NY,  Baltic Art Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK.

4/04  Incoming Wounded,  Performance/installation PAC/Edge Festival, Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago.

11/04  Monument: Bodies on Foreign Soil,  Performance/installation with Dolores Wilber. Site Unseen 2004, Chicago Cultural Center.

11/04  Site Unseen 2004. Curator. Exhibition of Live and Media Art, Chicago Cultural Center.

8/03  Over, The Field 3-City Exchange WAX, Brooklyn, NY. Performance/installation.

11/03  In Situ, Performance/installation. Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. Chicago Cultural Center.

6/03  Alterations,  Group Exhibition with Jan Estep, Julie Laffin, Nina Levy, Natasha Spencer. Curated by John Brunetti. The Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL.

6/03  Over, The Field 3-City Exchange, Links Hall, Chicago and Freehold Theatre Seattle, WA.

5/03  Confessions of the Avant-Garde, Cleveland State University Art Gallery. Video documentation series from the Cleveland Performance Art Archives.

3/03  Long For,  Performance w/video. Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL. Group show curated by Susan Sensemann.

5/02 Long For, Performance w/video. Artemisia Gallery, Chicago.

12/01  More Words,  performance, the Stray Show. Sponsored by Thomas Blackman Associates-Chicago.

7/01  Shut Up, Toronto, Ontario. Trinity Bellwoods Park. Group Performance/installation. Curated by Louise McKissick.

5/00  Libidinal, Thomas Blackman Associates Exhibition Space, Chicago. Performance/installation piece, Straight Up. Curated by Susan Sensemann.

1/00  Armed and Dangerous,  Reicher Gallery, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL. Performance/installation. Group show: Karen Reimer, Darrell Morris and Julie Laffin.

10/99  Census Dress, with Clare Thornton. The New Art Gallery and Metropolitan Borough Council of Walsall, England. Performance/installation for the To Be Continued series.

10/99  Junior, with Stephen J. Bottoms. Glasgow, Scotland. Live performance at the Sauchiehall Street Mall.

4/99  You are the Salt of My Earth, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, IL. Performance/installation.

4/99  Junior,  with Stephen J. Bottoms. Performance originating at the  Judson Church, NY, NY.

10/98  Site Unseen, performance for the Streetworks Festival of Live Art. Glasgow, Scotland. Performance/installation. Including Exhibition at Street Level Gallery. Glasgow, Scotland.

9/98 About Her(e) The Riverside Arts Center, Riverside, IL. Performance and solo exhibition with photos and sculpture.

8/98  Eleven/Eleven, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago.

12/97  Small Sacrifice,  Artemisia Gallery, Chicago. Performance and solo exhibition.

9/97  Fixing Ephemera,  Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago. Photo installation of performance works with Christine Di Thomas.

8/97  Supine, First Fridays: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Performance.

11/96  Time Arts Chicago, Group exhibition, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Installation.

8/96  Over,  The Cleveland Performance Art Festival. Cleveland, Ohio. Solo performance.

6/96  The Red Gown Perpendicular,  The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Performance with Dolores Wilber.

6/96   The Red Gown 2,  N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago. Performance with Dolores Wilber.

1/96  What’s Love Got to Do with It?, Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago. Performance/installation. Curated by Karen Reimer and Laura Letinsky. Performance of Kiss Piece.

10/95  Various States of D(u)ress,  The Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany. Solo Performance.

5/95  Various States of D(u)ress, The Women's Theatre Festival, Philadelphia. Solo Performance.

4/94 Various States of D(u)ress, Franklin Furnace Archive, New York. Solo performance.

Grants and Prizes

Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for 2006

Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for 2000

Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for 1998

Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for 1994

Franklin Furnace Archive, NYC. "Artists in Exile" grant, 1994

The Brian Lathrop Traveling Time Arts Fellowship, 1990. The School of the Art Institute.



1990 M.F.A. The School of the Art Institute, Chicago

1986 B.F.A. The University of Illinois, Chicago


Selected Reviews and Articles

March, 2004. Trans-Global Readings: Crossing Theatrical Boundaries, Ed. Caridad Svich. Manchester University Press. Julie Laffin interviewed by Stephen J. Bottoms.


July 18, 2003. Interview by Kristin Brooke Schleifer, Mouth to Mouth magazine:


August 19, 2001. The Chicago Sun-Times. "Art of dressing up", Lisa Lenoir.


May 18, 2000. The Chicago Sun-Times. "Reviews: Libidinal", Margaret Hawkins.


Fall 1998. Performance Research. "Subsoil on the Sidewalk: Julie Laffin and the Chicago Underground", Stephen J. Bottoms.


August 1997. Muse Magazine. "Artfully Dressed", Laura Tillotson.


July 4, 1997. The Chicago Tribune. "Art Museum is Taking Laffin's Garb Lying Down", Chris Jones.


August 1, 1997. The Chicago Reader. "In Performance: Julie Laffin's Heavy Threads", Carol Burbank.


August 22, 1996. The Chicago Reader. "The Frayed Fringe", Jack Helbig.


May 16, 1995. The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Festival at the Arts Bank", Deni Kasrel.


March 8, 1995. The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Chicago Artist Performs Under D(u)ress", Sheila Simmons.


March 1, 1995. Cleveland Free Times. "Julie Laffin's dress: A Car-Stopping Show", Frank Green.





Radio 2/96 This American Life

Radio 1/96 WBEZ-Chicago. Interview with Aaron Freeman