Hairy Blob

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Sunsets, 2011 Encyclopedias Variable
Hairy Blob
Curated by: Adelheid Mers

5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
April 22nd, 2012 - July 29th, 2012
Opening: April 22nd, 2012 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

South Side
Mon-Thu 9-8; Fri-Sat 9-5; Sun 12-5
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
mixed-media, conceptual


The group exhibition Hairy Blob presents new works by artists who play with conceptions of time through video, sculpture, drawing, installation, movement, sound, and several participatory events on view at the Hyde Park Art Center from April 22 until July 29, 2012. Participating artists – Becky Alprin, Nadav Assor, Deborah Boardman, Lauren Carter, Ashley Hunt in collaboration with Taisha Paggett, Sarah FitzSimons, Judith Leemann, Kirsten Leenaars, Faheem Majeed, and Emily Newman – experiment with ideas about time, addressing uses, interpretations and ownership of natural and built environments in the present and their implications for the future.

Discourse about time represents the phenomenon largely in spatial terms: linear, long, short, compressed, sequenced. The art works in Hairy Blob take the conversation a step further, interrogating the relationship between perceptions of time and how they are necessarily grounded in spatial interactions with others and the environment. Rather than relating to time in terms of memory or nostalgia, the works included in Hairy Blob challenge cultural and social assumptions about time. At their core, the pieces in Hairy Blob hold forth the central tenets that ideational structures of time permeate the human experience.

For example, the iconic art work in Hairy Blob is Lauren Carter’s Sunsets, a three-dimensional structure comprised of gilded encyclopedias. As culturally codified perceptions of the world in concrete form, encyclopedias point to temporal effects on those perceptions when the information they contain becomes outdated. The passage of time renders both the object – the encyclopedia – and the facts therein useless. This complicated relationship is writ large in Sunsets, whose reflective surface adds another layer of complexity by mirroring the viewer’s image and revealing changes in natural light.

Many of the artists participating in the exhibition will fabricate their work publicly at the Hyde Park Art Center. The constantly evolving exhibition will include the filming of a “soap opera” by Kirstin Leenars, a free concert performed by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) in Majeed’s installation, and a live audio/visual performance with Nadav Assor collaborating with Israeli artist, Daniel Davidovsky.

Hairy Blob is curated by Adelheid Mers, an artist and faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Graduate student Leah Oren is the curatorial assistant for the exhibition. Tristan Sterk will contribute exhibition design, and Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge will design and coordinate the Asteroid Belt, an online catalogue available at beginning April 15, 2012.

Research and administrative assistance for Hairy Blob has been provided by students in the graduate curatorial seminar at SAIC. Additionally, the students will coordinate a satellite exhibition for Hairy Blob at the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at SAIC.

Hairy Blob will be on view from April 22, 2012 through July 29, 2012, at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60615; 773.324.5520 and Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.

Events for Hairy Blob 
Please visit for more information on individual events included in this program.

Exhibition Reception:
Sunday, April 22, 3-5 pm

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Curatorial Practice Seminar Student Event:
Monday, April 23, 6 – 8 pm

Through performances and talks, graduate students in the Curatorial Practice Seminar instructed by Adelheid Mers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will organize an event that expands on ideas explored by artists in the show.

Hairy Blob Symposium: How visualizations of time impact thinking about resources
Saturday, May 26, 1 – 5 pm

The Hairy Blob Symposium is an on-site webcast event bringing artists from the exhibition together with invited speakers in design, architecture, urban planning, real-estate, marketing, and economics. In dialogue across disciplines, speakers will explore new ideas about how visualizations of time might affect strategies for sustainability. These conversations will examine, challenge, and expand on imagery embedded in public and professional discourses around futurity and sustainability.

Concert by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music
Sunday, June 3, 2 pm

Planting and Maintaining a 'Perennial Garden, the art installation by Faheem Majeed, will serve as a performance space to host a musical performance by Douglas Ewart & Quasar, members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM).

Conversation with the Artist: Sarah FitzSimmons
Sunday, June 24, 3 pm

Hear directly from the artist, Sarah FitzSimmons, as she explains her artistic process and her upcoming projects.

Live Sound and Video Performance by Nadav Assor and David Davidovsky
Thursday, July 12, 7 pm

In July, Nadav Assor will be in residence at the Hyde Park Art Center with collaborator David Davidovsky. Together they will use the sounds of Chicago and Tel Aviv to create a new durational audio-visual performance work to accompany Assor’s video installation projected on the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk Gallery at the Art Center.

Participatory Video: Kirsten Leenaars Mid-May

During a multi-week residency in May at the Hyde Park Art Center, Leenaars will create a video about fictional daily life at the Art Center in which staff, teachers, board members, other residents, and visitors are invited to participate in improvisational performances based on short scripts. The developing storyboard will be on display throughout the run of the exhibition and the finished video will be shown beginning in early June. Viewers will be able to participate in the life of the video through the Hairy Blob website, where they will have the opportunity to re-edit the work as they see fit.