Sunday, January 31, 2010

“Sunday’s at Sunset” Film Series

Please join us for...........

The “Sunday’s at Sunset” Film Series:

Presented by the "Calles y Sueños-Chicago Collective"

“Lumumba”, a film by Haitian Director Raul Peck.  February 7th, 2010

French w/ English subtitles, 115 mins. 2000

    This gripping drama depicts the true story of Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first leader of an independent Congo, whose vision of a united Africa earned him loyal allies at home and powerful enemies abroad. The movie details how the U.S. government, through the C.I.A., conspired with Belgium to have Lumumba assassinated to protect business and Cold War power interests. "Mr. Peck makes no plea for crocodile tears; his ambitions are as wide and encompassing as those of his subject.

Doors open at 6pm film start promptly at 6:15 pm

This is a special screening for all door donations will be given towards relief efforts for our Haitian sisters and brothers. There will be a presentation from the R.I.S.A (Rising In Solidarity with Ayiti) collective.

 R.I.S.A. (Rising in Solidarity with Ayiti) is a grassroots network of Chicago organizers, health workers, activists, healers, historians, youth, and artists working in solidarity with our comrades, sisters and brothers in Ayiti (Haiti) to recover from the devastating impact of the recent earthquakes and historic atrocities.  Our work is based in grassroots organizing principles and we are connected to the agricultural, artistic, humanitarian and revolutionary spirit of Ayiti.

For more information please go to or send us an email at

Upcoming films:

February 21, 2010 “Pueblos Unidos: Swine Flu, Ground Zero in Mexico”                 
Directed by Felipe Casanova and Miguel Ángel Díaz
Spanish w/English subtitles, 57 minutes, 2009

    In 1994, with the consent of the then Governor of Veracruz, the US transnational industrial pig farming company, Carroll Farms started operating in the valleys of Cofre de Perote in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. The farmers of the region thought that the company was going to bring them benefits by creating jobs but they soon became disillusioned and realized: industrial pig farms don’t bring benefits to the communities rather they contaminate the air, land and water. The farmers began to express their anger, they got organized and began to protest. In complicity with the company, the Mexican government fabricated legal claims against five members of the La Gloria community. With time, the farmers had reason for their anger: in 2009, the terrible epidemic of swine flu began in La Gloria and has now spread and threatened the entire world.  

March 21, 2010 “Te Doy Mis Ojos” (Take My Eyes)                                                                                 
Directed by Icíar Bollain                                                                                                                                 

Spanish w/ English subtitles, 106 min, 2006

    Pilar leaves her abusive husband, Antonio during the middle of winter in Toledo, Spain. She and her son, Juan go to live with her sister Ana. While supportive, Ana doesn't fully understand Pilar's situation. Pilar's mother, Aurora refuses to acknowledge the problem. Antonio is desperate to win back Pilar. He sends her constant presents and even attends therapy sessions in order to work through his anger. Meanwhile, Pilar gets a job at an art museum and tries to restart her life.

La Casa de Arte y Cultura “Calles y Sueños”~Chicago Collective
1900 South Carpenter, Chicago, Illinois 60609

Suggested Donation: $3.00 Students with ID/ $5.00 general public

If you have any questions on how to get involved or support the work of Calles y Sueños-Chicago Collective please contact us at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

February show @ Antena

Chris Smith: Inland Architect

Antena is host to a temporary settlement  inhabited by an unusual visitor.

Chris lives and works in Chicago. He received his BFA from UIC  in 2009 and currently hosts art exhibits in his secondBEDROOM and +medicine cabinet.

Also this month's Project Wall Space: Sarah Best - Daily Photos

Shot almost exclusively with a cell phone camera, Daily Photos capture people in my circle of friends and acquaintances -- writers, cyclists, and dance artists -- and puts the viewer in a position where he or she feels like an intimate equal. Other images -- layered, painterly, and abstract -- are a physical response to my environment. Multiple shots of the same subject create the sense of approaching, circling, or passing something, and crystallize the feeling of being in real space and time. Two points of inspiration for this project are Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems (1964), which capture fleeting moments in a conversational tone, which can belie the poem's underlying formal structure, and Robert Mapplethorpe's Polaroids (1970-75), which are similarly intimate and immediate. The cell phone camera, which produces images that can be viewed and shared instantaneously, but which are necessarily limited and flawed, is the contemporary equivalent of the Polaroid camera.

The artist invites you to bring a cell phone that can receive photos via text message to the opening on February 19 and take away an image from the show.

Sarah Best is a graduate of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU where she studied poetry with Scott Hightower and David Lehman (an expert on Frank O'Hara and the New York School of Poets), took studio art classes, and developed a concentration in literature, cultural studies, and ideological systems. Sarah works in the  media of photography, illustration, and stitched illustration (embroidery). Her work often intersects with performance; both in terms of her process and her approach to work, and in terms of the artists that she chooses to collaborate with. She currently resides in Chicago. With Jan Bartoszek, she curates an annual festival of dance on film.

Opening Friday February 19, from 6pm-10pm
February 19 - March 20
, 2010

1765 S. Laflin St.
Chicago IL 60608
antenapilsen (at)
(773) 257-3534
Hours: by appointment only


BEN RUSSELL presents


1716 S Morgan #2F
Chicago, IL 60608
January 23, 2010 - February 20, 2010
Opening reception: Saturday 6-9 pm, January 23rd, 2010

Private viewings by appointment*
 *The performance of "Doyen: nothing of you is left as it once was" by Joshua Manchester will be presented at approximately 8:00pm during the opening reception. 

Oh, Necromancy!  Oh, Runic Magic!  Oh, blótspánn and hlautlein! Oh, Germanic Paganism!  With earthquake and sorrow and windows shuttered, this New Decade looks to be as dark as the last and the last and the last before that, and it is in such times (as in those early times of Odin) that we must turn our eyes skyward and acknowledge our ignorance of the world, acknowledge that whatever cannot be readily understood must be sorcery.  We must consult our Lindholm amulet, fit our Greymoor Ring tight 'round our finger, and leaf through Sigrdrífumál until we find these words: "Certain is that which is sought from RUNEs / That the gods so great have made / And the Master-Poet painted"

We read further: "if high on a tree / I see a hanged man swing / So do I write and color the RUNEs / That forth he fares / And to me talks."  And at last we understand - ART IS OUR DIVINATION.  And so emboldened, we use magical staves to collage paper and ink on our walls (ROGSTAD), we perform lithomancy to aid in the photographic documentation of invisibility (SCHIFF) andcleromancy for the video record of flight and phenomena (STRATMAN),  we use our percussive instruments to chant galdr(MANCHESTER), and we produce a modern-day Kylver Stone in the form of a sacred animal (FENCHEL). 

If the present of now is the future of everything, then the blind seers at BEN RUSSELL have ordained that all shall gather in one glorious sumbel, a celebration for what is and for what is to come.  ART is the way forward - the RUNEs within these apartment gallery walls have already prophesized as much.


RYAN FENCHEL is an artist living and working in Chicago, IL.  He has been featured in several group shows in Chicago and San Francisco over the past year.  His work is inspired by rituals and symbolic objects of Egyptian Mystery Schools, Speculative Masonry, the Rosencrucians, and Medieval Alchemy.  Working intuitively with a variety of materials, Fenchel is interested in the artist's creative will and an object's uncanny quintessence.

The physical world creates many rhythms that would be regular if the system they existed in were not so complex. As humans, we lack the competency to create rhythms which will adapt to complex systems, only simple ones. Our only recourse is to attempt to define the parameters of the system to suit our needs, and this has been unavoidable folly. It is Chicago-based percussionist JOSHUA MANCHESTER’s goal to achieve purposefully the sound of the limitless and intentless.

JT ROGSTAD is a Pilsen-based artist who likes beards and picture books.  He enjoys exploring the iconography of innocence, play, nostalgia, magic, and belief.  His work has appeared at various alternative Chicago art spaces including Knock Knock Gallery, the Medicine Cabinet, and the Hyde Park Art Center.

MELANIE SCHIFF is a photographer from Chicago, Illinois, who currently lives and works in Los Angeles.  She received her MFA in 2002 from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and BFA’s from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1999) and Goldsmiths College, University of London Fall (1996).  Solo show include New Work, Uschi Kolb, Karlsruhe, Germany (2007), 12 x 12, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL (2007), and Underwater Photographer (2006) and The Mirror (2009), Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago.  She has also been featured in group shows such as the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2008), and Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL (2008).

DEBORAH STRATMAN is a Chicago-based filmmaker and artist interested in landscapes and systems. She works in multiple mediums, including photography, sound, drawing and sculpture.  Recent and upcoming projects address what Americans mean by ‘freedom’, paranormal occurrences in the information age, adolescent fire-starters, media propagation in southeast Africa and comets.  She teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, exhibits her work internationally and is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and four Illinois Arts Council fellowships.

BEN RUSSELL is a newly formed art space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.  Co-curated by artists Brandon Alvendia and Ben Russell and situated around the front two rooms in the apartment of its namesake, BEN RUSSELL began presenting a series of month-long 5-person shows on Memorial Day Weekend in the year 2009.  Participating artists are invited to produce and exhibit work that is in accordance with the title/theme of each show, the name of which will be derived entirely from the 10 letters in the words "ben russell."  Future shows may include BEN RUSSELL : BLUENESS, BEN RUSSELL : REBELS, and BEN RUSSELL : US.  In keeping with the structural conceits of the French Oulipo language group and the spatial and material limits of what is effectively a rented apartment, BEN RUSSELL maintains a set of restrictions for all exhibiting artists by which:

- One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work scaled at a minimum of three quarters of the thirteen by ten foot  wall
- One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work at a maximum of one half of the opposing wall space between the two adjacent doors
- One artist shall produce a time-based work to be presented via a CRT flat screen monitor (and associated components) with Dolby 5.1 audio in the adjacent screening room
- One artist shall produce work to be installed in the all-weather sculpture garden
- One artist shall produce work to be performed for the duration of 15-30 minutes during the opening

BEN RUSSELL features a rotating roster of Chicago-based and non-Chicago-based artists and will be open for viewings one night a month and by appointment, as needed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010



Opening Friday, January 8, 2010
from 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Chicago Art Department
1837 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60608

Chicago Art Department is pleased to present 25 artists from around the world, all exploring the iPhone as creative tool.

Whatever iPhone art means to the larger art world is up for debate. Some see it as a powerful art making tool while others see nothing more than a phone. While the debate goes on, fine artists everywhere are making, sharing, and selling iPhone art. You can find iPhone art on the cover of print publications and online, also in galleries and in private collections. Wherever this device ends up inside of the fine arts landscape, there's a strong case to be made that the iPhone is at worst a flexible, powerful, and convenient new tool for contemporary artists.

"iPhone Therefore I Am" is the culmination of a class led by Chicago artist Mike Nourse, offered by the Chicago Art Department which features ten local artists who met weekly, working towards a completed project in areas such as photo, digital sketching (finger painting), animation, sound, and video. In addition to local artists, CAD program coordinator Mike Nourse brought in national and international iPhone artists from as far away as Russia, Norway, Spain, France, and Germany. The end-result is a comprehensive look at this digital tool and some of its artistic possibilities.

The timing to examine this device plays a large part in this exhibition. Chicago artist Jon Satrom feels the show is "situated in a critical time-space where media-making tools are forking from traditional operating systems to mobile devices and artists are crucial in these transitions." And In an era where time matters more and more, the iPhone as creative tool presents a convenience that many other tools simply can't. Artist Mia Robinson from Washington D.C. says, "I use an iPhone to make artbecause its the one tool that's always there."

This exhibition has brought together a wide range of artists from around the world, all excited to be a part of iHistory. From Spain, artist Luis Peso describes how this show has "opened a door to the amazing iPhone Art from several diferent countries around the world!" Matthew Watkins (Germany) feels that "this show is further confirmation ofthe importance of mobile and iphone art. It's anepochal moment," From America, David Lebowitz is an east-coast artist who is writing a book on the subject and will be showing one of his finger-painted pieces. He says "artists like myself were drawn to it like moths to a flame. I'm proud to be part of this exhibition, among the first on planet earth to feature pioneering, international efforts of this 21st century medium." Where is iPhone art heading? What type of artists work with an iPhone and when? Why? How does the iPhone fit into the contemporary art landscape? This exhibitions takes a step towards the answers.

"iPhone Therefore iArt" features Chicago artists Jon Satrom, Carl Sweets, Alyssa Sorresso, KirkBravender, Melissa Porter, Mike Nourse, Seth Gershberg, Nathan Peck, and Nat Soti. Artists from beyond Chicago include David Leibowitz (Teaneck, New Jersey), Russ Croop (Boulder, Colorado), Mia Robinson (Washington, DC), Susan Murtaugh (Two Rivers, Wisconsin), Sandra Schmidt (Livonia, Michigan), Julia Kay (San Fransisco, California), Matthew Wadkins (Italy), Benjamin Rabe (Germany), Joseandrés Guijarro Ponce (Spain), Luis Peso (Spain), Alexander Lysov and Timofey Caraffa-Corbut (Russia), Cédric Phillippe (France), Thierry Schiel (France), Rino Larsen (Norway), and Patricio Villarroel(France).