Monday, February 28, 2011


March 13-14, 2011

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 13, 4-8

Open Hours: Monday, March 14, noon-4
ACRE Projects
1913 W 17th Street

ACRE Projects hosts an opening reception for two new projects on Sunday, March 13, 2011 from 4-8pm at 1913 West 17th Street, Chicago, IL. ACRE Projects is proud to present BECKET FLANNERY: FRONTISPIECE and GRANT W. RAY: THE UNCANNY IMAGINATION, the next installment in ACRE's year-long series of exhibitions by 2010 ACRE summer residents. Their respective projects each engage with the means by which images elicit narratives from deep within the social imaginary.

FRONTISPIECE: Becket Flannery’s exploration began with Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan; prior even to the text, a frontispiece depicts the new “artificial man” whose body is the people and whose soul is sovereignty.  This cryptic image introduces and also summarizes Hobbes’ thought.  The frontispiece was not simply a decoration, it was a way of reconciling political thought with the sensible – i.e. the creation of political vision.  Lately, the rupture between vision and thought has been too severe to repair so easily.  One of the most recent political manifestos is written by a committee that proclaims itself to be invisible; and what use does the image-driven political simulacrum have for text beyond the purely tactical?

Rather than the strict correlation of image and text, the intention of the collages in Frontispiece is different.  Rather than focusing on the loaded image-symbols, those privileged nodes of interpretation, they play with the forms that frame and suggest this referentiality. These cues to the civic still linger, as we are constantly asked to engage with our political images, without being troubled with what they might mean.  These text-less frontispieces then imply new ideas and social visions; they are images looking for authors.

THE UNCANNY IMAGINATION: Grant Ray continues his experiment-based practice of documenting photographically the pseudo scientific investigations into unexpected forms of communication from unexpected places. For this latest set of photographs, Ray returns to the wooded rural areas of North America to get closer to an unblemished natural landscape in humorous exploration to locate marks, traces, or signs that could be construed as natures attempt at communication.

From long hikes in the woods to discover naturally forming patterns of flora and faunas that reflect /mimic the night sky in the form of constellations. To late night psychotherapy sessions with a flashlight, paper, and coal dust producing plant shadowgrams that are then read as Rorschach test. Or the uncanny patterns of marks from tacks and staples from flyer's, ads, job postings on information boards located in the sleepy Wisconsin towns of Steuben, Boscobel, Ferryville, and Soldiers Grove. As whimsical and humorous as the photographs are, they stand to poetically reflect nature as a site of human projection of our desires, ambitions, and destruction. A testament to the environment and the often complicated and politicized issues that effect it.

GRANT W. RAY received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. Ray has exhibited at Barbara & Barbara gallery in Chicago, Spoke gallery in Chicago, the Richmond Center for Visual Arts in Kalamazoo Wisconsin and most recently at CGIS Gallery at Harvard University in Boston. Grant is currently an instructor of Digital Photography at Northwestern University. 

BECKET FLANNERY studied Art and Political Theory at Swarthmore College.  In 2009 and 2010, he has been an assistant for Yale University’s Institute for Studio Studies summer painting intensive.  He lived and worked in Chicago for three years.  He currently lives in Philadelphia.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

ACRE Projects is a new space in Pilsen presenting weekly art events every Sunday evening. Each of ACRE's 70+ residents are given the keys to the space for one week to do with it what they will. Additional exhibitions will be hosted by a number of local galleries and alternative spaces.

More information about Becket Flannery can be found at
More information about Grant W. Ray can be found at
More information about ACRE can be found at

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