Tuesday, February 14, 2012


FEBRUARY 25 - MARCH 17, 2012

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 25, 6-9pm
Open Hours: Saturdays noon-5pm or by appointment

2153 W 21st Street, Chicago 60608

ACRE and SLOW present an opening reception on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012 from 6-9pm at 2153 W 21st Street, Chicago 60608. ACRE has partnered with SLOW to host AUNTIE EM'S MOBILE HOME: new works byMAGGIE HAAS + TJ PROECHEL, the next installment in ACRE's year-long series of exhibitions by 2011 ACRE summer residents.


There is the bleak and the before.

A place in between. Until it gets better. We know the assumptions that go along with the trailer park. Perhaps they just moved into the smaller apartment, or have a home whose toilet functions only by pouring a bucket down the hatch to imitate a flush. They may still host a really awesome dinner party. Even trashy homes embellish; there is decor. There may be pejorative terms like lipstick on a pig, but there is something about improving upon the meager, the ugly and the compromised. Finding beauty where it is. Or making beauty with what you have.

Stories have a way of beginning with few resources, uncertain characters, and unremarkable ethics. There are certain kinds of stories that begin with a character’s hard work. Perhaps the hero will find something from within that will drive her toward a cause, a choice. The act of deciding will better the circumstance. Perhaps the outcome is less clear than better. Good guys enter the adventure out of desperation as often as by choice. Surviving the eye of a storm. And the after.

TJ Proechel and Maggie Haas both tell stories that leave out trivial things like the plot, or even distinguished characters. There are whispers of getting things done—accomplishing. There are raw spots and signs of struggle, and limitation. Subjects are vaguely old school, but could just as easily be the hipster re-make. Theirs are stories of our times. Ultimately relatable, but not triumphant or redeeming.

TJ and Maggie enter the fray at different points—Maggie is perhaps more interested in compromised normalcy, coping with uncertainty and failure. TJ flirts with becoming a criminal or superhero, maybe both at the same time.

images by Maggie Haas(top) and TJ Proechel(bottom)

MAGGIE HAAS works in drawing and sculpture, with an interest in objects and spaces that provoke a conflation of the functional and the ornamental.  She  emphasizes the transitory value of both everyday things and art materials, constructing objects and environments that appear to make and unmake themselves.  She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts, and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives and works in San Francisco. She has exhibited and curated projects in Pittsburgh, Boston, Berlin and the Bay Area.

More information about Maggie Haas can be found at maggiehaas.com.

TJ PROECHEL is a Minneapolis based photographer. Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Proechel draws from his personal experience working as a foreclosure contractor to create work that explores themes of loss, identity and fraud within the context of foreclosure crisis. His most recent body of work, Finding Adam Buroughs, documents Proechel’s efforts to track down a man who conned him and several others out of a large sum of money, while working on a foreclosure renovation.  Proechel’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and on NPR’s On the Media.  In 2012 his work will be shown at Alice Austen Museum and the Beijing Film Academy.  

More information about TJ Proechel can be found at tjproechel.com.

SLOW is an alternative exhibition venue for contemporary art. Not quite an apartment gallery, not commercial. Art that leans away from hipster toward introspective and vulnerable (read slightly nerdy).

More information about SLOW can be found at paul-is-slow.info

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.

More information about ACRE can be found at www.acreresidency.org

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