Thursday, March 29, 2012

Escape Into the Briar Patch

Joan makes images that take some queues from medical TV—the feel of gut and liver. The sound of a dramatic prop organ plops into the medical tray. Wet and somehow failing, there is an aura that we need to act quickly or give ourselves over to dire consequences. But Joan’s photos aren’t imitating. There isn’t a story line. More ordinary than surgery or dissection.

Note taking. These images are observed, maybe repeated. Each version has a scrawl that directs us to pay attention to another part. Joan seems to have a system, but we’re not let in on that information. So many artists look at science as unknowable, as a kind of beauty. Joan works like someone who knows her science. She is thinking faster than the experiment. Revelation. And though there is darkness and danger, the rupture generated by her dashed reminders are as much about play and humor as they are about the stuff they are running from.

Susannah generates her images rather than dashing off notes, so they come at a slower pace. Methodical. Most of the time, things arrived at slowly are deadly serious. But Susannah’s images could be inspired by a 50’s mermaid dance party. Even when you realize the decorations are all internal organs and cancerous growths they are glimmery and lickable and add the perfect pop to your flouncy dress.

There is a tendency in nature related to bright markings: they tend to communicate things. One example is the don’t-fuck-with-me message worn by a venomous species. Susannah’s lovely flowers both bear witness to their own poisonous inflections and are an exterior reflection of an embattled interior. Wet and dark recesses are illuminated in synthetic color arrays. It is an alien world, and not at all peaceful. Tumors and parasitic cells and the last throws of life. Drowning.

Join us for the opening reception Saturday, March 31, 6-9 p.m.
The exhibition continues through April 21.

2153 W. 21st Street, Chicago, IL 60608 (one block west of the Pink line Damen stop)
Open to the public Saturdays noon-5pm, or by appointment.
To make an appointment call 773/645-8803.

Monday, March 26, 2012

4/1: TWENTY SIX // new works by BEN PEGRAM + CHRIS SEMEL

APRIL 1-2, 2012

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 1, 4-8pm
Open Hours: Monday April 2, noon-4pm

ACRE Projects
1913 w 17th Street, Chicago 60608

TWENTY-SIX consists of three pieces that explore the modern English alphabet. These pieces offer numerous perspectives on hand-set type, calling attention to physical aspects of this process. Each piece utilizes the standard characters of the alphabet in order to direct the participant toward specific aspects of the printing process that would be otherwise inaccessible due to the nature of manual type. Its purpose is to make viewers into active participants through a tactile engagement with the work. This interaction evokes the more subtle qualities of hand-set type that have become outmoded and relegated to esoterica by the digital age. Both activating and activated by the viewer, the three pieces function as sculptures that simultaneously reference the physical nature of this method and its history.

Ben Pegram and Chris Semel live, work and collaborate in Chicago, IL. Ben will receive his BFA from The School of the Art Institute this May. Chris received his BA in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2011. They met by coincidence in a record shop while both reaching for the same vinyl copy of Steely Dan’s Aja.

More information about Ben Pegram can be found at:

More information about Chris Semel can be found at:


new work by SHANE WARD
March 31 – April 14, 2012

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 31, 6-10
Open Hours: by appointment

Happy Collaborationists Exhibition Space
1254 N Noble St

Lincoln never ate anything yellow, AKA: tendencies will define you.
Laundry induced Nostalgia: An old lady spends all day washing her laundry. Every ten minutes she shuffles over to the door, taking the shortest path possible, and lights a smoke inside. She takes a puff and slowly exhales the smoke as she squeezes through an old lady-sized sliver she makes between the door and its frame. When she returns to her machine, she notices her fabric softener box and is reminded of that afternoon she spent in the clouds looking for blue sparkle, the softest afternoon of her life.

SHANE WARD is an artist living and working in Chicago. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Chicago.

More information about Shane Ward can be found at

HAPPY COLLABORATIONISTS is a Chicago based collective, consisting of Anna Trier, Hadley Vogel, and Meredith Weber. The focus of “Happy C” is to provide a platform for the creation and exhibition of performance, installation and new media derived works. We curate artists, not art and work with individuals to execute new projects rooted in ephemeral arts and audience experience. Donning blue wigs as a visual moniker of artistic solidarity, Happy C is committed to bridging the gap between art and art events – curation as art.

More information about Happy Collaborationists can be found at

Monday, March 19, 2012

3/25: SLOW DANCE // new works by MATT AUSTIN + EJ HILL

new works by MATT AUSTIN + EJ HILL
MARCH 25-26, 2012

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 25, 4-8pm
Open Hours: Monday March 26, noon-4pm

ACRE Projects
1913 w 17th Street, Chicago 60608

Matt Austin, Bird Hanger, Archival Pigment Print, 20×24″, 2012

There are innumerable instances in one’s lifetime when a decelerated pace is not only necessary but inevitable. These moments may appear under the guise of an injured lower back, resulting in a perfectly-timed bout of rest and relaxation; they might appear as a mid-day cell phone battery death, granting one the opportunity for a temporary and guiltless disconnect. On the other hand, there are the times when days quickly become nights that become days (which become days all over again). However, these differing moments share the same seat of significance. They are to each other as the up is to the down, as the inhale is to the exhale.

On March 25, Matt Austin and EJ Hill come together at ACRE Projects for SLOW DANCE, an exhibition of new works highlighting the negotiation of individual positions within a given union. Through photography, writing, and drawing, Austin and Hill dissolve boundaries between what are typically viewed as dichotomous relationships, in order to highlight their complementary nature. In a constant back and forth and sway from left to right, Austin and Hill lead and follow, while committing (and submitting) to synchronous (and separate) rhythms.

At the opening, the artists will be present with their new collaborative publication titled “/”. The / publication is a 60-page book comprising drawings, writing, and photographs printed in an edition of 30; each copy is signed and numbered.

MATT AUSTIN (b. 1986, Hartford, CT) is currently an artist and educator based out of Chicago, IL. He received his BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and is teaching for the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Senn High School, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lillstreet Art Center, and Hyde Park Art Center. He has recently been involved with various community projects including the ACRE Artist Residency Staff, a co-founded art installation project known as TAIST, and an experimental pedagogical project The Mountain was a Gift. His photographs have been exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery, NEXT: Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art, the MDW Art Fair, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries. He recently received the Illinois Artists’ Council Grant that will fund the publishing of his book Wake that will parallel that body of work’s inclusion in the kids are all right, a large group exhibition at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in October 2012 that will travel to the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Addison Gallery of American Art through 2013.

More information about Matt Austin can be found at

EJ HILL is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. Much of his work incorporates his own body, exploring its physical properties and limitations as well as its role in cultural signification. Recent exhibitions include One Inch Punch (Los Angeles),dream, in, the, act at Kunz, Vis Projects (Chicago), Overkill at The Mission Projects (Chicago), and One-Day Performance at LiVE WORK (San Francisco). EJ earned a BFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2011 and is a current MFA candidate at UCLA.

More information about EJ Hill can be found at


new works by JESUS MEJIA
MARCH 23-30, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday March 23nd, 7-10pm
Open Hours: By Appointment

The Plaines Project
1822 S Des Plaines Street, Chicago 60616

The exhibition is a reverie on distance traveled and the urge to continue.

JESUS MEJIA received his BFA from Columbia College in 2009. He currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

THE PLAINES PROJECT, established in 2006, is a collectively run alternative space which seeks to provide artists, musicians and cultural organizers with a venue to exhibit, perform, and hold events that strengthen social bonds, nurture creative practices, and encourage important cultural and political conversations. It is the goal of the Plaines Project to accommodate Chicago’s creative communities by providing an open, safe, and supportive atmosphere that is constantly redefining itself in relation to those who utilize and occupy the space.

More information about The Plaines Project can be found

Friday, March 16, 2012


Curated by Michael Workman/Antidote Projects

Opening Friday March 23 from 6pm-10pm
March 23 - April 21

Featuring work by Frank Pollard, Mike Lenkowski, Lorna Mills, Sarah Weis, Bill Talsma, Elizabeth Suter, Judy Oesterreicher, Micki Tschur, Sarah Legow, Industry of the Ordinary, Holly Streekstra, Samantha Ocasta, Jeffrey Grauel, Tony Kapel, Computers Cult, Maitejosune Urrechaga and others.
False Love 'zine with texts by AA Bronson, Michael Workman, Dan Gleason and others.
Live theatrical performances starting at 8:30pm. Performances will be videotaped and archives in the exhibition.

1765 S. Laflin, St.
Chicago, IL 60608
antenapilsen (at)
Hours: by appointment
(773) 340-3516

"Fascism … also stands for an ideal or rather ideals that are persistent today under the other
banners: the ideal of life as art, the cult of beauty, the fetishism of courage, the dissolution of
alienation in ecstatic feelings of community; the repudiation of the intellect; the family of man
(under the parenthood of leaders)." –Susan Sontag, Fascinating Fascism

This exhibition interrogates the seductiveness and glamour of evil. Evil, after all, is adept at
projecting a certain kind of charm. We cherish the antics of our TV and motion picture villains
in all their insouciant brutality and eroticized violence. But evil can also exert a subtle charm in
the allure of its ability to feign a release from life's problems. Accepting the Faustian bargain
of evil offerings requires a willingness to enter into a complicity with that evil, and to sacrifice
the ideals of the "good life" that we aspire to. It is arguable that consenting to evil is always an
intimate choice, with the goal of manipulating its victims into rejecting their own self-worth and,
in consequence, to giving away control over the direction of their own life-course, now subsumed
in service to evil. This can take place on the level of an intimate personal relationship, as in the
instance of a rakish seduction, or on the level of an entire culture, as the history of fascism has

Borrowing from a diverse range of artists from Filippo Marinetti, Rirkrit Tiranamija, Yves Klein
and Wyndham Lewis, the exhibition space will be converted into a domestic backdrop against
which objects, activities and more will form a totalized artistic environment. Visitors will be
invited to interact with this environment while performances are conducted in the manner of a
teatro totale. The question of the allure of evil will be interrogated both in objects that compose
the environment, in performances both interactive with the audience, and in those acted out
as if no audience were present. Video documentation of these performances will be presented
following their presentation, and presented thereafter as a documentary component of the

ANTIDOTE is a roving, independent curatorial and exhibition platform co-founded by Michael
Workman and Berlin-based sculptor Edouard Steinhauer in 2009. Conceived as an occasional
project-based initiative, ANTIDOTE does not take on artists for career representation, preferring
instead a collaborative approach to the cultivation of unconventional formal approaches to
audience engagement. ANTIDOTE serves as an independent curatorial platform to advocate for
and disseminate the works of underrepresented artists, specifically through special presentations
and exhibitions at art fairs, publications, educational programming, and other nontraditional
forms of curatorial programming, with an aim to exploring unorthodox distribution systems
for disseminating artist's works. ANTIDOTE only showcases artists who have been carefully
selected for visual work that consistently centers on the development of intricate imaginative
world or system-based constructions, dematerialization of traditional forms, and/or whose work
otherwise counters the purely object-based approach to art-making. As such, often these artists
have been overlooked by the art world, since their approach often problematizes the conventions
of or confounds audience expectations surrounding the industry's cultivated preference for
traditional object-based modes.

ANTIDOTE Facebook fan page:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012



new works by BRANDY FISHER

MARCH 18-19, 2012

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 18, 4-8pm

Open Hours: Monday March 19, noon-4pm

ACRE Projects

1913 w 17th Street, Chicago 60608

The work of Brandy Fisher is defined by message and not medium. Employing photography, sculpture, film and drawings she continually strives to demonstrate that how something is viewed is not more powerful than what is viewed. The subtle shifting of perspective illuminates the limitations of knowledge and self while embracing the infinite mystery and magic of existence. A System of Relations features three works by Brandy Fisher that explore the continuity of substance in creation, the illusions of knowledge, and spirituality of acceptance.

BRANDY FISHER is an artist living and working in Chicago. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

More information about Brandy Fisher can be found at




March 16 - April 6, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Open Hours: by appointment

New Capital

3114 W. Carrol Ave. Chicago, 60612


The content of Matthew Lane’s exhibition at NEW CAPITAL develops from the domestic settings where social pleasantries are exchanged, his dry-walled alcoves, familiar to a foyer, become reliquaries for the banal and artificial. He includes in the exhibition objects made by other artists, created within loose parameters given by Lane, so that each object will be unique while remaining theoretically interchangeable. He will also create several carved sculptures of undomesticated animals in their caricatured form, seemingly cast reproductions, but each upon close inspection, unique.

The context that Michael Sirianni works in is equally as domestic, but moves from the front and dining room to the bedroom and basement. Mediation exists not in the formalized social interaction of our parlors, but rather on the internet, via live video chat, where Sirianni manipulates a different kind of unassuming audience, the casual and anonymous cyber fuck buddy. While depicting these ghosts of his own experience, his work deals in myth, metaphor and iconography ranging from the ancient Greeks to contemporary sex clubs.

These two seemingly divergent practices find similar commonalities. Both artists question art’s role as object and support. They elaborate on the history of institutional critique and social practice while continuing to create discreet objects. Abstraction lies dormant, exploiting kitsch, albeit in quotations and manifesting itself in the guise of vernacular.

MATTHEW LANE lives and works in Chicago, IL. He received his MFA from Massachusetts College Of Art in 2006. His work is a response to the idea of language as a triadic event and how that influences the way in which one experiences and interprets the objects displayed within gallery and museum spaces. Lately that response has been influenced by static but functional objects and how the aesthetics of the function of those objects might be used to direct the viewer in his or her interpretation of the overall body of work.

More information about Matthew Lane can be found at

MICHAEL SIRIANNI was born in upstate New York and earned an MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2010. He has exhibited at Johalla Projects (Chicago), the CUE Art Foundation (New York), Iceberg Projects (Chicago), Los Caminos (St. Louis), Gallery 400 (Chicago), the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids), the Antimatter Film Festival (Vancouver), Fleisher/Ollman Gallery (Philadelphia) and the Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago). A 2010 recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant, Sirianni currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

More information about Michael Sirianni can be found at

NEW CAPITAL is a split-level exhibition space located in Chicago's East Garfield Park, along an industrial corridor. It is run by artists Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch. Its mission is to create a space where artists can present ambitious and uncompromising works (to audiences that prefer an uncompromising atmosphere). During each show one artist uses the white cube space upstairs, and another uses the raw space downstairs. Programming for each exhibit includes a closing event with a performance and an international media work. The closings occur in the loading dock of the warehouse.

More information about New Capital can be found at