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Noteworthy in April

Performances, lectures, exhibitions, film!

By Arts & Culture, Uncategorized

By Ania Szremski

Image courtesy of Version Festival

Image courtesy of Version Festival


They Tried at No Coast
April 2, 7-9 p.m.
1500 W 17th Street

Gretchen Holmes is curating a night of performances which, according to No Coast, “complicate the theme of failure.” A vague enough curatorial statement, but one which strikes a strong chord with this struggling student. Holmes is a young feminist performance artist/writer about town who notably recreated Carolee Schneeman’s notorious “Interior Scroll” piece, so “They Tried” should be interesting and risky, if nothing else. The performance is also a chance to catch the closing reception for Hexenhaus, a solo show of objects, installations and performances by Tessa Siddle that explores “the private lives of humans, animals and houseplants.” The closing reception is from 5-7, with a Hexenhaus performance at 6.


Liminality at Antena
April 2 – May 1
Opening reception Friday, April 2, 6 – 10 p.m.
1765 S Laflin (hours by appointment)

All things Internet seem to be on Chicagoans’ minds this spring. March brought us “Fair Use” at the Glass Curtain, which explored Internet piracy (amongst other things), and “Friends in Common” at SUGS, which drew imagery from a public Facebook profile — both reviewed in this issue of F. Now, in April, curator Patrick Lichty (Columbia College professor and Yes Men member) brings Second Life to Antena Gallery. The curator purports to explore the in between-ness of life on the Internet by exhibiting images created in or inspired by Second Life, from videos to prints, performances, objects and “virtual installations” (which may exist “in either physical, virtual or mixed-reality forms”). I, for one, don’t really know what “mixed-reality” might mean, but I’m excited to find out. The exhibition will be in dialogue with a parallel show in Second Life itself, on I Am Columbia Island.  


Palestine Film Festival at the Gene Siskel
April 16 – 29
164 N State St

It is officially spring, and festival season is already in full-swing. As usual, it feels a bit unfair to choose just one item from the Gene Siskel’s monthly offerings to feature, but the annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival is particularly worthy of note. Featuring films, shorts and documentaries by established and emerging filmmakers (including SAIC alum Edward Salem), the lineup represents the expected political issues, but also reveals aspects of Palestinian culture that are usually impossible to access from this country. “Checkpoint Rock” focus on contemporary music in Palestine (a hot topic after the success of “Slingshot Hiphop”); “Intifada NYC” explores Jerusalem’s only gay bar; and “Voices Beyond Walls” features shorts about life in Jerusalem filmed by children aged 10 to 16.


Michael Fried at AIC
April 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
111 S Michigan, Fullerton Hall

Art history students, prepare yourselves: Michael Fried is coming to the Art Institute. Yes, the Michael Fried of “Art and Objecthood,” the fierce critic of “theatricality,” and the author of three volumes of poetry (who knew?). In keeping with his recent work on contemporary photography, the legendary critic will be discussing Paris-based video artist Anri Sala, and will also be leading a private seminar the day after his lecture. Based on past experiences with these AIC lectures, I would guess that an hour and a half won’t be enough time to witness anything profoundly life-changing; but the lecture is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see one of art history’s most venerated heavyweights in action.

Art News Ticker

Chicago’s art world should breathe a belated sigh of relief for not getting the 2016 Olympics. Artforum claims that Vancouver is planning to cut back on arts-related spending by up to 90 percent as the city tightens its belt in the aftermath of the games. …
Now you, too, can finally own, caress and lick images by artists like Jackson Pollock and Adolph Gottlieb. The New York Times reports that on March 11, the U.S. Postal Service released a series of stamps featuring the work of 10 Abstract Expressionist painters. …
Having trouble selling your art work in this dismal economy? Philadelphia-based artist and paragon of philanthropic virtue Jeffrey Wright has launched a new endeavor to improve his sales: for one low yearly fee, subscribers to his collective will receive a minimum of 12 screen prints throughout the calendar year. “I still want poor people to be able to buy my art,” Wright explained to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I love poor people, and not just because I am one.” …
At the beginning of March, the Detroit Institute of Arts opened a new gallery devoted to Islamic arts, reports USA Today. From the Met to the Louvre, museums around the world are trying to highlight their Islamic arts collections as they cater to a new interest in Islamic culture, but the move is particularly significant in Detroit, as the home to one of the largest Arab American and Muslim populations in the U.S. …
Visitors to contemporary Viennese arts organization The Succession will be in for a surprise when they visit the venue’s prized piece, Gustav Klimt’s “Beethoven Frieze.” Thanks to an intervention by artist Christoph Büchel, in order to access the work an adult-only crowd will have to pass through a genuine swingers club — complete with mattresses and swings. The artist claims he wants to help contemporary Austrians get over their sexual inhibitions (who knew they had any, given the likes of Elfriede Jelinek?), and to recreate some of the original outcry inspired by the eroticism of Klimt’s works when they were first shown.

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