By Ania Szremski
Rubles at Ben Russell
April 24 – May 22, 2010
1716 S Morgan #2F
The press release for this upcoming group show at Ben Russell is so perfect as to bear lengthy quoting: “Timed to open one week prior to Art Chicago and the NEXT Fair and supported in part by the rubles-for-clunkers program, BEN RUSSELL: RUBLES shines a busted-up coal miner’s headlamp on the economic realities of art marketeering, stands outside your half-empty skyscraper with posters and pamphlets and silkscreens decrying the false accumulation of value, teaches you to increase your meager earnings through il/legal means, and concocts a video poultice for the fractured, traumatized, and weary-at-heart. …At BEN RUSSELL you do not sell art, art sells you!” The show features Bryce Dwyer and Matthew Joynt of InCUBATE, the newly Hamza Walker-anointed Anna Shteynshleyger, Tony Tasset and Mike Taylor. I am so excited for this. Gambling! Sarcastic jokes about communist Obama, czars and rubles! It cannot NOT be fantastic.
May 5 – 16, 2010
For the “anarchists, anti-authoritarians, the anarcho-friendly and the anarcho-curious” amongst us, celebrate your release from the shackles of the academic institution this summer by checking out some emancipation-themed films. Some of the movie descriptions look so bad as to be potentially hilarious (“Kamp,” for instance, is “a stop motion animation piece about overcoming your chains”), while others are actually meant to be funny, so you’ll laugh either way. The theme of this year’s festival (which is in its 10th year apparently, though they’ve done a good job of keeping it quiet) is “Crossing Borders,” so there’s an international mix of films that’s in keeping with the international smorgasbord being offered by cinemas around the city this spring.
Steve Krakow at MCA
May 8 – 30, 2010
Performances on May 11, 15, 25, at 7 p.m.
220 E Chicago Ave
This month’s 12 x 12 artist is a bit of a head-scratcher for me, but Steve Krakow’s interdisciplinary project is certainly worth checking out. Krakow, alias Plastic Crimewave, is a “curator” of music festivals (the appropriateness of that label is a discussion for another day) and the author/illustrator of “The Secret History of Chicago Music,” which features little – known local musicians. Dozens of these hand – drawn columns will be on display, presented in conjunction with a musical program featuring some of Krakow’s favorite musical acts. There’s something dangerously trendy about this kind of drawing practice (it reminds me of work by artists like Fernando Bryce, without the politics), and the project is certain to provoke questions about whether or not it belongs in a contemporary art museum. Check it out to decide for yourself.
Pérez-Oramas, Alain Bois
May 20, May 27, 6 – 7:00 p.m.
111 S Michigan
If you’re still in Chicago after graduation, then here’s your last homework assignment for the school year: check out the last of the art history heavyweights in the Art Institute’s year-long lineup of lectures on modernism. The whippersnapper of the bunch, Luis Pérez-Oramas of MoMA, will hold forth on the eternally lovely Lygia Clark, while the surprisingly dashing Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for Advanced Study) will discuss the comparatively less interesting Ellsworth Kelly. I know, I know, no one wants to be stuck in Fullerton Hall when it’s nice and sunny out, but it’s worth the sacrifice.
Closet Clearance Sale at Intuit
May 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
756 N Milwaukee
Considering the kind of stuff featured in Intuit’s gift shop, there’s a good chance that all the items at this clearance sale will just be weird. But isn’t that a risk you always take at these kinds of sales? The important thing to keep in mind is that Intuit is struggling, so just show up with a couple bucks, buy some token that grabs your fancy and you’ll have done your part to help keep this Chicago institution’s doors open.