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September 27, 2004

Art in a Political Season

Some events and exhibitions in Chicago involving politics and art (this oughta be right up Cynthia's alley), ongoing and upcoming, pre- and post-election...

Salons and Democracy at ThreeWalls

Crack a Pabst and sidle up in West Loop this Tuesday evening as ThreeWalls kicks off its second four-week series of salons, this time with a focus on the political:

"Where's the Love: Apathetic or Uninformed?"—Tuesday, September 28

Despite an information rich culture, we have become increasingly uninformed about current events and pressing economic and political issues. Are we ambivalent, or has the media barrage short-circuited our attention-span and our compassion? With an election dependant on a population of Ďundecidedí voters looming, this salon will address the changes in political and civic participation.

"Disingenuous Filmmakers: The Popularity of Political Documentary"—Tuesday, October 5

in 2004 Buoyed by prankster Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, political documentaries have been receiving more media attention and financial success than in recent memory. Historical perspectives on political image-making, distinctions among artistic expressions, documentary and propaganda, as well as opinions about the current trend will be discussed.

Rich Mansfield—Tuesday, October 12

ThreeWalls 2004 Chicago Resident Artist Rich Mansfield, parodies the assumed omnipotence of the military industrial complex through kinetic and interactive sculptures. For his presentation the current resident and his brother, both veterans, will share their vexing, baffling and often hilarious stories about their service.

"ThreeWallsSALONS Round-up"—Tuesday, October 19

Join us for our traditional 'round-up' evening, where invited respondents and guests from the recent salon series are invited back to make proclamations, air grievances or find closure after marinating in their words and the words of others over the past 4 weeks.

All begin at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7). Additionally, they will be hosting Set up a democracy in your own house throughout October, featuring, among other things, DiY propaganda kiosks, audio presentations, film screenings (Oct 3: Outfoxed, Oct 10: "a selection of educational films on patriotism") and an old-fashioned soap box and megaphone setup for those who want to get in on the action.

Art at War—The Artist's Voice

Aldo Castillo, September 11–October 16

Over 89 artists from more than 20 nations will participate in the Art at War—The Artistís Voice... an exhibition that is inspired by contemporary issues surrounding the causes and consequences of conflict and aggression. Artists address the current war in Iraq as well as the history of war as it relates to the human condition. Each artist visually expresses their feelings and views through a variety of mediums including personal statements and poetry.
After October 16th, a curated portion of the show will travel to Chicago State University, 9501 South Martin Luther King Drive. This exhibition will coincide with a symposium on the issues surrounding war and peace, tentatively planned for Wednesday, November 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The opening for Chicago State Universityís segment of Art at War—The Artistís Voice will also take place that day.
Art at War—The Artistís Voice will be curated by Aldo Castillo who was born in Nicaragua in the midst of a civil war that has had well known consequences. Since his arrival in The United States, Castillo has witnessed the illegal war against Nicaragua, The Iran-Contra Affair ("a tangled tale of politics, drugs, hostages, weapons, assassinations, covert operations and the plan to suspend the Constitution of the United States"—Encyclopedia article about the Iran-Contra Affair—The FreeLibrary.com), the Invasion of Panama and the current Iraqi War.

Select Media Festival 3

Gene Siskel Film Center, Buddy, Heaven and High School Compound, October 14–21

Select Media Festival is an exploration of international movements in the underground of media, showcasing emerging contemporary artists and innovative forms of media making. The insurgent media festival features video programs, net.works, installations, performance programs, street arts, experimental and advanced music. The festival is a project of Lumpen.

"The theme of Select Media Festival 3 is War.Games." A listing of film programming at the Siskel Film Center can be found here.

Terrorist Art 2: Election 2004—Part 2

Mini exhibit at Polvo, October 1–23

A propaganda show to help throw George W. Bush and his Neo-Cons out of office.
ARTISTS: Juan Compean, Tom Sibley, Harold Mendez, Mark Nelson, Jaime Mendoza, Anti-Gravity Surprise

Art to Fear II

Juried show at ARC, September 29–October 30

I'm not terribly certain about this one... For what it's worth, although ARC's site mentions nothing about the election, the Reader's listing describes this as a "pre-Halloween/election group show."

Artwork pertaining to all things spooky, ghastly, eerie and/or fearful. Also Costume Party on Friday, October 29, from 6-11 pm with D.J., refreshments, costume prizes, and artists-made masks for sale for fundraiser.

Democracy In America

The Renaissance Society, November 14–December 24

Between the fiasco of the 2000 presidential elections, the gubernatorial recall in California, and the issue of campaign finance reform, not to mention the rebuilding of Iraq, the mechanics of democracy have come under intense scrutiny. The subject of this exhibition is the exercising of democracy, literally what democracy looks like, from small town assemblies (Paul Shambroom, Maryanne Simmons) to the national presidential elections (Geoff Davis). This exhibition will feature work from various parts of the country that address challenges, great and small, as posed directly to the body politic.

"Art in a Political Season"
Posted by Dan at 03:17 AM


What? What? I heard my name?

Also check out David Gista's show at Gallery Mornea on Davis in Evanston, IL -- "presidents, etc."

Some pretty good paintings (my favorite of GWB lurking behind camouflage is already sold). Some cool small ones on bags and other media are fairly cheap. Gallery has a video explaining all this a whole bunch better. Web site hasn't been updated in awhile, but has a few shots.

Also, some people I know are doing an An Art A Day Challenge on Political Art and selling it on Ebay. (I can dig out the link if anyone interested).

Should write all this on my own blog, but have been so busy I'm only checking in on the art scene every now and then. People, you'll have to pick up the slack for awhile!

Perhaps will paste this over there later. Off to paint now.

Posted by: Fresh Paint on September 27, 2004 at 11:49 AM

I knew I'd forgotten something. Gista recently got the nod in an Artbeat segment on Chicago Tonight. It looked worth while, though I cringed when he explained that some paintings on old floppy disks were representative of memory.

Links for those who are interested:

Gallery Mornea
A piece on the show in the Daily Northwestern

Posted by: Dan on September 27, 2004 at 12:26 PM

Yeah, the video they have running is the Artbeat segment.

Posted by: Fresh Paint on September 27, 2004 at 10:11 PM

Referenced in this post:

ARC Gallery
Aldo Castillo Gallery
Buddy Space
Chicago Reader: Gallery Listings
Fresh Paint
Gene Siskel Film Center
Gene Siskel Film Center: October Events
Heaven Gallery
Highschool Space
Polvo Space
Renaissance Society
Select Media Festival
ThreeWalls Gallery