Surveilling Snow Lily
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
February 1, 2021 - February 28, 2021
This project is a progressively growing exhibition, on view directly from the street at 1224 W Loyola Ave throughout the month of February 2021.
Surveilling Snow Lily is a video installation project created from daily webcam screen recordings of a zoo-captive polar bear. The project reveals four years of Snow Lily’s incessant pacing. As the seasons change, each day she paces, alone. This work confronts a system of cruelty, passed as normal for generations, and asks viewers to share in bearing witness. I wish to draw attention to the reality of the lives of captive animals, in order to tip the balance where people will not allow animals to be held captive for display under any premise. There is so much to be learned from observing Snow Lily pacing, cutting a path through the stage upon which she lives striking the exact same tracks with her paws each day for years. I want to use my video recordings of Snow Lily to create work that cuts through the stages we humans have built around ourselves to sooth ourselves and sterilize the realities of mortality and our own animal-ness. I wish for this work to serve as a catalyst for greater empathy and connection and deepen questions regarding systems of power imbalance and colonialism. This work looks at the passage of time, endurance, absence, and the deep impact we humans have made on the planet. This project was partially supported by a 2020 Culture and Animal Foundation Grant.
– Colleen Plumb
Colleen Plumb (American, born Chicago IL) makes photographs, videos, and installations investigating contradictory relationships people have with nonhuman animals. Her work explores the way animals in captivity function as symbols of persistent colonial thinking, that a striving for human domination over nature has been normalized, and that consumption masks as curiosity. Plumb's work sheds light on abnormal behaviors of captive animals in order to bring attention to implicit values of society as a whole, particularly those that perpetuate power imbalance and tyranny of artifice. One of her current projects, Invisible Visible, reflects upon the industrial food system and meatpacking industry through the bones and bodies of chickens.
Plumb's work is held in several permanent collections and has been widely exhibited. She has written for the Center for Humans and Nature, an organization dedicated to exploring and promoting human responsibilities in relation to nature, and has collaborated with the Nonhuman Rights Project and Phoenix Zones Initiative. Her first photography monograph, Animals Are Outside Today (Radius Books, 2011) critically documents our ambivalent dispositions towards animals. Plumb's recent photography book, Thirty Times a Minute (Radius 2020), examines the plight of captive elephants with contributing essays by nine experts working in legal, ethics, and scientific fields. Plumb's work has appeared in LitHub, Psychology Today, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Village Voice, Blow Photo Magazine, Feature Shoot, New York Times LENS, Time Lightbox, Oxford American, Photo District News, and Artillery Magazine. Plumb lives in Chicago and has taught photography and video at Columbia College Chicago since 1999. For more information, please visit colleenplumb.com.
Artist Talk – February 10, 2021
Chicago Must See | ARTFORUM - February 10, 2021
Life Inside – Still
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
January 8, 2021 - January 29, 2021
Life Inside – Still is a site responsive installation initially made by Michael Chambers and Millicent Kennedy during the 2020 COVID-19 stay at home order. Over the course of continued quarantine the artists have continued to trace one another’s shadows, paused in gestures of daily life, and install the overlapping silhouettes backlit by video in a window. The resulting images compress time, and keep a record of human movement in social space. The original installation with Purple Window Gallery occupied an apartment window viewable from the street, creating the mystery of looking into a stranger’s home and seeing part of their lives. At Roman Susan, this video installation has been adapted to include a gallery setting, one of the shared spaces lost in the pandemic. Our lives and social relationships are heavily mediated through screens/video and technology, now more than ever. Mirroring the viewer's isolation outside of this scene, kept at arm's length.
As the reach of the pandemic continues to stretch and the dynamics of life shift, the layers of silhouettes and video mimic this increased complexity, ambiguity, and compression of time. The artists want to draw upon both the recent memories of gathering together, while creating this illusion with just ourselves, and using something temporary, and without substance. These silhouettes combined together create a layered document of our time in isolated space. the process of tracing another person, and trying to make an accurate record, while you exist in the human impossibility of standing still, seems ripe with metaphor of shared anxieties and unrest in this unusual, evolving situation.
Life Inside – Still is a street-view exhibition on view 24 hours a day at 1224 W Loyola Ave, with projections after dark.
Michael Chambers is a Chicago based artist working primarily in video/sculpture installation,photography and printmaking. He received a BFA at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. There he exhibited the solo show Mighty Means in the Great Hall Gallery. He has shown with Red Lotus Gallery and The Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon Michigan. In Chicago, Chambers has exhibited with Parlour and Ramp Gallery and Purple Window Gallery.
Millicent Kennedy is a Chicago based artist, curator, and educator working in installation, fiber, print, and performance. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Northeastern Illinois University and her MFA from Northern Illinois University where she was awarded the Helen Merritt Fellowship. She's received solo exhibitions from SXU Art Gallery, Roman Susan and Parlour and Ramp, as well as site specific installations with Terrain Exhibitions Biennial, and Purple Window Gallery. She has received artist residencies in Chicago, and Mississippi, and Michigan. Kennedy co-currates at Parlour and Ramp Gallery in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, and has served as the Gallery Director at Rockford University, She currently teaches at Evanston Art Center and Lillstreet Art Center.
Chicago Must See | ARTFORUM - January 14, 2021
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
December 21, 2020 - January 3, 2021
Resistance Exercises will be projected each afternoon and evening at 1224 W Loyola Ave, visible directly from the street.
Emilio Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with the body in performance, using video, photography, installation, public interventions and sculpture. He holds an MFA in Performance from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Film from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. As a queer latinx immigrant with indigenous heritage, it is essential to his practice to engage in the postcolonial ethical imperative to uncover, investigate, and make visible and audible undervalued or disparaged sites of knowledge, narratives, and individuals. He utilizes his body in a political and critical way, as an instrument to unearth removed traumas, embodied forms of decolonization, migration and poetics of space. His research based practice is heavily influenced by queer and feminist archives, border politics, botanical colonialism, and defaced monuments. Besides his artistic practice, he is also a translator, community activist, yoga teacher, and anti-oppression facilitator with queer, migrant and refugee youth.
His work has been exhibited in exhibitions and festivals in the US, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Austria, England, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Colombia, and Australia, as well as institutions like The Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Ex-Teresa Arte Actual Museum and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Surrey Art Gallery, The DePaul Art Museum, and The Botin Foundation. He is represented by Jose de la Fuente in Spain, and Gallleriapiu in Italy. Rojas is currently a Visiting Artist/Scholar in Residency in the Theater and Performance Department at Bard College in New York, for the 2019-2020 academic year and the inaugural resident of the Judy Pfaff Foundation. Where he is developing a new commission for Live Arts Bard at the Fisher Center, which premiered in November 2019, focusing on the theme of Borders.
Resistance Exercises | Bad at Sports - December 18, 2020
Measures of Distance
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
November 7, 2020 - December 20, 2020
Intimacy and alienation do not constitute a binary, but rather operate as simultaneous phenomena; expanding and contracting distances requiring fluid performances of vulnerability, support, propriety, and separation. For Measures of Distance, Lia Kohl and Nick Meryhew navigate this matrix, exploring alternative intimacies, physical proximities, and ambiguous distances through video, performance ephemera, and sculptural objects.
Measures of Distance is a street-view exhibition on view 24 hours a day, with projections after dark. Excerpts are arranged below in an attempt to make this work more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thoughts and feedback are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lia Kohl is a cellist and multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She creates and performs embodied music and multimedia performance that incorporates sound, video, movement, theatre, and sculptural objects. She is a curator and ensemble member with the acclaimed performance ensemble Mocrep, with whom she has toured nationally and internationally. She has presented work and performed at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and held residencies at Mana Contemporary Chicago, High Concept Labs and dfbrl8r Performance Art Gallery. As an improviser she performs around the world and with her clarinet/percussion/cello trio, ZRL. She plays with Chicago bands Whitney, OHMME, and Circuit des Yeux. She tours with Chicago based puppet theatre company Manual Cinema.
Nick Meryhew is an experimental musician, curator, improvisor, and armchair geologist. Their work explores ideas of assemblage, hybridity, and nonhierarchy through a sculptural approach to found sound. They frequently improvise as a medium through which to investigate social dynamics both personal and political. Nick is a founding/former member of performance ensemble Mocrep, and has presented work at No Nation Gallery, The Hideout, Art Institute of Chicago, High Concept Labs, and MCA Chicago. They currently perform in Chicago with The Lucky Trikes, Runaway Labs Theater, and alongside noise artists Hedra Rowan and Jen Hill. They have curated at Logan Square's Comfort Station since 2017, primarily working on the experimental sound and performance series Gather. They are currently co-artistic director of AG47 Collective, a youth arts collective that facilitates interdisciplinary arts workshops and exhibitions for teens in Logan Square.
Loving the Cannibal: Lia Kohl and Nick Meryhew’s Measures of Distance | Sixty Inches From Center - December 1, 2020
Artist talk with Corey Smith | December 15, 2020
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
October 10, 2020 - October 25, 2020
Down is the necessary orientation for any root and is a consistent compass for the evolution of my work. Growing down presents the best of gravity: the earth parts as water sinks in, roots reach down from a core, and the dark becomes the gathering place for opaque processes necessary for proper grounding. This work echoes this process and advocates for an ethics of deep rooting. Rooting is a necessary counter to a culture increasingly carried away by powerful wireless exchanges up above, failing to nurture the foundation needed to support and sustain the livelihood of humans and non-humans alike. Probing rootedness as a practice means exploring the connection of what is subtle and inherent within daily experience. For me this begins with deeply exploring material—that which is found in our homes, daily objects and bodies—to reveal inherent qualities, uncanniness, immanence and poetics.
This work advocates for moments of slow material recognition—where bones presented as clean, bright dust piles are realized in their essence only through a gradual process of identification. At first, one does not realize they are encountering body matter. Similarly, ancient oil that makes up asphalt is forgotten for what it is, yet it symbolically and materially bears the weight of countless lives, dividing foot from earth and transforming large and small mammals into tire-flattened membranes and unidentifiable dusts. Reflective road lines coat and frame boundaries containing multitudes. These are materials we are trained into forgetting and overlooking. growing down gestures to tell their stories as a means of reconnecting with place, relationship, and our own bodily presence on earth.
– Rebecca Beachy
Rebecca Beachy is an artist, writer, and educator in Chicago whose practice involves deepening attention to the materialities inherent in urban and natural orbits. Her work engages the many subtleties and the complex relationships we have with the natural world. She holds an MFA in Studio Arts and an MA in Art History from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Born in 1982, Beachy grew up in Denver, Colorado. Past exhibitions include Ralph Arnold Gallery with Roman Susan, Loyola University, Chicago; Sector 2337, Chicago; New Capital Projects, Chicago; Iceberg Projects, Chicago; FRISE, Hamburg, Germany. Beachy’s work has been featured in publications such as Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, UK; Æther Sofia/Haga, Bulgaria, Netherlands; City Creatures, University of Chicago Press, New New Corpse, Green Lantern Press. Beachy’s work has been written about in White Hot Magazine; ArtSlant; Hyperallergic; Armseye; Art Papers; NewCity Chicago; Chicago Reader; Chicago Tribune. Beachy is a recent recipient of 3Arts Make a Wave Grant. For more information about the artist, please visit rebecca-beachy.com.
First image: pillow + mammal skins (wrapped/coated in river clay); second image, immediately above: copper cones w/cremains (bone dust); homepage image: lunaria seeds (common name honesty) w/copper leaf; slideshow below: installation views of growing down at 1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago.
Artist talk with Kristin Abhalter and Nathan Smith | October 22, 2020
Rebecca Beachy | 60wrd/min - December 14, 2020 + Newcity - December 24, 2020