A. P. Vague
Patterns for Diaspora
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
April 2, 2022 - April 29, 2022

Patterns for Diaspora is an exploration of adornment, ornamentation, and the meaning found within repeatable patterns. This work is a kind of post-minimalist celebration of embellishments. As minimalist art tends to remove all traces of decoration in search of some formal purity, I want to take the opposite approach and work with patterns as elemental designs, complete in and of themselves.

I’m interested in exploring the way particular geometric arrangements can become emblematic of a given people or place. Scottish tartans, for example, can signify membership in a specific family, and various emblems often relate to distinct cultures. What does this mean today for people who have histories full of displacement, mobility, and change? I want to create new patterns specifically for members of diasporic communities, designs that are not linked to any given physical location but rather symbolic of complex layers of identity.

Modernist Adolf Loos famously compared ornamentation to crime in his 1908 essay on the topic. His perspective is thinly-veiled racism, an attempt to describe an ideal expression that removes all traces of marginal cultures. My project is an effort to defy this position by embracing the ornamental and creating forms that are not universal but imbued with the spirit of anyone who is a member of a diaspora.

— A. P. Vague

Open hours at 1224 W Loyola Ave will be by announcement and by appointment. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to leave their address, and a pattern will be delivered to them. Vector files of this work are available for download and use at archive.org. Printed fabric is also available.

A. P. Vague is a Chicago multimedia artist whose work explores long-distance communication and experimental collaboration. For additional information, apvague.wordpress.com.

Chicago Must See | ARTFORUM - March 31, 2022