Survey 4: Pinned by a shaft of light through the window
Friday September 30, 2022 5-8pm
Becca Thomas Breanna Robinson Chloe Munkenbeck Eseosa Edebiri James Hosking Jessica Ferrer Josué Esaú Luis Rodríguez Rosario María Antonia Villaseñor-Marchal Mariel Harari SUNGJAE LEE Yoonshin Park
John H. Guevara
If we are to describe memory to you, it would be a sentence,
an image, or something we point at. But memory precedes
precision. It comes first as a feeling that engulfs you before you
realize what it is. A bodily impulse. From there on you begin
to make sense of it. You verbalize it by tracing where it stems
from. You represent it as a figuration, an object. You abstract
it, take it apart and reassemble. You hide it in your back pocket
where it only shows its vague contour.
Raw memories stay elusive, agile, and volatile. So what we can
show you is a collection of conditions. They are moments of
possibility: the happiness, distress, or ambivalence of having;
the beginnings of stories. Like when you find yourself sitting in
a quiet room, contemplating, or flat on the bed, staring at the
ceiling, missing somewhere, desiring someone. Like when you
ask “what if?” and blend the past with fantasy. Like when you
withhold like a brave dam, turning falls into power.
This show offers glimpses into the expressions of twelve
incredible artists. One shade of their rainbows; one facet of
their prisms. You will feel the tender caress from the ancestors
(Maria-Antonia Villaseñor-Marchal), study the wielding of
calendars (Josué Esaú), and see your flickering reflection on
a TV screen (Breanna Robinson). You will delve into collective
memories through archives (James Hosking), through haptic
weavings (Jessica Ferrer), and through architectural interiors
(Luis Rodriguez Rosario).
Sometimes, childhood emerges as dreams (Eseosa Edebiri).
Sometimes the forgotten bursts like popcorn (Mariel
Harari). Sometimes, memory is like flipping through infinite
pages (Yoonshin Park). Memory is also a past reimagined, a
psychological non-place where we, as passersby, formalize our
latent impulses (Chloe Munkenbeck), walk the labyrinth of our
trauma (Becca Thomas), and examine alienation with intimacy
The show itself will also become a memory—your memory.
And we hope it’s briefly remarkable.
Nicky Ni, Vasia Rigou, & John H. Guevara
John H. Guevara is an art organizer and curator raised and based in Chicago. They hold an AA from Harold Washington City College of Chicago and a BA in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. They worked and interned at MOCP, EXPO Chicago, National Museum of Mexican Art, and Mana Contemporary. They have been invited to advise, jury, and workshop at organizations such as Threewalls, culture/Math, Equity Arts, Heaven Gallery, Chicago Art Census, Arts Work Fund, and SAIC. They also did a curatorial research residency at No Lugar Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, Ecuador. With the help of peers, kins, advisors, and friends, they founded and currently direct Chuquimarca, an art library project tasked to gather and share resources related to Native, Caribbean, and Latin American art histories and contemporary art.
Image Description: Installation image of Tu nombre en arroz exhibition with Astro Escudero, Aida Ramirez, and Rosalinda Cabrera at Chuquimarca, Chicago, 2019.
Nicky Ni is a curator and writer living in Chicago. She is currently the Development and Operations Assistant at the Arts Alliance Illinois. She has curated exhibitions or screenings at Conversations at the Edge, Mana Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Photography, 062 Gallery, among others. Additionally, she is co-founder of LITHIUM (2017-19), a Pilsen-based gallery dedicated to time-based art. LITHIUM then became TNL (aka. The Neu Lithium), an online editorial and curatorial platform for time-based and media art. Nicky has written for Newcity, Call for Curators, Chicago Artist Writers and Sixty Inches from Center. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University.
"Is It A Good Time?" was a 72-hour nonstop online screening that took place from March 5 to 7, 2021, featuring 33 artists from all over the world residing in the United States. Co-curated by Maryam Faridani and Nicky Ni, the exhibition aimed to address pertinent bio-political issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to reflect on the prolonged period of time under the lockdown in 2020.
Greek-born Vasia Rigou is a writer, editor, and curator. She grew up to appreciate art after years of carefully planned, culture-filled travel itineraries and museum-hopping around Europe with her family. Much of her work writing about visual art, culture, architecture and design, can be found at Newcity, Chicago’s leading culture publication, where she serves as editor. She also regularly contributes to the Chicago Reader and to international magazines OnOffice and ICON. Her curatorial practice focuses on ideas of identity, intimacy and belonging, which she currently explores through the Chicago Artists Coalition’s HATCH residency program. Her work can be found at rigouvasia.com.
Image: Horizon, untitled #5, 2015. This piece is part of a series of 7 photographs, showcasing the horizon blending into the frozen lake landscape.
Becca Thomas is a queer, autistic, sick & disabled interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Through the medium of fiber in combination with other methods such as video, performance, photography, and sound, they navigate channels to explore identity and unsettle oppressive, hegemonic societal norms.
Their practice is a celebratory reclamation of their sick body and neurodivergent mind, which fall under intense medical and societal scrutiny. They employ the somatic experience of fiber as a means of nervous system regulation and sensory exploration. Their work is founded on the tenants of radical access, care, and interdependence through the lens of disability justice.
Becca earned their MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and their BFA from Indiana University.
Image: Becca Thomas, rethink reality, search for the self, 2019, site adjusted installation: cotton, polyester, synthetic dye, found fabric, thread, silkscreen ink, poly-fil, foam, paint, spray paint, crt-tv, HD video, sound, lavender rice, dimensions variable
Breanna Robinson (b. Chicago, 1995) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago, IL. Working with a variety of processes including printmaking, collage, drawing, and coding, her projects tend to take shape through a mix of hand + digital renderings and image manipulation. Prevalent themes in her work include nostalgia (and time, broadly), femininity, media and technology in the context of Black American culture, history, and traditions.
She earned a BFA with emphasis in printmedia from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017, and has shown work in Chicago, New York, and Berlin, Germany.
Photo: Jacob King
Image: Breanna Robinson, Luella, 2021, Silkscreen with mohair embellishment, 17 x 22 in.
Image photo: Kate Bowen
Chloe Munkenbeck is an artist and architect from London, UK. Currently based in Chicago, her work examines architectural structures as both metaphor and medium to unpack the social codes of conduct which the built environment dictates.
In tandem with her artistic practice, Chloe works as a designer for architecture and design research office, Future Firm. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh.
Image: Chloe Munkenbeck, Carnal Restraints: His&Hers
Eseosa Edebiri was born and raised in Northern California. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now resides in Chicago.
Edebiri's work reflects an interest in autonomy and thoughts on intergenerational trauma while having a slight cheeky playfulness to it. She has a very tactile side to her practice, exploring touch and accessibility, aiming to create worlds and build settings as well. Giving representation to BIPOC is often present, all too often those stories are told after they've passed. We continue to see instances of police brutality and Edebiri aims to touch on those losses without desensitizing us to the trauma of it all, sharing sparks of joy and fleeting happiness that they do experience while they're alive.
Image: Eseosa Edebiri, Akugbe Series (from left to right):
Akugbe; Iyobọ Reaching, handmade latch hook rug, 2020, 3 x 4.5 ft
Kia Kukpe; Coming Together, handmade latch hook rug, 2021, ~5 x 6 ft
Akugbe; No Re Eha “Unity of Trinity” – Encompassing Togetherness, handmade latch hook rug, 2019, 4 x 5.5 ft
James Hosking’s work explores underseen communities and archives, particularly of LGBTQ+ people, and principally themes of identity and intimacy. His practice has expanded from photography and film to archival collage. His Beautiful By Night photo series and documentary film, about three older drag performers in San Francisco, was featured at the Tenderloin Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and in a 2022 solo exhibition at the University of Michigan. His work has screened internationally and appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, and other publications. His recent collage work is viewable at http://jameshosking.com/collages.
Jessica Ferrer is a Chicago-based artist and writer. She explores forms of tacit knowledge and meditation through weaving, text, video, and sound.
Her work lives in the homes of friends, family, and acquaintances. It has been shown at the Woman Made Gallery, the Chicago Public Library, and the Gund Gallery. She received her BA in Studio Art and English from Kenyon College in 2017.
Image: Jessica Ferrer, Triptych (Center), 2021. Cut and woven paper. 20” x 16”.
Josué Esaú Romero Velasquez was born in Honduras, raised in San Antonio, and currently lives in Chicago. He works through sculpture, archiving, and various media to confront the implications of being undocumented in this country, searching for ways to ground safety, home, and legacy for himself and the communities he loves. Josué holds a BFA from the Southwest School of Art, and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago.
Image: Josué Esaú Romero Velasquez, AJQ’IJ • (Daykeeper), 18.104.22.168.2, Copper, Enamel, Lens.
Luis Rodríguez Rosario is a Puerto Rican artist residing in Chicago with a BFA in Image and Design from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico and a MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has participated in several exhibitions within Puerto Rico and the United States of America, such as the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Museo Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española, The Driehaus Museum and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
Image: Luis Rodríguez Rosario, Cacao...la materia prima que brinda placer y desgracia, 2019, MDF, particleboard, Plaster cylinders, pigmented hydrocal, urethane resin with stone cast.
María Villaseñor-Marchal is a Latinx and Indigenous artist and educator who melds traditional craft techniques—beading, weaving and embroidering—with fashion design to create abstract, woven and fully felted work that confronts issues of identity, trauma, social justice and the environment. Upon graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago she established an independent studio in Evanston, IL. She has also built a sustainable arts practice in collaboration with a network of fiber farms, which allows her to focus her work on the cultivation and care of animals and plants indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. Her thesis, “To Be Felt,” was honored with a solo exhibition at Facility (Chicago, IL). Her work can be found at studiomavm.com.
Image: María Antonia Villaseñor-Marchal, BLACK + CROSS, 2021, Churro wool, alpaca wool, Navajo angora wool, Silk. 5’ X 7’
Mariel Harari is an interdisciplinary artist working in fiber, installation, performance, video, fashion and sculpture. Grounded in laborious processes and bright, soft, (humorous?) and tactile surfaces, her work contains, consumes, purges, adorns, revels in, plays with, memorizes, escapes, excavates and comforts.
Harari has been awarded residencies at Annas Projects, High Concept Labs, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been featured in publications including Brooklyn Magazine and Sixty Inches From Center. She has exhibited and performed throughout New York, Chicago and Miami. Harari was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Image: Mariel Harari, Bitter Root, 2018, Videostill from installation-based stop motion animation, detail featuring Cow Flowers (large scale, mixed media sculptures), Radishes (clay, paint, beads) and Forest Floor (yarn), 3:03 min.
SUNGJAE LEE (He/they) is a Seoul-born, Chicago-based artist who makes performance, installation, text, and video. He received his B.F.A. in Sculpture from Seoul National University in 2014, during which time he discovered his deep interest in immaterial and time-based mediums.
To further develop his practice as a performance artist, he pursued his M.F.A. in Performance Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated in 2019. Throughout his residing in the States, his practice has centered on the need for visibility and representation of queer Asians in a Western context. His work has been presented globally in South Korea, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, and the US.
Image: SUNGJAE LEE, Temporal Chest Hair (thinking of Valie Export), 2019-2020, Durational performance (until donated hair fully covers artist's chest). Photo: Ji Yang.
Yoonshin Park is a Chicago based multimedia artist, curator, and educator working with sculptural papers, artist books, and installations. Her interest in the comprehensive process of papermaking and bookbinding caters her work to encompass various elements woven into complete objects. She often uses her experience as a foreign transplant to question space and its implications in defining one's identity as the inspiration behind her work.
She received her M.A. and M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and reviewed by TimeOut Chicago and Sculpture Magazine.
Park was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently resides in Chicago, IL.
Image: Yoonshin Park, Absent whispers, 2021, Handmade paper (hanji), ink, thread, fabric, 18 ½” (w) x 24” (h) x 2” (d) each (2 panels)
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