September 23, 2010
Busy and exciting first weekend for the Corpse Performance Space @ The Green Lantern. First up, on Friday, The Open Secret series. Curated by Brian Wallace and Joni Murphy, the Open Secret is a series of performances and talks and readings involved in investigating ideas of artistic ecology. Recent SAIC MFA’er and Chances maven Ethan A. White gave the first presentation and, as you can see above, had a bit of hard time–he lost his notes and ended up having to dig through his computer all to leave us with the above moment: the embarrassment of the desktop picture. White’s performance began with this simple “mistake” and ended up devolving into a discussion and fight with a cardboard cut-out of himself: how does the artist move from the institution of the MFA to the institution of the gallery and, in tandem, the institution of work? White’s talk/performance suggested the importance of receding from the research-based practice of the classroom to re-think the always and already stereotypically bare, flippant, performative gesture of removing one’s clothes. White’s performance became less about the artistic ecology suggested by the curatorial notes of The Open Secret and instead concentrated on the importance of inward movement.
Readings of Author’s Not Present followed from yours truly, Malcolm Sutton (who you can see below, laughing through Breton, and Brian, Joni, and an audience member. The first film screening of the Open Secret is this Saturday (Apartment by Marina Roy).
Saturday night, Marc Riordan showed up with a band of rowdy improvisors for the Now It’s Dark series. Here’s a photo of him introducing everybody:
I’ve been really excited about this series–improvised scores to experimental movies–and Marc delivered an amazing set of both. He blogged about the experience here and asks pretty much every question I had about the night:
“Is everybody playing in service to the movies? To each other? Or are the movies being screened in service to the music? To the performers? This ambiguity was in part the intent of this first performance, and reflects a central issue in improvised music, and one that comes up less in traditional filmmaking: how do we judge the success of a collaborative piece? The answer, of course, will vary depending on which collaborator you ask.”
I’ve uploaded an excerpt from the night here. It’s the soundtrack for Michelle Harris’ Boat, an amazing still shot of a warehouse on a dock. The light from the warehouse–split into windows–is reflected onto the dark water, reminding me of level meters on a mixing board. As disruptions passed through the scene–a boat, birds, a man driving machinery–these levels distorted and flickered and eventually returned to static nobility. A fascinating piece that the musicians did well with. The next Now It’s Dark happens on October 29th.
September 7, 2010
Hello! this is my first blog post as the Gallery Director at Green Lantern. We’re really excited about our opening this Saturday September 11 from 7-10 pm for David Moré’s show Normal Bias. For each exhibition we’re putting together a publication that will include things like interviews, essays, and documentation of artists’ projects. Here’s our interview with David, the rest of the publication will be available for download from the website starting Saturday. See you this weekend at our new location, 2542 W. Chicago Ave. And we’ll have open hours next week from Tuesday through Saturday 12-6 pm. Yea, we’re opening! -Abby
A conversation between David Moré, Caroline Picard and Abigail Satinsky.
AS: So let’s start by talking about when you began making instruments.
DM: Probably six or seven years ago?
AS: You were drawing before that right?
DM: Yeah. I think I kind of I came to a realization that “I’m drawing or painting just so I can hang out in my studio and listen to records. That’s real dumb.” I’ve also had this kind of uncomfortable relationship, as far as being a cultural producer, I would go to more shows and buy more records than I did books or go to art galleries. And I actually had an instructor who brought that up and said something like, “You kids buy so many CDs, when was the last time you bought a really good book about artists?” And I think it’s a pretty common thing. But yeah, I’m not a musician. Even though it seems like I should maybe try to be, it seems like the format of being in a band and having this relationship where there’s an audience and you’re presenting your music and asking for peoples’ time is not a natural thing for me. And I’ve played instruments before, so I don’t think it’s a patience issue of whether I should just sit down and learn to play the cello.
CP: Do you think it’s weird to think of these homemade instruments as being your medium? It seems like there is a difference between an artist that works with painting and pens and charcoal versus a musician. But then it also seems like you’re using these acoustic tools as a traditional artist would pens or charcoal.
DM: Yeah that’s nice because I occupy a difficult in-between place. You can’t really play a song on a spring and a piece of wood, but you can produce this other kind of thing and that’s what led to this project [sound portraits]. Thinking “Hey I should find a context for these things I do.” You can’t do like a Beethoven cover record on styrofoam.
CP: Can you talk about how you found or came upon this context of making sound portraits in the gallery?
DM: Well it originated from when Temporary Services did the Fair at UIC’s Gallery 400 and I got asked to do something. And so the fair was mostly people presenting publications or other things they had made or that were easily salable. And so I thought, “Fair, hmm, it’s called Fair. Maybe you can get your portrait done like you do at fairs, like a caricature. Cool, yeah! Audio portraits! Yeah that’s a great idea!” So I took this opportunity at Green Lantern to see if I could expand on it. And like you said, now I have more space to move around…
AS: How did you think it worked at Gallery 400?
DM: It was OK, it was fun. I think it worked alright because it was one day in a really cramped space. I definitely think that doing it at the Fair involved relating to an initiated audience. People knew they were going to an art fair. But here, [at The Green Lantern] I’ve been able to get people who are just passing by. And that’s some what interests me. The way I can relate to them, like “I do this kind of weird thing but what do y’all think, what is this music?”
AS: That’s interesting to me that you say the people at the fair would be the initiated and the people that would walk into the gallery aren’t. Because even though we are testing out ways to be something other than a totally traditional gallery space, for most people this is definitely a gallery. There are a bunch of objects on display that they’re going to look at and judge.
DM: But I don’t think this place is obviously a gallery yet and that’s the sense I get from people coming in like, “Wait, so what is this…?”
AS: Right, we’re still in a state of ambiguity…
DM: …and so it’s only a temporary gallery and you’re going to move in January..
CP: …the space right now is full of plants and furniture and curious tables with unusual homemade instruments…
DM: I also kind of like and hate when people ask what I’m doing. I don’t really know but I’m going to try it first and then try to figure out. That process can be pretty infuriating, but it’s also nice because ultimately I might learn something. It feels like an actual experiment.
AS: Well it’s an experiment but there’s also parameters. The participants know where to sit, how long it’s going to take, etc. Which actually, I feel, is really helpful in a lot of ways in terms of getting people to feel comfortable if they know what the parameters of the space they’re occupying because these instruments are such curiosities too.
CP: I agree. It’s interesting with this portraiture set up that people have so many expectations about what their portrait is going to look like. And then I think that there’s also this tendency to read into how somebody describes you as to whether or not they like you or they think you’re a good person or they think you’re attractive. And I think that by making this soundscape the result is already so abstract that it seems to cut a lot of that stuff out, or at least make it very transparent, you know, because you’re like “Whoa there was that weird squealing sound I wonder if it means that David thinks I’m depressed.” And then you’re like, “What am I doing? That’s idiotic. It’s just a sound. ”
AS: Yeah when I see people come in and sit in the chair, they feel special. It’s even true when I was sitting there, I thought, this is just for me. And it reminds me also of another portrait experience. When I was ten, I went to New Orleans with my family. I got my portrait drawn in the touristy part in town. I remember it didn’t look anything like me and I was so disappointed because I felt like I had just sat there for so long! Somehow I thought the portrait would explain something about me, like it would be the window into my soul or something. And then actually getting it and thinking, “Oh you didn’t get me at all!” That is so sad! I don’t even know what happened to the drawing itself, but I remember vividly the expectation of the portrait to really be me and then realizing that that fleeting encounter failed miserably.
DM: Yeah I have never sat for a portrait like that but I imagine that it would be like the expectation of a kind of truth about yourself which is, I mean, that’s nuts! But maybe it’s a mistake that I’ve entered into making people’s portraits using audio. But I’ve been working on it and actually trying to give it a shot and find some parameters and maybe there’s some way you can gauge like, wow you’ve actually got me! Some people sitting have said “Oh wow that’s actually pretty accurate! You were right on there.” And they’re joking a little bit but there is something there. The idea of someone sitting there making abstract noises and then someone else relating those to their life is actually a pretty wild idea.
CP: Can you talk more about your selection of sounds?
DM: One of my concerns is drawing attention to everyday sounds. I think that is a common theme that there’s all these interesting sounds going on around us and if we start paying attention to them, it can be a really fulfilling experience. I can also make the analogy of when I was drawing a still life or an object or a friend, it would really change your relationship to the person or to the object just because you’re so intensely looking at your subject. You can kind of get the same thing just by walking around with a tape recorder and anytime you click it on, you’re paying attention to everything that’s happening around you. I had a really sweet experience a couple of years ago. I was walking around in Havana with this guy, and during a power outage, I said I wanted to make a recording of a generator. When I switched the recorder on he was quiet and when I was done he said, “That was so amazing, as soon as you turned that thing on I just noticed all the amazing street sounds and generative sounds just from taking this walk in this darkened city.” Focusing on surrounding sounds can be a really rich experience.
I want there to be a lot of humor involved too. Yesterday for one of the portraits I took a cymbal and I was bowing it in the bathroom. It was really really loud but at least there was this spatial difference in the sound. Also, with a lot of the work I’m interested in doing, sound doesn’t have to come from two speakers, even though that’s the way a lot of people perceive it.
The only thing I guess I don’t know how it’s going to end. There is going to be a formal gallery opening and I am collecting all the portraits. They are definitely a gift, they are a gift for the person whose portrait I took.
But I am also recording them all digitally and I’m going to have an archive. So on a personal level a lot of the project is getting composition ideas because you have to improvise on the spot to see what these people sound like, right? The project is kind of like a big exercise for me.
CP: Does that mean that over the course of a day before you come into the studio, you think about different sort of compositional progressions?
DM: Well, I think the project potentially builds a more efficient process to describe what someone sounds like which sounds like a completely ridiculous idea. But it is kind of good to make your brain do this thing that doesn’t really make any sense. Just to see if it comes up with anything else, a solution to this ridiculous problem.
May 26, 2009
May 11, 2009
posted by Young Joon
NFO XPO took place three weeks ago…
Shannon Gerard’s installation at the Green Lantern booth consisted of a wall installation of small knit boobs and dinks of various colors, wearable boobs and a dink and an instructional video and booklets for practicing checking oneself for lumps.
all of the boobs and dinks have a little hard pea-sized lump.
Oh, I get it…
This is Jeroen Kuster. I originally met him at last year’s NFO XPO, and it was awesome to see him again this year.
Here’s a shot of one of his pieces at the fair. Check out more of his artwork here.
May 8, 2009
Posted and written by
Hey y’all. The Art Chicago and Next art fairs took place last weekend at the Merchandise Mart. You know what that means…MAKEOVERS!
I wanted to share some pictures from the No-Coast booth at Next, where the makeovers took place, and where B-E-A-U-T-Y WAS BEGOTTEN:
This group of young kids came by, and the girls dared some of the boys to subject themselves to a makeover. The boys kept insisting that they weren’t gay, nor did they want to ‘look gay’ after their makeover. This left me puzzled– What’s gay about beauty? What makes them think I’m gay? Is it because I’m beautiful? Yup, that must be it.
‘Til next time,
May 2, 2009
Posted by Nick Sarno
Our very own Caroline Picard was written about in the most recent edition of Newcity! Look at what they had to say:
“Help us DIY,” reads a promo sticker for Green Lantern, Caroline Picard’s non-profit art gallery, which also happens to be her apartment. Caroline’s been doing “it,” and doing it well, for several years now. She’s a gallerist, fiction writer, comics ‘zine maker, publisher of the small-edition imprint Green Lantern Press and singer in the band Thee Iran Contras. In order to do all these things, she says, “I resigned myself to the fact that I’m not an artist”—although she is indeed an artist. Her latest paintings are portraits in a Cubist style of characters from an in-progress novel.
In Caroline’s first novel, 9/11 is used as a setting, such that a woman must make a road trip, as the airports are closed, to visit her ailing father. So, it’s not really about a terrorist attack as much as it chronicles peoples’ lives at a time when terrorist attacks are taking place. Some of the events and conversations are semi-autobiographical, and some are overheard. “Everybody tells stories,” she says, partly revealing her sources. In a way, Caroline is writing contemporary history. This may seem like a paradoxical task, but Caroline is one of the few people I know who’s comfortably situated in the present, and within her generation. She carves her own way, but isn’t fighting against something; she is both fruitfully productive and reflective.
A forthcoming book from Green Lantern Press is a reprint of an 1819 newspaper produced by sailors aboard an ice-bound boat, and is being updated with works of contemporary art and essays. The ice-captive sailors, who opted to write and publish only positive news while on board, and who created theater productions to pass the time, is a bit like an artist-run exhibition space, says Caroline. At some point it’s just something that people do, and then it gathers momentum, and then community and art are born, and it keeps you sane.
Green Lantern, which holds exhibitions, performances, film screenings and author readings, has been under fire from city hall recently for not holding the proper permits, forcing the upcoming May exhibition to be the last at this location. Caroline is seeing the closure optimistically, though, as a chance to regroup, and possibly further integrate the exhibits and the publishing company, and has her eyes set on the fall of 2010. I asked Caroline why it’s necessary, or even possible, to print books on paper in an age of rapidly changing information on the web. She admitted that she’s still working on finding how best to straddle the line between the digestible and the difficult, but favors a “slow digestion”—the healthy, nourishing kind.
Go here to read the rest of the article.
April 22, 2009
You’re everything I wish I could be, giclee print, 24“ x 19”, 2009
Chicago, IL. (April 20, 2009) — From May 9 to June 6, 2009, The Green Lantern Gallery presents In Lieu of Gifts, featuring new works by Los Angeles-based, artist Jenny Walters. For this solo presentation, Walters debuts photographs and video exploring the narrative impact of transformative life events, specifically the durability and mutability of personal identity and their aftermath.
A pervasive sense of feminine desire, vulnerability and desperation links a number of these pieces, but they are also marked by an attraction to universally theatrical gestures and scenarios that signal the complexities of relationships with oneself, others and the future. The installation explores the issues of aging, mortality and performance while presenting visual information that allows the viewer to recognize and share the inherent intimacy in failure. Constructing a sort of psychological anthropology via performance and the photo/video document, Walters recognizes that it is in our failures that we begin to see each other and ourselves and draw closer together. This point of power exchange, in all its manifestations and nuances, drives primal human connections. It is in the crumbling of personal mythologies that a deeper intimacy with her subjects and their possessions occurs.
Evoking a consciousness of nostalgia and absence, Walters’ work probes the idea that identity often exists in a fluid state. It is in this investigation into stages of uncertainty–the doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self—that she so adeptly creates a visual experience of the uncanny or a sense of helplessness evoked by the anxiety of unknown emotions.
Walters’ portraits are characterized by an intimacy and quiet involvement with the subjects and places she selects. While there is an innate awareness of the historical, aesthetic paradigms of portraiture native to her work, she subverts many of the expectations of the form by inserting intentional transgressions in her process. In her new work, she has chosen to construct and show images that capture the truth of unique moments as opposed to presenting a homogenous study over time.
Walters earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 with a focus in video and photography. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions, including Galeria Andre Kermer, Leipzig, Germany and has also been featured in group exhibitions at such venues as Vox Populi, Philadelphia; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; EAST International (a juried exhibition curated by Neo Rauch and Gerde Lybke) at Norwich Gallery, Norwich, England and Jen Bekman Gallery, New York. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
In conjunction with this exhibition Walters is also releasing a limited edition portfolio of photographs.