Shifting Locales

September 24, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

So may have noticed that we aren’t posting quite as often as we used to. That’s because we’ve moved to a new site for a day-to-day blog updates. To that end, you should check out the lantern daily! While we might still post here from time to time, the bulk of our thoughts will be contained on our new blog. Which is very exciting indeed.

posted by Caroline Picard

Here is article I wrote about shamanism. It’s actually about shamanism as it was depicted in an exhibit in an apartment gallery over the summer. In some way that show became a vehicle for me to think about whether or not it is possible for a Contemporary (Urban? Though I’m not sure that makes a difference…) American can appropriate/incorporate shamanic practice (though shamanic could stand in for any kind of ritualistic practice embedded in another culture) without sacrificing a degree of potency or, in this case, collapsing under ironic influences….I don’t know. I feel like it’s dangerous to draw a conclusion wherein one’s access to foreign cultural understanding is limited, but it seems just as dangerous to assume that one is capable of fully understanding a community (particularly it’s spiritual habit) by virtue of possessing/recreating its signifiers. The latter feels a little imperial. The former could lead to the celebration of biggots. Neither is ideal.

Regardless, you can read the essay by going here.

Hey, we’re really excited about the next show we have opening at Green Lantern Gallery, hope you can join us.

Future Shock
Curated by Abigail Satinsky
Opening Reception, October 1, 7 – 10 pm
October 1 – November 13, 2010
2542 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6 pm

Artists: Brandon Alvendia, Conrad Bakker, Edie Fake, Library of Radiant Optimism, People Powered, Red 76, Randall Szott


Borrowing its title from sociologist Alvin Toffler’s 1970 bestseller, Future Shock is a group exhibition of artists examining yesterday’s dreams of tomorrow. Toffler warned that society was experiencing too much change in too short a time, hurtling towards an overwhelmingly technocratic future. Some of his loopy apprehensive futurism has proven correct. Today, thanks to telecommunications and the Internet, we have even more anxieties about the large amounts of historical information to dig through and a lack of a method for comparing and processing different kinds of information. Toffler’s utopian dream for technology as a tool to build a more decent democratic and humane society is still an active question. This exhibition will bring together a group of artists and thinkers who are surveying the information overload of the present and assembling creative libraries to understand how radical countercultural histories and utopian futures exist uncomfortably in the present.

Brandon Alvendia continues his Silver Galleon Press project with a new publication “Little Brother” by renowned novelist, journalist and copy-left activist Cory Doctorow. Conrad Bakker’s Untitled Project: SELF HELP is a small-scale lending library comprised of carved and painted self-help paperbacks from the 1970’s. Edie Fake’s City of Night is a series of drawings combating the erasure of local queer history by paying homage to buildings that historically served as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered social spaces in Chicago. The Library of Radiant Optimism brings together a selection of how-to books documenting cultural practices from the founding and maintenance of communal living spaces and growing your own organic garden, to early sustainable design initiatives and home birthing. Recalling some of the political struggles and utopist visions contemporary to Future Shock, People Powered presents a selection of artist and activist manifestos from 1965-1975, examining the original design and graphic styles of the printed matter as an integral part of their message. Red76’s Follow the Light. Let the Light be Your Guide is equal parts lighthouse and library, featuring a collective archive and reading group of radiant political texts and a spotlight in the gallery that becomes brighter as texts accumulate. Randall Szott’s collection of copies of Future Shock books gathered at thrift stores displays what he calls “one of North America’s most discarded books.”

***
Founder of the Silver Galleon Press, an experimental publishing project, Brandon Alvendia is an artist, educator, publisher, and independent curator living and working out of Chicago. He attended the School of the Art Institute (BFA ’03) and University of Illinois in Chicago (MFA ’07). Encompassing a variety of media, his work often features and supports the efforts of other artists. His website can be found at http://www.alvendia.net

Conrad Bakker lives and works out of Urbana, Illinois. Bakker’s ongoing Untitled Projects engage a variety of social, institutional, and consumer contexts, utilizing humor, contextual awareness, formal play, interventionist strategies, and imperfect carving and painting techniques. Bakker has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at Tate Modern (London) Galerie Analix Forever (Geneva), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (Chicago), Fargfabriken Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture (Stockholm), The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (Saratoga Springs), The Blanton Musuem of Art (Austin), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Art in General (New York City), Revolution (Detroit), Bona Fide (Chicago), Suitable (Chicago), Lora Reynolds Gallery (Austin), Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, The Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Program, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, in mailboxes and on his front lawn.

Edie Fake was born in Chicagoland in 1980 and has lived and exhibited all over the place. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 2002 and has since clocked time in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Baltimore. He returned to Chicago, where he currently lives and works, after the converted school bus he lived on broke down. His visual art work, dealing heavily with the confluence of love and fury in queer utopian visions, has been shown at LACE in Los Angeles, Dumbo Arts Center in Brooklyn, and the Nikolaj Museum in Copenhagen. He was one of the first recipients of Printed Matter’s Awards for Artists and his drawings have been included in Hot and Cold and LTTR. His first book, Gaylord Phoenix, will be published this December by Secret Acres and his next large project, drawings for a gay history map, recently won a Critical Fierceness Grant for queer art in Chicago.

The Library of Radiant Optimism is Bonnie Fortune and Brett Bloom. Bonnie Fortune is an artist, writer, and educator. When not collaborating as Let’s Re-make, her work is invested in collecting personal narratives to explore issues of environmentalism, feminism, and social support networks. Brett Bloom is addicted to collaborative work. In addition to Let’s Re-Make, he works with the group Temporary Services that runs a publishing imprint and online store Half Letter Press. Let’s Re-Make allows Brett to investigate the exciting intersections of art, ecology, social justice and transformative creativity

People Powered designs experimental pilot programs that integrate art, environmentalism, and communities. By presenting these projects in exhibitions and public locations in the city, People Powered creates a platform for discussing how these practices may intersect. Most recently, People Powered presented their Manifesto project at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN.

Beginning in Portland, Oregon, in 2000, Red76 is now a nationwide network of artists, musicians, and activists who create projects that focus on ways that knowledge is produced and the myriad forms it takes. The collective’s endeavors, ranging from the operation of a month-long free clothing store and potluck restaurant on a loading dock in Portland (Ghosttown, 2006) to the episodic publishing a journal on radical histories (Journal of Radical Shimming), are designed to foster—and provoke—discussion and actions in public space.

Randall Szott is not “based” anywhere. When not working on his bio or vitae, he alternates between life in Oak Park, Illinois and various locations along the coastline of the southeastern United States on the largest US owned hopper dredge. His life is a series of three-week cycles on land and three at sea. He believes himself to be the only cook in the merchant marine with an MA in Interdisciplinary Art and an MFA in Art Critical Practices. He has presented his work at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California College of the Arts, and The Skydive (Houston), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh) and The Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus). Szott frequently creates his own venues – Concept Trucking, placekraft, LeisureArts, and perhaps the only legitimate one – He Said, She Said. He has collaborated with InCUBATE, Public Collectors, Nancy Zastudil (Studiolo54), and The Public School. He is co-founding editor of 127 Prince, a journal of social practice

***
The Green Lantern Gallery & Press is a 501(c)3 non-profit gallery and paperback press dedicated to the study, presentation, and archive of contemporary art practice. The Green Lantern Gallery develops thematic exhibitions, artist projects, and public programs around the idea of artists’ research, highlighting creative inquiry, experimental processes, and explorations into social and political engagement. Committed to forming independent and sustainable models for the distribution and presentation of noncommercial contemporary art, the nonprofit Gallery and Press is partnered with the for-profit Paper Cave Bookstore and Corpse Performance Space under the umbrella of Lantern Projects in order to explore different possibilities to support artists and our local creative community. More at thegreenlantern.org.

A Lesson in Stealing

September 14, 2010

posted by caroline picard

what follows in an excerpt from erica adam’s book: on the mutation of fortune (due out via green lantern press this spring!!)

a lesson in stealing

Listen: the doll I stole was thumb size, and had the face of a fox. We had been playing in a basement crowded with boxes, and I held the doll in my fist as I went upstairs to the bathroom. I shoved the doll in my cotton underwear and my mother called for us to go home. I stood under an oak tree, felt the rub of the small doll.

I took the doll, the little fox decked in a christening gown and bonnet, and gave it to my godmother. She lived across the street. She put the doll in a wooden cradle large enough to rock a real child. It lay on the cushion, its face a small mark in the sea of white.
But it was not enough. When the moon was a fat lamp in the sky, I went to my mother in a nightgown struck with tears. I sobbed my story. She made me telephone my godmother, and I spooled the cord around my finger, winding it with every unanswered ring. When I hung up, my finger had darkened into the blue of a dead infant.

In the morning, I knocked on the door of my godmother’s house. Again, there was no answer.
My mother said, You must give one of your dolls. Put it there, on her doorstep.
I had only one. It was the size of my palm, a little brown bear in a yellow dress. A surrogate mother to the child I had stolen. I gave that one.

Then I had none.

Prepping books

September 6, 2010

posted by caroline picard

Things are getting closer. Of course it’s still months from the point of releasing books to the public, but I’m almost finished laying out/proofing Fiction at Work–a collection of flash fiction culled from the online journal of the same name. And I’m due for the last edits of Erica’s On The Mutation of Fortune; I’m about halfway through the layout process on that one. Kordian is also almost finished and Amira’s text, Forgery, is ready for layout. And bam. There it is. Probably means we’ll release these books early next year. Hopefully, hopefully in the new space.

The space that does not, as yet, exist. I was looking at a space over in Logan Square pretty seriously. It looked amazing, a three story building with a substantial storefront. The basement, as it turns out, was almost entirely saturated with water: meaning the wooden support beams were 92% wet. The inspector had a yellow hand-held contraption with two little prongs that flipped out upon the depression of a button. When inserted into wood, they measured the water therein. So onward, yet again.

Of course I’m worried about how long it might actually take to get a space. Every single dream I’ve had this summer has involved some aspect of architecture. So much so, that I’ve almost convinced myself that all my dreams must be that way, about architecture. In the meantime, though, we’re doing great work, devising strategies to support the gallery via fundrasising, and of course the public programs and exhibits start this week. And soon, soon the bookstore will be live, on-line as well…

More updates to come.

Updates and Changes

August 30, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

So–as of September 1st, the blog is going to change it’s format. I will no longer be posting as often as I have been. Instead there will be different days for different bloggers. It will (eventually) change it’s name to the Lanter Daily. Like our website, there are a number of changes going on. Which is super exciting. In the meantime, and until Wednesday I’m going to sign  off.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sorting the often-random excerpts, postings and links that I have so far provided. I’ve loved this aspect of the project. I am nevertheless thrilled about it’s new incarnation. The idea is this new version will only talk about things going on in the space, or tanjential aspects of the space (for instance, we anticipate there being artist interviews, and articles pretaining to them, or to the books we sell etc). So. Hang on to your hats. And stay tuned.

All the best,

Caroline

These Are Not My Memories

August 28, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

I could have sworn that I’d already posted this, but then I couldn’t find it…

posted and written by caroline picard

After The Death of Her Mother, Before The Death of Barry:

Upon the death of their mother, Lydia’s brother and sister, her aunt and uncle and cousins too-everyone went hunting the witchcraft-substance, scaring it out with sticks and brooms, lighting skirts on fire to see whether or not they burned, pointing fingers, whispering on the phone, examining one another, taking notes, conferring behind backs, begging the pendulum, asking pyschics and crystals and giants from the fifth dimension, so her family pointed back and forth and back and forth, a crossfire over their mother’s grave: Who has inherited her slick black gut juice?
In this version of the story, they cut the corpse posthumously: to see the juice came oozing out her spleen—just like it did with their mother’s mother.
And then they ate the body.

Poor, poor narcissists. Poor feeble and trembling, women with bended knees, quaking old women with unsteady tea-colored and small eyes, victims of their own miserable decisions.

Terrified she might contain what it was they sought, Lydia ran away.

They say this substance inhabits the lower intestines. They say if you slice the belly open, examine that intestine and you will see see see. A ball of greaazzsie dark matter like crude oil. A beady mass, by which the quaking witch-craft women, bend their knees and light, like candles, to light the dark of their loneliness.

Lydia fled to camp.
Having lived with lost boys, the boys became a surrogate family and she became wild and her hair grew long, the hair of her vaginal regions was long and glossy, unkempt, matted, it hung its own beard between her legs. She fornicated, feral like a weasel, a rat: a wild and ruddy thing, pleasing in ecstacy as she was weary and dull next day.
She had thick and dirty ankles.
She turned into a bear.
Rar rar RAR!

posted and written by caroline picard

the continuation…

The Witch-craft Substance

It is the shit of interior, parasitic birds. It is impossible to pass, save for some small gut-letting experiments. It is a valuable substance. It gives its possessor profound insight, but those insights are unstable in so far as it is impossible for the posessor to comprehend them objectively. The possessor of witch-craft substance will always think of him or herself first. While she may possess great insight into those around her, she devises strategies to use that insight for personal gain and as such is always a lonely person. She does not comprehend the fundamental divide between self and other.

The witch-craft substance is very potent. It’s potency depends on the number of generations it has been passed through a particular family line. While it is generally past through the female side, there are times when mothers pass it onto sons as well. The most potent strain of the witch-craft substance is attributed to the Gönskart family which recorded the phenomena in 1521 and has continued to pass through subsequent generations ever since. Although the substance must go through a complicated rendering process before it is useful, it is highly desired amongst those few who know of it but do not generate it themselves.

It is almost always confused with love, whether that be love for the self or love for another. This is a lie, however. It is a necessary technique in order that the witch-craft substance find new hosts to perpetuate itself, and in order to find those hosts communities in which to live. Until it is rendered, it is a highly toxic substance.

Some applications include: psychic poison, fuel, hallucinatory visioning, hallucinatory projection, concentration, painlessness and deceit. While those who posess the witch-craft substance are able to manifest all of the above in smaller, more intuitive applications, they do not have to render their material, tend to have less control of its outcome and, often, are unconcsoius of its use. Further, results of a hosts using their witchcraft substance are, generally, of a much lesser magnitude than those who harvest and render the material.

posted and written by caroline picard

something i’m working on/messing around with….

When someone dies you adopt what they didn’t finish.

Upon the death of her biological mother, Lydia inherited many ghosts—the ghost of her mother, the ghost of her mother’s mother, the ghosts of her mother’s mother’s mother. The influence of these spirits led to any number of confusing interior sentiments. Upon the death of her biological mother, Lydia was pulled in many invisible directions.

Nevertheless, she had felt the ghosts before her mother died—hanging around like buzzards in the hospital room. As Lydia trimmed her mother’s fingernails, she felt the ghost of her grandmother fanning herself on the spare, plastic chair in the corner. Her grandmother felt to be bored. The aura of her boredom permeated the room in pyschic waves that were, surprisingly, deflected by Lydia’s own physiological impression. Lydia was aware of imprinting something new on her mother’s consciousness—her mother who lay, prone, suffering. The sweet old bat was skeletal beyond recognition with feet too-large and pigeon-toed and numb; her head looked giant in proportion; her belly swollen with lymphatic fluid; her lungs they cried like mawing cats when she breathed, filling as they were every hour with more lymphatic fluid.

Grandmother Ghost sat still in a yellow suit, nyloned legs in black pumps tucked up under, unmoved, chewing gum, ripe with perfume.

Her daughter needed and needed and needed and Lydia saw all the hungry holes in her mother’s heart, riddled as it was with starving toothy mouths, each one whining it wanted to so bad badly. Because the ghost-mother never fed them, not one of those mouths—
hahaha
no no no
That dear grandmama: instead she had long ago planted the seeds of those many mouths in her baby’s heart. She planted them when Lydia’s mother was a little girl, before Lydia was born.

How? you ask.
When the child has reached the age of two, slice into the lower part of your gut, just above the ovary, in the lower intestine. Cut beyond the epidermal, past the muscle. Collect the pitch blood in a glass jar. Stored in the fridge, it’ll keep many days. Over the course of the child’s second year, you are to put a teaspoon of this coagulated paste in each and every meal.

The paste is full of small parasitic eggs. These eggs travel to the child’s heart and one out of one million will roost there, hatch and graft onto the child’s heart. They are eternally ravenous, impossible to sate. They feed off the bloodstream, intervening at the place between the left hand (where energy is drawn into the body) and the right hand (where energy is put out). They feed off that energy. In feeding they desire more. They shit into the blood stream. Their shit collects in the lower intestine, where, over the years it ferments and bubbles. The residue of that pitch steam intoxicates the interior mind, enhancing intuition and self-deception.
Like her grandmother, her mother had a hungry hungry thing for a heart.

Good thing Lydia had bits of bread in her pocket and she fed the little mouths of her mother’s heart over and over and over again, placing these small bits of bread—a little wet and spongy—she placed them in her mother’s left hand where the body drank them through the epidermal layer, into the bloodstream—to the heart.
Additionally, Lydia sat still, lullabied, pet, spoon-fed, consoled, wiped the sick from the brow of her beloved. Tenderness. Patience. Separation.

Those things she’d learned from the man she visited in the dark room, the one who sat with her as she wept under blindfolds. The secret man. He had given her a purse full of breadcrumbs.

The ghost of Lydia’s grandmother was not tender, but sat in the corner in a yellow dress, younger than Lydia had ever seen her, the ghost sat blowing stray hair out of her face, waiting for her daughter to die. She often sighed, and sometimes disappeared entirely.

When her mother urinated the room went rank with the smell of gasoline.