Go Lily Robert Foley, ARTIST!

December 10, 2008

1

2

3

4

5

6

This is from an exhibition of Lily’s work at la espacia, viewable each evening from the sidewalk on 17th St, between Laflin & Loomis.

–Young Joon

Apartment Galleries #1

December 10, 2008

Uyyy, I’ve been writing a long ass essay for my application to a MA program on the socioeconomics of the apartment gallery and its relation to the institutions of the art world…

I’ve decided to post snippets of this essay, which appropriates chunks of other thinkers’ ideas, in three installments on this dear blog; remember kids, Green Lantern was once an Apartment Gallery!

Young Joon

The democratic forum for free opinion in postwar America expanded to discussions amongst citizens—of art objects that didn’t do anything, and weren’t worth anything, but which were perceived to embody values they held dear enough to argue about and invest in.  This led to what art critic Dave Hickey termed the “Secular Reformation—a return of the Word at the expense of the flesh and a new jihad against idolaters, now guilty of ‘commodification.’”  That is to say, this birthed the modern art world (the social system centered around artistic production and commerce).  Institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago held power in the art world, and promoted tenets on behalf of an ongoing “critique of representation.” As Hickey observes, This drove contemporary art to functioning much like religious art had in the past—promoting social divisions, official policy, and commerce.

Apartment galleries and a plethora of independent art spaces, which now thrive in Chicago, seek to demonstrate against standards of the art world and advocate their own vision of power and beauty; they rose from the alternative discourse of embodied dissent.  Yet, though apartment galleries exist under the rubric of alternative culture, they can still reinforce socioeconomic divisions and reinstitute art world hegemonies: they often perform insularity similar to that which takes place within the art world.  In fact, alternative art spaces often feed into the practices of the very institutions that these spaces initially functioned to criticize—such is the paradox of alternative discourses.

An apartment gallery is a residential apartment that includes an art gallery, with boundaries that are defined by the resident/gallerist.   Artists often start these spaces seeking sustainable modes for displaying their work.  Apartment galleries are often in violation of legal codes and other official statutes.  They are transient, vulnerable to the limits of leases and increases in rent.  Their presence is an act of assertion over a space in which one has very little real control but very much perceived agency.  These are a collective enterprise —a fluctuating network of complex relationships amongst art spaces and negotiations between the tangible dichotomies of artist/community, private/public, alternative/mainstream, and art/domesticity.

Apartment galleries provide alternative models for artistic success, insofar as the most common measure of success within the art world is indoctrination into the cultural institution.  The art institution gives value and meaning to a given artwork, since artworks are created through the subjective experience of the artist.  Without the aura of importance bestowed upon an artwork by the institution, the greater public would be unaware of the work’s significance.  Thus the institution provides an external, authoritative mechanism to substantiate an artwork’s contribution via the general public’s realization of the objective value of an artwork within the larger cultural market.

Cultural institutions perform a distancing act of sorts between social classes despite their pretense of democratic universalism, by stating their positions regarding what art is and how it is to be viewed.  The institutional model for viewing artwork (currently concordant with Kantian aesthetic theory—whereby a certain level of cultural competence is required for the proper experience of art) implies the notion that the less educated—typically those of a lower class—lack the academic qualifications and exposure to aesthetic experiences requisite for properly experiencing art.  The art expert gains cultural capital , through his/her reliance on the institution of art-historical training as the necessary means of gaining the tools for appreciating works of art.  This can be seen as a way by which class inequalities are perpetrated and perpetuated.

Artistic experience functions differently in apartment galleries.  By introducing aesthetic ideas to their neighborhood, they can potentially incite a cultural dialogue with members of their local community.  The presence of an apartment gallery within a residential neighborhood is inherently political; the resident has adopted a position of social agency within a community during a time of increasing widespread isolationism.  Due to the apartment gallery’s close proximity to one’s home, art is introduced into the practice of one’s everyday life.  This can cause one to feel any number of different emotions and thoughts. Be it pride, wonder, antagonism or intrusion, such reactions exemplify art’s social agency. However, the full social potential of an apartment gallery depends on the apartment gallerist and how he/she engages the local community.

lilyespacia

In the case of my apartment gallery, la espacia, the neighborhood is vital to the praxis of the gallery’s inception.    la espacia is located in a street-level apartment of a 2-flat in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, a community predominantly inhabited by working-class Mexican families that made their homes here generations prior to my settling in it.  My entrance into the neighborhood, along with that of the growing number of art students who live in surrounding blocks, and the emergence of an artists’ book store in an old storefront about a block away, are indicative of the gentrification that has begun in the neighborhood.  I chose the three double-pane windows that face the sidewalk as the main mode of reception for art exhibitions because I felt that was the way I could reach the largest and most diverse audience.  I hang artwork on a wall on casters, which I built.  During the day, the wall is kept to one side of the dining room to let light in.  At night the wall is rolled against the window and front lit so that the public can view it.  I conceived this as a sort of site-specific installation wherein conventions of public commercial displays (store window displays, billboards), along with administrative, preparatory, and curatorial practices, became essential elements of this project, and by extension, my artistic practice: the apartment gallery as art studio.
What are the implications of an apartment gallery that is open to the public, but essentially serves the gallerist, him/herself?  Do apartment galleries merely cultivate the personal status, lifestyle and the acquisition of social and cultural capital by the gallerist and artist?  The apartment gallerist explores these and other issues through real-time lived-in experience.
To be continued…

Cool painting

December 3, 2008

this is a work by Peter Hoffman.
It’s a very nice painting; one of many displayed at our first annual fundraiser.

From Green Lantern First Annual Fundraiser

yay!
-Young Joon

Featuring the art of:

Jerome Acks
Marvin Astorga
Carl Baratta
Youni Chae
Greg Cook
Michelle Grabner
Sam Jaffe
Young Joon Kwak
Angee Lennard
Caleb Lyons
Patrick Mcguan
Brian McNearny
Heather Meckkelson
Samia Mirza
Rachel Niffenegger
Angel Otero
Caroline Picard
Kaylee Rae Wyant
Lily Robert Foley
Esteban Schimpf
Chris Schreck
Deb Sokolow
Matt Tetzloff
Jeremy Tinder
Joe Trupia

Check out images here:

Green Lantern First Annual Fundraiser

Amy Mayfield

November 5, 2008

Amy Mayfield

Doog Vs. Live: October 17th-November 15th, 2008

The show is really fun.  The paintings illustrate the poetry of this installation exhibition by artist, Amy Mayfield.  The wall of red books is pretty awesome too.

– Young Joon

La Espacia

November 5, 2008

img_1799I am so happy and hopeful!

xoxo

young joon

The stage is moving:

Paul Cary:

our own Toby Bengelsdorf:

Rodney Lee’s Soul Transfusion:

Dead Gods:

– Young Joon

A Video Tour of La Espacia

October 30, 2008

La Espacia

1437 W 17th St

Chicago, IL

Nightly

– Young Joon

Look what he can do!

October 29, 2008

Francis Alys

Bolero (shoe Shine Blues) and Politics of Rehearsal

till December 14, 2008

@ The Renaissance Society

at the University of Chicago

5811 South Ellis Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

Hours:

T- F: 10-5

Sat, Sun: 12- 5

http://www.renaissancesociety.org

– Young Joon

Looking back on Subprime

October 23, 2008

Subprime at Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival

October 17-19, 2008

The Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival is a delightful event.  One may take the weekend with family or friends with the hope of skimming through a selection of local cultural producers; perhaps purchasing a pretty picture from one of the many charming artists who sit beside their work, warmly greeting passerbys.  Wandering through the many rows of booths in the festival at Plumbers Hall this year, more than a few spectators happened upon the Green Lantern booth, with expressions that read, “What the fuck?”  The ‘what the fuck’ expressions ran the gamut of potential applications for the phrase, and also spanned the spectrum of potentially implied feelings, from bewilderment, aggravation, to sheer joy.

“Subprime,” is the busking installation with a rotating schedule of artists, that we set up in the Green Lantern booth. It was initially inspired by Lily, Sarah, and Marvin, the then- members of “Subprime Mortgage,” who took to busking on the streets for the fun of playing for an audience, more than anything else.  For “Subprime,” the artists who took part were promised a video monitor or two, a bucket for tips, and a mobile stage/painting, which would serve as the platform for the artists’ performances and exhibitions.

Once the stage was set, it was all up to the artists to arrive and do their thing; and all of the artists did in fact arrive, more or less, at their scheduled times, and everyone did their thing marvelously.  Greg Cook exhibited his monument to humanity’s sordid erection.  I showed a video about the connection between the painting/stage, my dad, and Sally Struthers.  Marco Kane Braunschweiler & Martine Syms showed a video of empty Chicago landmark interiors.  Rodney Lee conducted his percussive soul transfusion.  Subprime Mortgage collaborated with David Diarrhea, who was inducted into the group through the course of their performance.  Amanda Browder exhibited her rainbow vomitting gorilla.  Paul Cary crooned amid the hustle and bustle.  Tessa Siddle premiered her powerful performance involving surveillance cameras and 6 chickens. Toby Bengelsdorf read penetrating remarks. The Dead Gods brought their own P.A. and very loudly rocked the fuck out! Todd Mattei showed a contemplative video about football and words. And Ventrilla Kiss closed out the festival with a divalicious drag performance.

Central to the praxis of “Subprime” is the action of artists (and artworks) busking for gratuity(ies) from the audience.  There was certainly a rotating audience (especially after our installation was moved from the original booth to the front entrance of the festival, after causing a ruckus and too many traffic jams), and a few people made their way to “Subprime” numerous times, for different performances/displays.  Each performance/display beckoned spectatorship by the virtues of each artist’s practice.  Cumulatively, over the course of the festival, we made a little more than $10 and a cherry tomato.

It happened; we pulled it off; it was beautiful.

 

Greg Cook’s monument kicked off the event.

The two monitors are playing videos by Young Joon Kwak, and Martine Syms & Marco Kane Braunschweiler.

 
 

Rodney Lee Jones took the stage shortly thereafter.

 
 

tragic foreshadowing.

 
 

Subprime Mortgage

 
 

Lily and Marvin

 
 

The song called for bangin’ of heads.

 
 

Paul Cary

 
 

Tessa Siddle

 
 

The Dead Gods are setting up, as Toby Bengelsdorf gets ready to read.

 
 

Dead Gods

 
 

Ventrilla Kiss puttin’ on her makeups.

 
 

Goodbye.

 
 
much thanks to Around the Coyote and my homegirl, Allison Stites.
 
 
-Young Joon