Let There Be Geo

March 2, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

posted by Caroline Picard

This was published a few weeks ago in the weekend redeye…..Go here to read the whole thing.

Roommates turn Logan Square apartment into art gallery

Mike Hines on 11.06.09 | 7 comments // |
art.jpgArt Institute graduate students Katherine Pill, 26 (right), and Francesca Wilmott, 24, operate the Concertina Gallery out of their own apartment. Brian J. Morowczynski for RedEye

By Ryan Smith
For RedEye

Most curators don’t make a habit of sleeping next to their exhibits, but Katherine Pill and Francesca Wilmott wake up to their art every morning.

When the roommates take a few steps out of their bedrooms and beyond the kitchen of their second-floor apartment, they enter a living and dining room virtually devoid of furniture.

Where a table and chairs might normally sit, a few colorful, spherical objects are carefully arranged on the hardwood floor. And on the wall, where you might normally find framed family photos, there hang a volcano made of denim and a computer-generated image of faceless sheep floating in a dream world.

…to an evening of reading / performance on

Thursday, October 8th, 7:30 to 11pm

Poetry / micro-fiction / cross-genre / translation readings by

Brandon Brown, visiting from San Francisco, CA


Daniel Borzutzky, who lives here in Chicago, IL

Readings will begin at 8pm

These writers are funny, tragic, passionate, irreverent and devotional, multilingual and obsessed with (not to say acting out on) the profounder issues and minutiae of translation and inter-textuality.  Readings not to miss!

This event is hosted by Judith Goldman, a Chicago-area poet and postdoctoral fellow / assistant professor at the University of Chicago.  Location: 5517 N. Paulina St., 1 (Andersonville).

[See more on event location / directions to site below writer bios and sample texts.]


The Working Day Lady Died

It’s 1349 on the fief and I’ve got 163 holidays

my colleagues and their offspring know

Bastille Day is no holiday! so I just get

my joints scuffed because I go straight from

one demarcated zone without my species

essence to chaos: sweet, domestic, and high;

filling it with mescal and snuck smokes,

head out the window like a fucking

crane. some of my colleagues shrug about

“every day a beating”, it’s all abstraction

and no nectar. Little lambs love to watch

their friends sheared. My batsuit. My shred

passports. My dead co-workers. Dead

on Bastille Day, weird.

Brandon Brown is from Kansas City, Missouri. Poems recently in Brooklyn Rail, Try!, Sprung Formal, West Wind Review. His friends have published chapbooks. Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Cy Press), 908-1078 (Transmission), Camels! (Taxt) and the forthcoming Wondrous Things I Have Seen (Mitzvah Chaps). He publishes small press books under the imprint OMG! and in October 2009 will be guest blogging at poetryproject.org .


See more of Brandon Brown’s work at:







The Book of Decomposition

It is in the tranquillity of decomposition that I remember the long confused emotion which was my life.

Samuel Beckett, Molloy

Here the reader rots alongside of the book and its characters. A man in the opening chapter pulls strands of hair off his head; the reader does the same. A man feels maggots crawling all over his skin; the reader feels the same. The book begins in a butcher shop that has been looted by poor bodies that tear out cow intestines and unravel them in the dead grass behind the butcher’s shed. The bodies see books in the intestines whose characters are their mirror images, and the bodies grow terrified of themselves. They run into the woods but they hate nature so they take shelter in the stables where rotten bodies hide in the hay. The dead bodies in this stable are countries and the protagonist says USA USA your assets are rotten you are dying and Haiti your huts have flooded and your citizens kill for bread and beans and New Orleans your bodies float in puddles of shit hey China your babies are drinking poisoned milk and Mexico your peasants cannot hear or see and in the USA the assets are rotten the Bolivians sell less coke on Wall Street the Iranians don’t have enough money to blow Israel off the map the Russians can’t build new weapons to sell to the Syrians and Venezuelans the Cuban doctors and prostitutes service bodies that live far away the nations conduct business in body parts here are the legs of our citizens we will trade you for arms and kidneys and here take these eyes and livers and give us hearts and tongues and intestines. Full stop. Period. In the end it’s unclear if it’s the reader or the characters who request some form of movement to free the bodies from the sorcery of global capital. Nevertheless, the request is granted and the book ends happily with the entrance of a saint who has so much love that he heals the sores of the bodies with his tongue and prepares them once more to succeed as cosmopolitan bodies in a ring of fantastically interconnected commerce. The book ends with a giant ejaculation behind the butcher shop where the bodies rub against each other as if there were no barriers to keep them from consummating their fiscal intimacies. And in the final scene water streams off the pages, cleansing the skin of the readers in a climax of diluvial bubbling.

Daniel Borzutzky’s books include The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat Books, forthcoming), The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007), Arbitrary Tales (Triple Press, 2005), and the chapbooks One Size Fits All (Scantily Clad Press, 2009) and Failure in the Imagination (Bronze Skull Press, 2007). He is the translator of Song for his Disappeared Love by Raul Zurita (Action Books, forthcoming); Port Trakl by Jaime Luis Huenún (Action Books, 2008); and One Year and other stories by Juan Emar, which was published as a special issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction. Journal publications include Fence; Chicago Review; TriQuarterly; Action, Yes; Conjunctions; Words Without Borders; Circumference; American Letters and Commentary; Mandorla; Denver Quarterly and many others. He lives in Chicago, and is a faculty member in the English Department at Wright College.  His website is www.danielborzutzky.com .

See more of Daniel Borzutzky’s work online:







Judith Goldman’s residence:

5517 N. Paulina Ave, #1—about 6 blocks north of Foster, between Catalpa and Gregory; Paulina is one block west of Ashland.

PLEASE NOTE:  This location is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.


From the Bryn Mawr stop: walk west from Broadway to Paulina, about ½ mile (it’s a 12-15 min. walk).  Turn left at Paulina and walk 1 1/2 blocks (my building is about 3 houses down from the corner of Paulina and Gregory).

Email jgoldman1@uchicago.edu or goldman.judith@gmail.com with any questions.

-posted by Lily Robert-Foley

posted and written by Caroline Picard


becca ward installation from "buttress-buttress-buttress" at the soon-to-close minidutch

What is interesting about the form of the Apartment Gallery is that it is essentially illegal. At least in Chicago, the public consumption of visual art is not allowed in intimate settings, such as a house, an apartment, a garage. That isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, or (even) that the city doesn’t in some blind-eye-manner endorse cultural DIY activity; in fact the city of Chicago seems to enjoy identifying itself with those practices. Nevertheless, said practices are not technically allowed and therefore the city maintains its ability to control those same DIY activities. Ultimately, the city can shut them down.

You may or may not be aware, but lloyd dobler is presently undergoing business license issues. Reported anonymously to the city of Chicago, L.D. was served up with a ticket and a court date.

I don’t think the tension between self-motivated art practice and institutionalized civic life is accidental. Which admits an essential premise I’m beginning with: namely that within our civic context (and from a buerocratic point of view) apartment galleries are benign at best. At worst threatening. While I don’t believe in conspiracies, I believe that things take a natural course; there has always been tension between contemporary art practice and the contemporary status quo. In our day and age, however, much of the cultural production that takes place within the art world has been tamed and funneled into pre-existing power structures that support the larger mainstream umbrella.

Namely, artists seek validation through public acclaim, fame and monetary success. Artists seek our gallery represenation, striving to achieve standing in the commercial market, such that they might support and (thus) justify their art making practice. There is nothing wrong with such hankerings. On the contrary, it is almost impossible to imagine anything else. Afterall, how does an artist justify spending hours reading, thinking, painting, writing in a studio or at a desk while his or her significant other goes to work fourty hours a week in order to support both of them? And what if the artist has a child? How does the artist explain his or her non-commercial and largely interior processes when a kid needs milk money? It is perhaps impossible to strive through contemporary capitalism making objects that do not concern contemporary capitalism; indeed, on such a quest contemporary capitalism becomes a wilderness.

Unless of course there are apartment galleries. Which, while boasting no monetary compensation, appeal to different values, those based on the community in attendance. Within such a community an artist with little to no interest in the commercial world can relate to an audience comprised of other artists, art enthusiasts and, sometimes, before-unexposed ignorants. As such the apartment gallery provides a different criteria for validation. The apartment gallery therefore empowers the individual and small groups of individuals to cultivate their own aesthetics and areas of interest.

Most cultural activity is distributed via mainstream arteries that reach millions of people at once. The same television is watched, the same movies, the same news sources, most people listen to the same bad music (I realize that those of you who read this probably do have access to idiosyncratic, independant, small-run, DIY culture, but I think that we stand in the majority. Argue that point if you like…it seems to me most folks still listen to bad music radio). Therefore the vocabularly with which each of us might dream is very closely the same. And it seems to me, that when you are trying to keep a large population of peope organized it is much easier to organize them if they are more or less the same.

I believe that small hubs like the apartment gallery, the small record label, the small press, underground movie theaters, such venues generate and sustain micro-cultures that encourage unpredictable thoughts, ideas and enthusiasms. If anything, they might simply encourage people to believe once more in the capacity of the individual to influence the world.

To that end, and returning again to the idea of whether or not civic bodies like The City, for instance, actively stamp out independent cultural production: The Apartment Gallery poses the same threat as a house party, until its audience extends beyond the immediate circle of intimates. It was the sandwich board that called attention to the Green Lantern. Because of a sandwich board, the city noticed us and shut us down. Had we never placed a sandwich board on the street we never would have been seen. And yet, it was that same sandwich board which created an opportunity for such pedestrians who have never heard of an Apartment Gallery to come and experience a sub-section of culture. To my mind they were some of the most important visitors, and the people we ought to constantly reach out for.

It has been nice to have my house back. It has been nice to take a break from walking the line between the personal and the private. I’ve made a few meals and had some friends over. I’ve slept late and left various piles of clutter in various corners, where like a teenager, I suppose I’m proving my newly-extended personal domain. Nevertheless, I think the exploration of that tension between public and private, commercial and non, commercial and non-commercial regulated and non-regulated business is good and valuable. It’s worth always carving out our own identities, our own terms and communities and means of support.

And fyi (the culinary tip for the summer) putting bitters in your whip cream is fucking good.

Call For Entries

April 10, 2009


CALL FOR ENTRY : Seeking Art Bargain Basement

NFO XPO, Version Fest ’09, April 25th & 26th

Artists, need CASH?? Do you have surplus ART?? Clear out your studios and make way for new work by selling your outdated, rejected, and remaindered art for cash in the Seeking Art Bargain Basement!

Seeking Art Bargain Basement:  The first bargain basements appeared in 1909 as an effort by department stores to move unwanted merchandise. Selling surplus goods at discounted prices cleared the way for new products, catered to the consumer’s desire to acquire hidden gems for less than their worth, and allowed lower-income shoppers to participate in the trendy new world of mass-produced goods.  The Seeking Art Bargain Basement is applying the same economic and psychological principles to the art market by uniting artist’s leftover work with shoppers seeking affordable art. Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of the bargain basement by exploring the model of recycling unwanted objects and challenging the notion that certain items are only for the wealthy.

Details: All work will be accepted, including sketches, old prints, works-in-progress, and multiple submissions by one artist.  Work may be priced at any amount less than $100, with all money going to the artist.  To submit, include Artist Name, Name of Piece, Date made, Medium and Price along with your piece and contact info or a SASE for the return of unsold work. Pick ups can be arranged within the Chicago area or mail work to: Seeking Art, 7314 N. Bell Ave, Chicago, IL 60645.

For more information, visit versionfest.org or huimintsen.com.
Deadline:  April 20.
Contact huimintsen@gmail.com with questions or to schedule a pick up.

posted by Caroline Picard

Heya! We got a sweet write up in NewCity. You should check it out….I’ve included the first paragraph below.

Review: Without You I Am Nothing: Cultural Democracy from Providence and Chicago/Green Lantern Gallery


“Without You I am Nothing” features print work from both Chicago and Rhode Island artists. The viewers’ interaction with the artwork and with other visitors is integral to all the interactive pieces on display, so the exhibition is also an exercise in “relational aesthetics,” a fancy term for the radical idea that it’s okay to talk to someone else about art.

You can read the rest by going here.

Without You I Am Nothing

March 19, 2009

The Green Lantern Gallery & Press is pleased to announce a group show,

03.27.09 – 04.25.09

Without You I am Nothing,”

curated by Anne Elizabeth Moore

Featuring work by

Andrew Oesch, Angee Lennard, Agata Michalowska, Dan S. Wang, Myriel Milicivic, Kevin Haywood, Delia Kovac, DeWayne Slightweight, Karin Patzke, Heather Ault, Jason Tranchida, Jean Cozzens, Laura Szumowski, Matthew Lawrence, Meg Turner, Rob Ray, Sonnenzimmer, Xander Marro
In conjunction with the Southern Graphics Council, the opening will be held on Friday, the 27th of March from 6-9
with live musical performances provided by Helen Money, John Bellows, and DeWayne Slightweight from 8-11 pm.
A donation of five dollars is suggested to watch the music

In late capitalist America, we’ve become a bit too used to dealing with our visial culture in a certain way: by viewing it, memorizing it, consuming it. But intrinsically, we know that there are other, more fair ways to respond to the images that mediate our world. Without You I Am Nothing explores two distinct and vibrant worlds of mass-produced, artist-created prompts for cultural democracy, in Providence, Rhode Island and Chicago, Illinois.

These cities, which contain two of the most vibrant screenprinting scenes in the nation, have developed distinct languages for interactive poster-making. Artists in both locales mass-produce (or, sometimes, produce on only a small-scale) images and information that can be manipulated, or shifted, or changed. They are intended not to speak to an audience, but to be susceptible to audience response as well. Without You I am Nothing: Cultural Democracy from Providence and Chicago contains only posters that have one or more of the following elements: stuff that falls off (on purpose), windows, parts that move, space for new information, dials, buttons, removable elements, or other user-controlled, four-dimensional aspects of awesomeness. Simply put, these posters cannot exist without viewers’ input.
By linking the poster-making scenes of two different cities, Without You I am Nothing underscores the distinct visual languages developed for each community: Providence’s tight-knit group of experimental music-influenced, art-educated poster fans, and Chicago’s internationally renowned rock fans used to pristine lines and funny animals.
The print medium is neither site specific nor intrinsically democratic: freedom of the press, after all–the earliest form of mass communication–belongs only to those who own presses. Still, the print medium is the one on which democracy in the US was founded; print-makers have pushed the limits of their medium with innovative design and contents since ink was first put to paper in a desire to communicate with “the masses”.
Without You I am Nothing displays a wide collection of new, recent, and downright old works on paper that require more from the viewer than merely reading about, memorizing information on, and attending the event described in the poster. These may be malleable, 3-dimensional, tactile, transient, or somehow otherwise inclusive of elements that can move, deteriorate, or be removed; or bits that must be rubbed, poked, ripped, pressed, wettened, prodded, or yanked to achieve full poster satisfaction. Full poster satisfaction need not be guaranteed each viewer.
You can see more about this show by going to this link.

Sandwich Boarding

February 24, 2009

posted by caroline picard

NewCity wrote a little something about the business license situation, which is much appreciated. You can see what they wrote by going here.

I’ve got a second court date this Friday to look into the matter — what I anticipate will result in some kind of conclusive action. At that time I’ll be sending out a larger, longer email with details and whatever else, so stay tuned. In the meantime I continue to talk to people at City Hall- so. On va voir.

Saul Bellow’s Chicago

November 4, 2008

Posted by Nick Sarno


I almost missed this article because it was tucked away in the travel section. I usually don’t read the travel section because I usually don’t have plans to travel to the places they write about; Easter Island and the Galapagos and places like that. It’s like reading the TV Guide when you don’t own a TV. But, I will be heading to Chicago in a couple of weeks, so this article about Saul Bellow and Chicago in the New York Times made me a little more excited. And besides, Chicago is sort of like Easter Island. Only colder. And without any moai