posted and written by caroline picard

somethings i’ve been thinking about

re: theoretical structures

This proposal includes three parts. These are divided into two LLCs and one non-profit. The first LLC, Urbesque, is the proposed landlord, or you can think of it as a parent or umbrella organization. Urbesque’s sole purpose is to secure the proposed space and act as landlord to its auxiliary sublets.

There are two main tenants that will rent from Urbesque. Those tenants are Lantern Projects, a for-profit LLC, and 501c3 Green Lantern Gallery & Press.

The Green Lantern Gallery & Press will continue to function as it did at 1511 N Milwaukee Ave. The sole difference is that my living expenses will no longer subsidize it. Rather it is to be subsidized by the for-profit company, which I will get to in a moment. The goal of this new incarnation of the gallery and press is to legitimize the original practices, making them more visible to a larger public. I am trying to take an existing DIY model that was intentionally (albeit mildly) subversive, and reconstitute it so that it is more accessible, more mundane and ultimately more stable. The goal of that stability is not specifically for posterity, but rather to secure the lives of the individuals working within the gallery, such that they can afford to take greater risks in their own respective practices. To establish such a space within our predominantly corporate socioeconomic context one can achieve a greater sense of freedom as cultural makers, and even to develop public communities around the more general project of independent culture. Hopefully that sense of freedom would spill out to that public.

The Green Lantern Gallery will focus on the subject of hierarchies, making its structure transparent to the public just as the exhibits it curates similarly reflect the investigation of hierarchy. The Gallery would host 3-4 exhibitions a year, and during the summer months of May-July, we would open up the space to outside curators and community projects.The press would also continue in league with the gallery, focusing on the same theme of hierarchy. While each book does not directly discuss hierarchies, the theme is relevant to the project of each text.

Lantern Projects, LLC will be a cafe/bar/bookstore/performance space. Lantern Projects is an amalgam—serving different functions as it does different audiences. On the one hand it will serve a morning commuter crowd coffee. Similarly it will house students at work, and those who come for performances or openings and wish to stay for a drink or a cup of soup. We will sell a small selection of books put out by independent or artist presses, with a separate display case for book exhibitions. Proposed hours are from 7:30 am – 10pm.

The labor is the next big question. What I propose is an annual residency; artists are invited to apply to work 25 hours a week at the cafe for $240/wk, plus tips. After the first three months, they will receive health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield. They are invited to work with press, gallery, and or the Public Programming, on a specific project to take place within that year. It is my hope that creating such a residency will facilitate the a-typical hours of most working artists, giving them both a structure of community and the security of health insurance. That residency, further, encourages the necessary connection between what is consumed and what is supported. Namely, the big picture of this organization is to demonstrate how one can achieve a sense of freedom while also taking care of pragmatic issues.

Yes. It is ambitious, yet also it is a worthy challenge. I have this belief that if one has nourishment, space, the means to medical care and a printing press, one can be free. That is, one can achieve a sense of distributable independence. While I realize this might be an unconventional proposal for a single artist, I appeal to others in the Chicago tradition who have made a point about being multiple things at once—administrator, artist, professor (Philip vonZweck), and critic (Michelle Grabner). Even Gaylen Gerber’s practice questions the space between his work and the work of others. To me, it is not enough to work at being a successful artist. The present structure of success is too exclusive, too isolating. Rather I am interested in exploring the pool of our art community with an end to public intellectualism and empowerment. A project that will serve many, just as it serves me.

polarsketch by rebecca grady

posted by caroline picard

Remember how we went to AS220 with “Isolated Fictions?” Now we’re taking the North Georgia Gazette to Philadelphia! The following artists are going to be in a group show based on the book. You can go here to get a copy!

Isolated Fictions FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

featuring the work of Amanda Browder, Nick Butcher, Jason Dunda,

Rebecca Grady, Devin King, Carmen Price & Deb Sokolow

Exhibition Dates: February 6 – March 6, 2010

Opening Reception: February 6, 2010, 7 – 10 pm

Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12 – 4 pm or by appointment

FLUXspace is pleased to present Isolated Fictions, a group exhibition featuring work by Amanda Browder, Nick Butcher, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow, and curated by Caroline Picard, Founding Director of Green Lantern Gallery & Press (Chicago, IL). Isolated Fictions is an Independent Project of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international festival celebrating print in contemporary art. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on February 6, 2010 from 7 – 10 pm. In conjunction with the exhibition, FLUXspace will also host a temporary reading room in the gallery and launch a new project, the yet-to-be-named archive.

About 200 years ago, a fleet of English ships got stuck in the Arctic ice for a year. Their Captain had them run up canvas, covering the ships’ masts. They battened the hatches, so to speak, and watched as the sun set for winter’s entirety, waiting with unimaginable patience for spring. They waited for their passage home to melt. Under Captain Parry’s orders, the fleet printed a newspaper: the entries of which were solicited from the men on deck, under the condition that nothing depressing be published. These men also put on plays.

Chicago’s Green Lantern Press is proud to announce the re-release of this manuscript, The North Georgia Gazette. Touring the country along with this book is a group exhibition, Isolated Fictions, featuring contemporary artists from the publication. The book has been published in an edition of 250 with original silk-screen covers and features excerpts from the Captain’s Journal, the newspaper in its entirety, an essay by contemporary Arctic explorer John Huston, end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley, original artwork by Daniel Anhorn, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow, and a limited edition 7″ record by Nick Butcher. The North Georgia Gazette will be available at FLUXspace for $30.

Isolated Fictions features works on paper by Deb Sokolow that address the second person, incorporating that viewer into the Arctic landscape; large gouache paintings of impossible wood towers by Jason Dunda that parallel the newspaper’s impossible success; maps of the Arctic, as well as a sculpture of an ice floe by Rebecca Grady; and a 7” record made of wood glue by Nick Butcher that plays on repeat.

The Newspaper itself functions as a metaphor for an inherent aspect of humanity: whether the Arctic is a devastating place, or a place wild with imagination and longing, it represents the unknown. That unknown can exist in the world, between neighboring communities. But often that unknown space is within oneself, and though it is essential to try and communicate those territories—to study them and map them out, they maintain a mysterious ground. And it is in the failure of exposing everything, or knowing everything, that we accomplish great heights of beauty.

In conjunction with Isolated Fictions, there will also be a reading room in the gallery space; books, magazines, newspapers, and a variety of printed ephemera will be on display and available for perusal. The reading room will be part of a new project at FLUXspace, the yet-to-be-named archive, which aims to collect printed documents from Philadelphia’s visual art scene, and also books and magazines of general interest.  We hope to build this archive over time and would welcome submissions from other art spaces. Materials included in the archive thus far: Arts Exchange, Green Lantern Press, machete, Megawords, New Art Examiner, and various Philadelphia exhibition postcards and printed materials.

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Caroline Picard is the Founding Director of The Green Lantern Gallery & Press, and a Co-Editor for the literary podcast The Parlor (www.theparlorreads.com). Her writing has been published in a handful of publications including the Philadelphia Independent, NewCity, Ampersand Review, MAKE Magazine, the Chicago Art Journal Review, and Proximity Magazine. Twice a year she meets with a performance group and records improvised music under the collective alias Thee Iran Contras. She continues to paint and exhibit her visual work.

Born in Missoula, MT in 1976, Amanda Browder currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Amanda received her MFA/MA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2001, and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2001-07. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Lothringer 14, Munich, Germany; White Columns, New York; Mixture Contemporary Gallery, Houston, TX; The Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, MT; Gallery 400-UIC, and The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL. She is also a founding member of the art-podcast: http://www.badatsports.com.

Nick Butcher is an artist and musician living in Chicago, IL. Since the summer of 2006, Butcher has run a studio space/printshop with Nadine Nakanishi called Sonnenzimmer. While the focus is poster design and printing, they also host exhibitions and art events. Recently, Butcher completed a solo-album called “Bee Removal.”

Jason Dunda received his BA in Fine Arts from York University, Toronto and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives and works in Chicago. Jason has previously exhibited in Toronto and Chicago.

Rebecca Grady is a Chicagoan by way of Alaska and Maine. When she was too little to walk, she was pulled around on a sled by a German Shepherd called Namer. When she grows up she wants to be a sailor. Meanwhile, she is an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also teaches drawing. Mini comics, mix tapes, tropical storms and more can be found on her website: http://www.rubaccaquon.com.

Devin King is an artist who lives and works in Chicago, IL. Using text, music and performance as a coalescent medium, King has performed a variety of one-man operas, including most recently “Hadyn’s Head and Madame X,” as part of The 2010 Rhinoceros Festival. His long poem, CLOPS. is due out spring of 2010 with the Green Lantern Press.

Carmen Price’s work creates new relationships between familiar visual elements to express joy in contemporary culture. His celebratory drawings use personal symbolism and a strong faith in the accidental to form occasionally narrative and often confusing scenes. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Carmen Price currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Deb Sokolow’s recent projects include site-specific installations at the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO and at Inova [Institute of Visual Arts] in Milwaukee, WI. She is an Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship recipient, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. Sokolow received her MFA in 2004 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

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. Because we believe that independent cultural production and idiosyncratic effort is the fount for meaning and friendship, The Green Lantern also hosts monthly art exhibitions for emerging artists and publishes limited-edition books by new or forgotten writers who are making significant contributions to today’s cultural landscape. With a focus on the visual arts, The Green Lantern establishes paths of accessibility between the work and its audience by contextualizing its events through writing, a literary reading series – The Parlor, video, performance and music. For more information please visit http://www.thegreenlantern.org.

FLUXspace is a Philadelphia based 501(c)3 contemporary arts space which provides artists, curators, and instigators the opportunity for unrestricted and uncensored experimentation, professional presentation, and critical dialogue for the purpose of exploring and creating new art practices and media.  FLUX consists of an exhibition space, an artist residency program, as well as public programming including artist lectures, panel discussions, workshops, movie nights and performances.