As the performance web site and calendar for the gallery is slowly coming together, I thought for my first blog post I’d give a quick overview of some of the different series and events we’ll be producing this fall.

The Open Secret: Curated by Brian Wallace and Joni Murphy, this series delves into how artists invest themselves in local community while still keeping an eye to the internet and the various new communities cyber-space affords. This series will be a mish-mash of artist talks, performances, and film screenings from those local and distant that’ll be wrapped up into a sassy publication.

Now It’s Dark: Local improvisor/art-music/nice hair dude Marc Riordan curates a series of experimental films with improvised scores other local improvisors. Marc was at the space yesterday telling me and Abby about one of the movies he’ll be showing: Peanut-butter and Robin the Boy-Wonder is all I’m gonna say. David Moré-who’s show of sound portraits is up at the moment-will be lending his singing saw to the movies, and Jeff Kimmel, Jason Roebke, and Brian Labycz will be around too.

Quiet Circle:More improvisation, but rather than facing a screen, the musicians will be arranged throughout the gallery–the better to make subtle noises that investigate spatiality and notions of collaboration at a distance, my dear. Everything I’ve ever seen curator Noé Cuéllar do is smart (pressed suit rather than SAT) and luscious (folds of thick corduroy rather than lip gloss): ten people playing politely in a circle isn’t just an idea he had, it’s his thing.

As Yet Untitled Experimental Movie Night:Co-curator Jesse McClean has been in Venice for the film fest for the last few days, so we’re still working out the title for this one, but it’s gonna be a doozy: three nights of film that investigate the connections between director and audience. 20 minute Van Halen solos? Middle school kids cussing? The entire cast of Hello Dolly recording the entire Harry Smith folk archive set under heavy sedation? One of these things will not be apart of this series. Co-curated with Eric Fleischauer.

As Yet Untitled Established Authors talking to Younger Authors:I really want to call this night Crosstalk! or At the Table! or Around the Coyote! (…) to give it the Sunday morning TV zazz I think it deserves. This night is being curated by Beth Sampson, who’s working on the new School of the Art Institute journal Dear Navigator, and she’s got poets coming out of her ears/flying in from all over, all of whom I can’t talk about yet. Why am I doing so? Because poetry is a passive-aggressive media.

The Parlor also begins tonight with Gina Frangello and continues through December: Atomix regular Adam Levin will be up in October reading from his new book from McSweeney’s and urban-running-womyn Lindsay Hunter reads sideways from her new featherproof book in November.

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It’s posted on the parlor website, which is great and awesome and rad.

Check it out by going here!

posted by Caroline Picard

As you may or may not know, Rob Elder is coming to read for The Parlor this evening. It’s going to be fantastic. His book, Last Words of the Executed is a long-standing project that documents the last words of every recorded American who was executed by the law. I first met Rob a few years ago when I happened to work as his assistant. For a very brief period of time, I helped on this book. I remember being especially struck by the range of tone, and it was impossible not to think about the finitude of an individual in the public space alloted before death. What does it say about our perspective/evaluation of human life that, although a given state can take the life of one of it’s citizens, it nevertheless creates a space for that same citizen to articulate something of his or her choosing? There are apologies, denials, pleas, statements of rage, even–while the sentiments expressed reflect directly on the individual at hand, they are nevertheless each contextualized by the same spectral insititution of death.

Resident actors and friends Young Joon Kwak and Basia Kapolka are going to help perform some of these statements. The reading begins at 7, as usual, with a question and answer to follow.

Last Words was mentioned in The Economist which is very exciting indeed. I pasted an excerpt below, but you can read the article in its entirety by going here.

The last words are remarkable for their remorse, humour, hatred, resignation, fear and bravado. “I wish you’d hurry up. I want to get to hell in time for dinner,” a 19th-century Wyoming murderer told his hangman. Some rambled; others were concise. Several blamed the drink; others reasserted innocence, or (especially in recent years) railed against the death penalty. Some accepted their fate. “If I was y’all, I would have killed me. You know?” said a Texan, who had murdered his son’s former girlfriend and her sister, as he readied himself for lethal injection. America’s diverse heritage is stamped even onto its killers’ final moments.

Last Words of the Executed. By Robert Elder. University of Chicago Press; 304 pages; $22.50 and £14.50. Buy from,

posted by Caroline Picard

We had a great reading this week–Tim Kinsella came out for the parlor. I filmed a small clip of his reading. The whole piece, along with the Q&A session after, will be posted on the parlor website next week.

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Next Week: Tim Kinsella will read at The Parlor Tuesday, April 6 at 7pm!

Tim Kinsella was born right after Nixon resigned. He descends from downstate Irish farmers and Humboldt Park tenement Italians. He has made a lot of records, mostly with his band Joan of Arc, and is now in his final semester of the SAIC MFAW FYI.

Following his 30 minute reading, Tim will take questions from the audience.

As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at

All readings take place at 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor

For more information, please visit or contact

The Parlor is a monthly reading series sponsored by Bad At Sports Podcast (

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I came across this nice little blurb in Newcity–

A good description of Zambreno’s book and a nice nod to the parlor (where you can go to listen to the reading)!

posted by Caroline Picard

Kate Zambreno read from her forthcoming book, “Fallen Angel” (Chiasmus Press) this Tuesday at the Parlor. The reading will be posted in its entirety on this site next week. In the meantime, however, you can watch this clip on youtube. You can also check out her blog by going here.