Apr 23rd 2010

Claire Pentecost: VictoryLand (you, I shall answer your letter)

@ threewalls

119 N Peoria St, 2D, Chicago, IL 60607

Opening Friday, April 23rd, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, May 22nd

What is the best way to remain human? For that matter, is there any virtue or advantage in clinging to an idea of humanity that has not been automated or enhanced by the awesome mechanics of prosperity and progress? In VictoryLand (you, I shall answer your letter) it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between the good life and the killing machine.

Zombies, drones and robots just keep coming while obdurate animals stake out the ruins. Ridiculed by academic critics and ignored by markets, straggling bands perpetuate the handmade, the recycled, the sabotage, the hack, the do-it-yourself, the do-it-together, the face-to-face, the low-fi, the no-fi, and the welter of archaic practices in the realms of feeling. Asymmetrical warfare and asymmetrical peacemaking are always the cutting edge of struggle.

Claire Pentecost’s work engages a variety of strategies: collaboration, research, teaching, field work, writing, lecturing, drawing, installation and photography in an ongoing investigation and interrogation of the institutional structures that organize and order knowledge. Her work positions artistic practice as a research practice, advocating for the role of the amateur in the collection, interpretation and mobilizing of information. Her website with Brian Holmes, The Public Amateur, promotes those whose work crosses and disturbs the disciplinary boundaries that traditionally cleave to the authorized specialist.

Pentecost’s work has long addressed the boundary between the natural and the artificial, leading her to a number of explorations into industrial agriculture and bio-engineering, including her long-term collaborations with Critical Art Ensemble and Beatriz daCosta and more recently, Compass. Originally trained as a photographer, her installation work has included the continual creation and documentation of a drawing and collage practice. The evolving drawings, re-presented as photographs, describe an “interior” space: the physical and mental process of collection, consideration and organization of information, or simply, a representation of contemplation.

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