Apr 15th 2016

Fourth Horizon is a meditation on living in a city with water as a constant eastern horizon. The project explores the relation between the built and natural environments—and the spaces for imagination, connection, and alienation in daily urban life. Fourth Horizon incorporates sculpture, video, text, and sound into a process-based installation that meets Chicago at the shore of Lake Michigan.

The project opens with a model theater stage “floating” off the shore of Lake Michigan. The empty stage is set for a production with scrims of a rocky shore. Inspired by an archival photo of a stage constructed on a pier over the lake at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, the model stage acts as both prop and protagonist. At ESS, the stage will remain physically empty. What will populate the stage is sound. Fourth Horizon’s soundscape will transform over the course of its installation through the incorporation of scores performed live at ESS and produced in collaboration with musicians and sound designers based in Chicago, New York, and Germany.

These scores—drawn from building assessments, early radio broadcast experiments in telepathy, and poetic and acoustic examinations of the states of water—reference buildings, bodies, natural environments, and the nature of sound transmission.

Curated by Lou Mallozzi.

Friday, April 15, 2016, 6-9pm

04.16-05.22.15, Saturdays & Sundays, 1–5pm
or email info@ess.org to schedule an appointment

About the Artists

Susannah Bielak creates narratives that straddle the historical and contemporary. Researching paradoxical situations and uncanny relationships that she encounters in personal and public life, Bielak responds to social issues with material experimentation and collaborative practices. Bielak’s projects have ranged from a happening staged on a seismic shake table, to prints pulled from engraved Formica kitchen tabletops. Collaborators have included rodeo cowboys, bus drivers, a veteran barbershop quartet, choreographers and engineers. Bielak’s work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally, including by the International Print Center, Luis Adelantado Mexico, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Paul Mayor’s Office, and Walker Art Center. Awards include the Highpoint Jerome Fellowship, Jerome Visual Arts Fellowship, Minnesota Center for Book Arts Jerome Fellowship, Prometheus Award, and UC MEXUS Dissertation Award. Her artwork and writing have been published in New American Paintings, Art Papers, and for the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Bielak received her MFA from the University of California San Diego.

Fred Schmalz is a poet whose recent work focuses on textual response to encounters with dance, music, and visual art. His writing has appeared in magazines including A Public Space, jubilat, Spinning Jenny, Conduit, Zoland Poetry, Pinwheel, Another Chicago Magazine, and Chicago Artists Resource, and he has performed in a variety of contexts, collaborating with dancers, artists, musicians, and performers. His field guide Claes Oldenburg’s Festival of Living Objects was published in conjunction with a series of gallery walks by the Walker Art Center in 2013. He is the author of the chapbooks documenta 13 Daybook and Ticket. He edits and publishes the micropress Swerve Press.

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