Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present “Public School,” a solo exhibition by BOLT Artist-in-Residence, Jeffrey Grauel.
“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.”
–Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, (1970)
Public School brings together two new bodies of artwork by Grauel: hooked rugs, their outmoded-grade-school-subject-matter covered in layer of shag; and, wooden sculptures inspired by a bamboozling childhood visit to a Southern Californian ghost town amusement park. The labor intensive process used to produce one set against the illusion of natural laws defied in the other.
A new essay by J. Nicole Brooks will accompany the exhibition.
At the end of every Calico Mystery Shack tour, guides lead groups in an “oath”: