Mar 2nd 2018

Superficial Paradise

@ Chicago Artists Coalition

217 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607

Opening Friday, March 2nd, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Thursday, March 22nd

Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present “Superficial Paradise,” a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Yesenia Bello, Cameron Clayborn, Verónica Casado Hernández, Rebecca Himelstein, Daniel Hojnacki and Nicole Mauser.

“The city had been shaken for nearly six years by a catastrophe involving, not only people’s values, but in the case of many, their very existence. Unlike most socially generated catastrophes, in this case virtually nobody in the community had been cushioned against the blow; the great knife of the depression had cut down impartially through the entire population cleaving out the lives and hopes of rich as well as poor. The experience had been more nearly universal than any prolonged recent emotional experience in the city’s history; it had approached in its elemental shock the primary experience of birth and death.”

This quote, taken from sociologists Robert and Helen Merrell Lynd’s Middletown in Transition, describes the effects of the Great Depression on a previously wealthy midwestern city. The American political historian Alan Brinkley used this excerpt to illuminate the trend of escapism in the American media as a means of coping with severe economic downturn. Eerily reminiscent of the collective dread shared by many in November 2016, as they braced themselves in face of GOP onslaught, Brinkley connects this “universal elemental shock” to the need for temporary, but extreme departure from everyday constraints.

“Superficial Paradise,” considers the relationship between escapism and nostalgia. Yesenia Bello, Cameron Clayborn, Verónica Casado Hernández, Rebecca Himelstein, Daniel Hojnacki, and Nicole Mauser explore the multiplicities of experience, both personal and collective, looking backward and forward and ask ‘what was’ and ‘what if’ of our uncertain futures.

“Superficial Paradise” is curated by Sheridan Tucker Anderson.


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