DAY 03 | re.GENERATION
featuring performance art by:
Rebirth Garments | Hee Ran Lee | Maryam Taghavi | Forced into Femininity + performance video art by: Eunjin Choi | Katrin Huber | Angeliki Tsoli | Laura Corcuera
The cheerful sounding “Bubbly Creek” is the south branch of the south fork of the Chicago river and forms the western border of Bridgeport. It derives this nickname from gases bubbling out of the riverbed from decomposing animal waste dumped into the river a century ago by the Union Stockyards. It still bubbles to this day. Brought to notoriety by Upton Sinclair in his exposé on the American meat packing industry entitled The Jungle, the contaminated river is a revolting reminder of the harshness of industrial capitalism, exploitation of [often immigrant] labor, and disproportionate concentrations of wealth in America. From the Haymarket Affair in 1886 fighting for workers’ rights, to the Pullman railroad strike in 1894 over corporate greed and poverty, labor issues were at the forefront of late 20th century social concerns and are [obviously] still relevant today. This project celebrates the Bridgeport neighborhood and is an homage to Chicago’s rich labor history and how it relates to and influences the local art community.
Curatorial Statement by Joseph Ravens:
“Defibrillator recently relocated from West Town to Bridgeport. Like most others, when I first heard the nickname, Bubbly Creek, I thought it was cute. Then I learned of the origin of this moniker and was disgusted and delighted by the euphemism. Rooted in and inspired by locality, Bubbly Creek Performance Art Assembly draws a parallel between the river’s oxymoronic epithet and the perception and experience of performance art: contradictory, strange, and [ultimately] fascinating. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago” refers to Chicago as the “City of the Broad Shoulders,” referencing physical strength and the idea that Chicagoans could seemingly take on any difficult or demanding task. I believe these qualities define the art community in Chicago. Our relationship and appreciation for labor is exemplified by practitioners of performance art who, working in an ephemeral and non-commodifiable medium, tend to value, by choice or circumstance, process [labor] over product [wage], thereby challenging value driven art production and capitalist systems. These are the associations and inspirations behind our three day micro-festival.”
Bubbly Creek Performance Art Assembly is a proud cross-contamination with the In/habit roving art series project: PLANTS & ANIMALS: On Monsters, Cyborgs and Other Hybrid Creatures. It is a collision of performance, discussion, screening, and broadcasting events focused on themes of hybridity, layered ecologies and practices of inhabiting and interrogating Nature. Through this assembly we ask and examine how we survive together. Hybridity is offered here as artillery against the scourge of centuries old Western binaries. It is an invitation to once again think about the categories of machine/nature/human beyond the limits of the anthropocene, together with queer, feminist, and anti-racist politics.
PLANTS & ANIMALS visual art component opens Friday, May 25 at The Learning Machine and closes with an evening of Cross-Contamination performance art oscillating between The Learning Machine and the adjacent venue Raw Space on Friday, June 8. Visit www.inhabitarts.com for a complete schedule and artist roster. Donation requested at the door.