Export Quality presents “Nakikita,” a media series intent on exploring overshadowed topics in the Filipinx community, funded by the Crossroads Youth Fund in collaboration with AFIRE Chicago. Join us at the screening of our first episode on the vast LGBTQIA+ community.
Performances by Export Quality member, Rebirth Garments and that of the Bubbly Creek Art Assembly will occur simultaneously to the screening.
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.”