Jul 6th 2018

Nights not made for crowds

@ ACRE Projects

1345 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, July 6th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, July 28th

Kunlin He, Janna Añonuevo Langholz, Jesus Benavente, Noa Heyne, and Suzanna Zak
Curated by Ann Meisinger

The title of this exhibition featuring the work of Kunlin He, Janna Añonuevo Langholz, Jesus Benavente, Noa Heyne and Suzanna Zak comes from a poem by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The full first stanza of the poem reads:

Nights were not made for the crowds, and they sever
You from your neighbor, so you shall never
Seek him, defiantly, at night.
But if you make your dark house light,
To look on strangers in your room,
You must reflect – on whom.

In this short piece, Rilke begins outside in a seemingly isolated experience in the dark. He then moves to an interior, through the lighted windows of a house to an inspection of the self as reflected in the faces of strangers, who may or may not actually be unknown. It is a dizzying and confusing structure that assigns the role of the self as that of the stranger, creating an interior more frightening than the dark outside.

In the context of this show, the poem works as a point of departure to think through the transitional spaces of architectures real and imagined, natural and artificial that are presented by each of the artists. In one way or another, their works all point to an understanding that the physical and psychological structures that surround us are inescapable but fragile, fallible. That they break down over time and we can be comforted by the knowledge that, though our attempts to relate to one another or the environment have failed yet again, the next opportunity to build is around the corner.

People at Night
Rainer Maria Rilke

The nights were not made for crowds, and they sever
You from your neighbour, and you shall never
Seek him, defiantly, at night.
But if you make your dark house light,
To look on strangers in your room,
You must reflect—on whom.

False lights that on men’s faces play
Distort them gruesomely.
You look upon a disarray,
A world that seems to reel and sway,
A waving, glittering sea.

On foreheads gleams a yellow shine,
Where thoughts are chased away,
Their glances flicker mad from wine,
And to the words they say
Strange heavy gestures make reply
That struggle in the buzzing room;
And they say always “I” and “I,”
And mean—they know not whom.


Kunlin He is an artist and writer based in San Francisco. His work focuses on redefining Asian identities, territory, borders, nationalism, and Chinese masculinity in traditional contexts by using the language of visual arts and conceptual art. He obtained an MFA at San Francisco Art Institute in 2016 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018. He is a graduate fellow and affiliated artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. A recent solo exhibition of Kunlin’s works were presented at Nanhai Art Gallery. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at Headlands Center for the Arts, Seattle Art Fair, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Pennsylvania State University, and Embark Gallery among others. Kunlin has been selected for several residencies including The Drawing Center Open Session, New York; Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck; MASS MoCA, North Adams; Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach; Elsewhere Museum, Greensboro; Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe. He is also a regular contributor for “Chinese Photography” Magazine.

Janna Añonuevo Langholz is an interdisciplinary artist born and based in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work explores her identity as a second-generation Filipino American and relationship to place through photography, site-specific installations, performances, and participatory projects. She is the founder and editor of Filipino American Artist Directory, an independent initiative and annual publication to connect artists of Filipino heritage in the US and beyond.

Jesus Benavente’s work begins as performance and expands to all other mediums. He employs humor to disarm viewers and question artistic and societal conventions.

Noa Heyne is an artist working in 3D and animation, creating large interactive installations and stop-motion videos that explore the relationship between body and architecture. She was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, and is currently living in Berlin, Germany. Heyne has begun her artistic education as a painter at the Jerusalem Studio School (2005-2007) in the Master Class of Israel Hershberg, and has moved on to study sculpture in the New York Studio School (2007-2008) in New York. Her work was exhibited in solo and group shows in Israel and the U.S, and is in private collections in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, New York and London. She received her MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture, MICA in 2017. Heyne is the winner of several awards, among them the LCU Foundation award, the Rinehart Fellowship award and the MICA LAB award. In 2018 Heyne was a finalist for the Baltimore Baker Artists Award.

Suzanna Zak is Russian American artist currently in Bishop, California. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Yale University.

Ann Meisinger is a New York City based curator and educator who works as an Assistant Educator for Public Programs and Creative Practice at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and previously served as the Assistant Curator of Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She is a member of the curatorial collective Third Object and currently serves as a curatorial fellow for ACRE.

ACRE Projects welcomes all gender expressions and features gender neutral bathrooms. ACRE’s space is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Kate Bowen (exhibitions@acreresidency.org) if you require additional accessibility information.

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