Curated by CONNECT curator-in-residence, Hiba Ali
With Ike Floor Chains to Nothing in the Milwaukee Ave. Window Gallery
* He Valencia
* Marcel Alcala
Collectively, creative energies are like lighting bolts, whichever space they hit, it is no longer the same. U.N.I.T. is about this connectivity and change that aggregates, inspires and honors communities and culture’s unique presences; Chicago, we’re here.
Fashion has always been political, a true expression of the self, identity, community and culture. Runways, exclusive brand stores, high-end designers are not accessible to many audiences. At the U.N.I.T. exhibition at Roots and Culture opening August 3rd, there will be seven artists, designers and musicians who will arrange their DIY music-inspired installations, artifacts, and custom-made performance clothes. Regarding the fashion industry, the American 18th century industrial revolution streamlined mass production of garments and, offshore labor disconnected fashion from the people who wear it. Even “American” Apparel is not made in America. If clothes bring the spirit then music brings the essence and do they bring it: He Valencia, MYSKA, Marcel Alcala, Thoom, H1BA, p1nkstar, Inc., and Y2K. The connection between these artists span the range of belonging to the city of Chicago, those who were “born and raised,” some who recently moved here, some who arrived yesterday, some passing through, and some who have already left. These myriad connections showcase the fluctuating nature of cultural production and gradual creation of community. Following the opening of the exhibition, U.N.I.T. will host a music performance on August 10th and screening evening on the 11th. U.N.I.T. is a short form of the phrase, U (You) K(Now) Its There, highlighting Chicago as a hub of creative cultural production.
Ike Floor crochets repurposed plexiglass and clay into chains and stitches, which seem unlikely when using traditional crochet materials.
“Chains to Nothing” represents his development of these challenging stitches into larger forms, encouraging a widening of the knitting family. He learned to crochet from his mother and great granny, and converses with them through his work.