Mar 4th 2022

Erica McKeehen: Authoring Allure

@ The Martin

2500 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60622

Opening Friday, March 4th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, March 19th

Chicago photographer Erica McKeehen brings her exhibition AUTHORING ALLURE to The Martin’s back room this March – exploring identity, specifically sexuality and body autonomy through a portraiture lens.

We’ll be hosting an opening reception for the work on Friday March 4th from 6-9pm. Entry is free! Vaccination proof, ID & masks are required.

From the artist: These portraits have evolved over the years but my interests in identity, sexual expression, bodily autonomy, feminism, burlesque, and the broader scope of sex work have persisted. As I continue to make photographs about the burlesque community in Chicago, I work to demonstrate the transformative and deeply validating natures of sex work in general. Though some show minimal environments, all the portraits on display were made indoors, in private, with available light, and many were made in the performer’s home.

I welcome the brief but intimate visual encounters with the performers and consider our work together a true collaboration in helping them be seen as vibrant, strong, confident, and unique. I also recognize the performative qualities of their individual presentations, even in a space with no stage and just me to bear witness. They show both vulnerability and sensuality. Athletes, dancers, singers, actors, artists — no matter their background before coming to burlesque, performers become consummate entertainers who carefully craft every component of their art and present their personas with powerful sincerity that is wholly worth our attention.

About the artist: @ericamckeehen (she/her) (b. 1987) is an American photographer raised on Coca-Cola and rock and roll in rural Bucyrus, Ohio who currently lives and works in Chicago. She received her BS in Commercial Photography from Ohio University, her MA in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago while working as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

AUTHORING ALLURE will be on display through March 19th alongside Daija Guy’s IN TRANSITION exhibition. Don’t miss our supportive programming for this exhibition including DISCUSSING ALLURE, a panel discussion on sex work, burlesque and body autonomy on March 12th & WITNESSING ALLURE, a burlesque show at Dorothy on March 17th.

Want to dine at Split-Rail before or after your visit to the exhibition? We recommend making a reservation!

Plan to stick around and check out Dorothy after your visit. Just ask us how!

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