May 11th 2022

Sandra Binion: the beauty of something ripped

@ Alliance Française de Chicago

810 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610

Opening Wednesday, May 11th, from 6:30PM - 3PM

On view through Saturday, June 18th

Chicago‐based artist Sandra Binion presents the beauty of something ripped, a series of fourteen photographs celebrating the unintentional beauty arising from the scars of time‐worn fabrics the artist has encountered by chance in museums, churches, palazzos and châteaux over several years. Sites include the Louvre Museum, Archives National in Paris, Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice, and the Cathedral Saint‐Lazare in Autun, France. Bearing the traces of those who’ve touched, sat on, or kneeled on them—perhaps without a second thought or perhaps with profound fervor—these textiles map lifetimes and mysteries. Many of them also point to the ambiguities of display and patrimony, being tattered and ignored furnishings in otherwise opulent environs.

Sandra Binion is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago who makes visual art works, video installations, and live performances. During a forty‐year career of uninterrupted artistic activity, she has presented performances, exhibitions and screenings in numerous venues in the US and Europe. Most recently her practice has manifested in multi‐media exhibitions that draw together video, photography, painting and sound in dialogue with architecture, resulting in poetic interpretations of particular places and narratives. Her multi‐media project Distillé, a re‐figuration of Gustave Flaubert’s 19th century novel Madame Bovary, has been shown in various iterations: The University Club in Chicago (2014); Abbaye de Noirlac—Centre culturel de rencontre, Bruère‐Allichamps (2016); Porte 10, Rouen (2017); Maison de George Sand, Nohant‐Vic (2017); Palais Jacques Coeur, Bourges (2017); Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan (2019); and the Centre d’art contemporainde la Matmut, Saint‐Pierre‐de Varengeville (2021). In September 2021, she presented the double exhibition, Fleeting and Aftermath, at the Durand Art Institute of Lake Forest College, Illinois.

The opening reception will feature composer/pianist Shi‐An Costello playing a 25-minute program, including works by F. Chopin, H. Cowell, V. Cuong, C. Debussy, and S. Costello (premiere).
Please enter via 54 W. Chicago Ave for the reception event.

The Alliance Française de Chicago is 125 years old and part of an international network of over 1,100 Alliances and affiliated cultural centers. As “The Place for All Things French” in Chicago, its mission is to promote exchange, understanding, and friendship between Americans and French speaking people from Europe, Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, a world of more than 150 million French speakers. Through the study of another language and its associated cultures, it contributes to a global view of the world.

The fourteen photographs in this series are archival pigment prints mounted to aluminum composite board, 18 x 24 in., printed by Document, Chicago.

This exhibition is complemented by an opening reception event; a panel discussion; and the Chicago release of a 32‐page bilingual French‐English book that includes the fourteen photographs to be shown at the Alliance Française de Chicago, the artist’s meditations on the subject, and an incisive essay by art historian Scarlett Reliquet.

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