Sep 12th 2014

Sabina Ott: here and there and pink melon joy

@ Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St., Chicago Rooms 2nd Floor North, Chicago IL

Opening Friday, September 12th, from 5:30PM - 7:30PM

On view through Saturday, January 4th

Sabina Ott’s site-specific installation of new works at the Chicago Cultural Center, “here and there and pink melon joy”, is a transformative psychic journey, turning the Cultural Center’s Chicago Rooms, three enormously windowed spaces overlooking Millennium Park, into a mysterious and mystical hybrid environment. Suffering, fear, pleasure and transformation is evoked via the interaction with objects, sound and video play with material interpretations of text that describe transformational journeys, such as The World is Round, by Gertrude Stein and Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Ott contrasts the austere formalism of minimalist sculpture that emphasizes brut materials and perceptual space with the complex forms, bold ornamentation, and juxtaposition of elements that characterize the Baroque. Her objects and video make the viewer hyper aware of their own bodily movement through each room in this exhibition, experiencing aspects of Dante’s journey through the inferno, purgatory and paradise.

Practical materials such as mirrors, Styrofoam, spray paint, lamps, plants and clocks are rendered impractical and evolve beyond their function, resisting rational interpretations with a wild aesthetic, including a collaborative audio component with sound artist Joe Jeffers. Becoming paintings, sculptures, planters, screens, speakers and fountains, Ott’s work plays with the relationships between nature and artifice, function and form, beauty and the grotesque.


Thursday, October 9 12:15PM Chicago Rooms 2nd Floor North Gallery Talk: Sabina Ott
Gallery talk with artist Sabina Ott, Daniel Schulman, Program Director for Visual Art. At the Chicago Cultural Center, and Shannon Stratton, Executive Director of
Three – walls Gallery.

Saturday October 18 6- 8PM Chicago Rooms 2nd Floor North Joe Jeffers and Chicagoland Weather
In honor of Sabina Ott’s solo exhibition, here and there pink melon joy, sound artist Joe Jeffers has prepared new music for Chicagoland Weather, an ensemble of two drummers and 4 dancers. Chicagoland Weather
includes Havana based drummer Anthony Lester Blackhood, post-rock veteran Dan Bitney of Tortoise, and THE-ERA, an up and coming footwork collective native to Chicago’s southside.

Saturday, November 15 1PM Chicago Rooms 2nd Floor North Jesse Malmed: Cult Choir
Artist and curator Jesse Malmed will instigate and conduct an ad hoc choir in the Chicago Room galleries. Creating a temporary and ephemeral performance, Malmed and the audience will arrange texts that have been used to produce Ott’s exhibition, create melody and
rehearse . Once the song has been performed in its final form, the group is disbanded. Jesse Malmed has exhibited and performed at such venues as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Museum of
Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

Friday, December 19 6-10PM GAR Rotunda 2nd Floor North Exhibition Catalog Launch and Concert
The exhibition catalog, featuring color reproductions of the artworks and essays by artist /curators Michelle Grabner and Danny Orendorff, will be available for sale. The launch will be followed by a musical performance by Bitchin Bajas, an electronic music project by Cooper
Crain, Daniel Quinlivan and Rob Frye. Bitchen Bajas will be performing textured zonal movements with electric organ and synthesizers. They have collaborated with many Chicago artists in the experimental and jazz scenes as well as with visual artists from around the globe.

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