May 3rd 2015

Familiar Malaise

@ ACRE Projects

1913 W 17th Street, Chicago IL

Opening Sunday, May 3rd, from 4PM - 8PM

On view through Monday, June 1st


We decided to turn towards,
or rather, to return home.
It was a conscious decision. We trapped ourselves in it, anticipating for the moment
to confront with secret ghosts of the past. Inescapable, it come and it returns.
The domestic environment is contagious;
But we had to.
It also happened to be that we are at the point where the question of settling down becomes relevant.

Indeed, it is a well-known, frequently treated “psychologitstic” topic in contemporary art. Only we do not approach it through the sentimental hues or the excess strategies.

Joe Yorty’s work is emotionally vacant. The site-specific wall piece is immediately pleasing; visually satisfying. Only with a longer view can one notice the fundamental fragmenting and multiplying logic that defines it. Then it seems that the wall collage threatens to take over the exhibition space as a cancer-like formation.

Cara Chan’s work is as humorous as it is eerie. The grotesque stillness of “suicide hotline,”accompanied by the MOH (music on hold) tunes touches lightly upon a deep sense of depression. Set in the suburban domestic esthetics, it brings up an insufferable sense of succumbing to the American dream, middle-class life.

Austen Brown outlines the reconstruction of the domestic space, seen in the socio-economic margins, of migrant workers. Being bound to frequent movement and economical constraints, the workers re-imagine and stretch the formation of a “home”. Inspired and yet uncertain regarding the socio-political forces that led to this “re-imagination,” Austen constructed a site-specific installation that echoes these bare formations.

Ruslana Lichtzier, the curator and the author of this text, is very fond of domestic dramas and mental complexities, which both define her subjectivity, and provide fertile metaphors to her practices.In this, her final ACRE project, she echoes, with her departure, Freud’s arrival to the States, where he announced to his fellow traveler and rebelling disciple, Dr. Jung, “We spread the plague.”

Joe Yorty was born and raised in the southwest corner of the state of Utah and spent his junior high and high school years in Escondido, California. Much of the time between then and now is filled with almost 11 years of service in the U.S. Navy. Currently, Joe is gainfully employed by the Department of Art, Architecture + Art History at the University of San Diego as their Facilities Manager. There he is generously provided with a studio where he is engaged in the development of an art practice that meaningfully integrates his obsession with second-hand shopping. He completed a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art at UCSD in 2012.

Cara Chan is a Brooklyn based installation artist. Her practice bridges the limits of sculpture with the realms of video and sound. Through this, Cara responds to to concepts of ‘person-environment’ (mis)fit transactions, provided by the Organizational Psychology , which rules our post-industrial era. In her work, Cara shades light on perpetuating common anxieties that are fueled by grief, insufficiency, doubt, and desire, while juxtaposing them with traces of self-help methods such as guided meditations, talk and sound therapy.
Cara received her B.F.A from New York University, and will be attending UCLA for her MFA in 2015.

Austen Brown is currently based in Chicago, IL, while pursuing his MFA at the School at the Art Institute. Using geography as a medium, he orients himself towards conceptual site based practices, asking questions about space and its construction through social, economic, and political structures. Using a heavily researched based practice he investigates the fragmented nature of ‘place’, and the enigmatic representation of ‘place’ through sound, video, and sculpture.

Ruslana Lichtzier is an artist, writer, and independent curator. Born in Russia and raised in Israel, she received her BFA with Honor from Bezalel Academy for Fine Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, and her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of The Art Institute, Chicago, with a Dean Scholarship. Her background is a principal force in shaping a cultural practice that is focused on creating new artistic, politically charged products, that under constant reconsideration of the hegemonic canons.

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