Sep 26th 2015

Tony Balko & Mike Olson: The Line Starts Here

@ Slow

2153 W 21st Street, Chicago, IL

Opening Saturday, September 26th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, October 24th

Folks queue up when there isn’t enough to go around. The haves are doling out just enough so the have-nots feel like they’re getting their share. The haves are nowhere around. Traffic is democracy. Everyone has the right, so we’re all stuck. Funny thing is we’re not always sure whether the line-toeing is stepping up to the plate or cowering in the face of oppression. We form picket lines to confront power. We mindlessly stand waiting our turn trained to acknowledge the power structure. Lines separate even when they remain unclear. Hands Across America. The DMV.

Tony Balko harnesses software to replicate with precision. He edits to access a universal version of what he’s making. Not the best, but an adequate representation, ignoring particular details. Mike Olson degrades, blurs and barely indicates, with similar motivations. Both artists pull apart political truths and reconstitute them in hopes of revealing something anew. Each is at his best when they remind us of what is left unsaid. Tony made a rainbowed flag, typically rendered as a symbol of inclusion. He drastically changed the stripe pattern into a psychedelic meander. That flag we know claims to be inclusive but it also declares who is not in the mix. Mike often doubles a remove reminding us that dutiful effort pales against the rules of the game stacked against the many.

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