Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present “Tracing the Invisible,” a group exhibition featuring HATCH Residents Jessica Harvey, Anansi kNOwBody, and Marina Miliou-Theocharaki, curated by Kate Pollasch.
The artists in “Tracing the Invisible” summon the unseen forces that reverberate through the past and imprint the present. Each artist in this exhibition manifests the intangible qualities of social constructs such as borders, belonging, race, and utopia to ignite dialogue, contemplation, intervention, and questioning. Referential fragments are juxtaposed with the ephemeral nature of memory, enlivening the gallery into a charged and enigmatic visual landscape of unresolved meanings. “Tracing the Invisible” grapples with the immaterial confluence of forces between and within us.
Artist Marina Miliou-Theocharaki considers water as a temporal, nurturing, and violent force in relation to borders, transnational narratives, growth, and futility. How can something that giives life and sustenance also be employed as a weapon for protestor crowd control, or the defining difference between citizen and immigrant? She situates a dialogue between constructs of monumentality and preservation and the evanescent nature of water, growth, and ice.
Jessica Harvey’s work exhumes the remnants of a failed utopian arts community in upstate New York, in order to pose poetic considerations about Victorian spirituality, community mythology, and madness. As a resident at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Harvey excavated the public adn private archive of founder Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead and her family to awaken their quest for a utopian self sustaining arts colony. The palpable intimacy and residual will of a family fraught with tension and idealist hopes translates through Harvey’s questions of photography and referentiality, origins of knowledge, and utopian dichotomies.
Multidisciplinary artist Anansi kNOwBody confronts negative characteristic deeply embedded in manifestations of black male narratives found in entertainment figures, media and news outlets, and history. Intervening and uprooting these
racial traits, kNOwBody expands outward to cast a mirror
on the weight and oppressive maze that race, folklore, masculinity, and bureaucracy can bind and propel individuals.
The trauma of black male narratives being erased or re‐written
with racism and stereotyping in a public context is made material as KNOwBody strips, repairs, buries, and exposes
the subject matter within his work. In conjunction, KNOwBody
will complete a performance piece during the exhibition where
he enacts the act of mining history and embedded racialization
onto his painting.
THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Anansi kNOwBody is a multidisciplinary artist operating out of Chicago, IL. A recent graduate of Meadows School of the Arts, Dallas Texas’ M.F.A. program, his work offers perspective through a lens of cynicism. By means of conceptualization, appropriation, image and sound manipulation, visceral/ violent performance and audience control, he exposes visible and invisible power dynamics embedded in our society. Anansi attempts to guide viewers to assume a different interpretation than one they may already possess, by setting parameters, both physical and cognitive in order to view his work In January 2015 Anansi did a performance titled Punch Piece a 9 minute test of endurance addressing outlets of rage at Beefhaus gallery in Dallas, TX. His piece Cocaine Column/Build and Destroy, remnants of a performance comprised of 425 bricks made to resemble cocaine packages, was a featured work in the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas, 2015 finalist completion.
Born in Athens, Greece, Marina Miliou-Theocharaki is an interdisciplinary artist, dancer and educator currently based in Chicago. In her practice, definitions of culture and ethnic identity are silently confronted. The spatial and conceptual drift between fictional and socio-politically charged geographies that push her to delicately investigate definitions and compositional arrangements of distance, borders and, non-belonging. Her work has been exhibited in venues including the Comfort Station Logan Square, Chicago; the Den Theater Chicago; Dfbrl8tr Performance Art Gallery, Chicago; Chicago Home Theater Festival; Woman Made Gallery; Fancy House Gallery, Chicago; the group exhibition Words we Live By, curated by Molar Productions; as well as the Cook County Jail, Chicago. Miliou-Theocharaki was a member of the Chicago-based performance group, Collective Cleaners. They performed in various venues including the MCA Chicago and the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum. Miliou-Theocharaki was awarded the 2015 BFA/Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the 2014 George Roeder Undergraduate Award in Visual & Critical Studies. She currently holds a position as a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Jessica Harvey is a Chicago-based artist who explores the myths we create for ourselves and nature while trying to preserve a more desired history. Digging through public and private archives, she conducts long-term investigations on historical and personal events based on “facts,” reinterpreting these stories through the use of photography, video, archival resources, and objects constructed from everyday materials. The images and installations act as a catalyst for a fantastical exploration of the psychology that one attaches to memory and place. She received an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009 and a BA in film and video from Columbia College in 2005. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Iceland for the 2011-2012 year. She has attended residencies at ACRE, Anderson Ranch, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Hardesty Arts Center, The Luminary, and Vermont Studio Center. She has participated in group shows at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI), Johalla Projects (Chicago, IL), The Center for Contemporary Photography (Detroit, MI), and the Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Recent solo and two person exhibitions include shows at Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD), Hardesty Arts Center (Tulsa, OK), ACRE Projects (Chicago, IL), Good Weather (North Little Rock, AR), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), and Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL).
Kate Pollasch is an art historian, curator, and writer. She serves as the Gallery Manager/Registrar at Rhona Hoffman Gallery and has previously held positions with The Art Institute of Chicago, The Roger Brown Study Collection, and the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore. Her curatorial practice interrogates preexisting notions of history and normativity through queer tactics, network theory, archival studies, and considerations of affect and digital pedagogy. In 2012, she curated the exhibition “Roger Brown: This Boy’s Own Story” of Chicago Imagist artist Roger Brown’s artistic relationship to HIV, sexuality, mortality, and Chicago’s gay leather community. The exhibition unearthed previously censored artworks and archival materials from Brown’s career and resulted in Brown’s induction into the Visual AIDS Artist Registry.
Pollasch holds a MA in Modern Art History and Theory and an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland. She has lectured extensively, including speaking at The Chicago History Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The University of Chicago.