Communities, contingencies, the subject stuck inside it all. It never ends. Ours is not an insular project. It’s always been for the drivers-by, tailgaters, stuck-in-traffickers and email listers. They say “country music,” but which country? It’s bumper sticker season for the politically-inclined and it’s hard to imagine a worse fate than Trump Show.
We spent our Friday rush hour with Tim Kinsella and a bunch of you, snacking on baguettes with olive oil, bar nuts and sardines, that pungent reminder of our daily commutes. Situated amidst the various rush-hour vendors and attention-clamorers, we outlasted the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the coconut ice cream cart and the guy handing out free paper stained with advertisements. The music was excellent but quiet — hardly heard over the rumble of the train overhead. The message was as simple as it was complex, playing breezy math games with geopolitics and your daily bread. As Kinsella repeated in his pre-affixing invocation, it’s “as real as it is unreal.” Our struggle is simultaneously in the realm of historical materialism and our own minds. So, you put a sticker on your car as if either even exists.
There’s no bitterness to the sweetness that is our next Trunk Show. Jen Delos Reyes has been doing incredible work as an artist and educator and through Open Engagement. Since arriving in Chicago, Delos Reyes has continued to champion the productive slipperiness of a life practice, of the artist’s work in their communities, in their homes and both in and at their work. This summer she juggled releasing and embodying an ebullient book, I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About In My Song: How Artists Make and Live Lives of Meaning. When your gallery can take you to other galleries, but also to the grocery store, you don’t take these life practice ideas lightly. Or you do. It’s about seriousness as a level of commitment, not dourness.
In the spirit of a D.I.T. opening, we’re hoping you’ll help with catering. Like with the merriment and the dancing, we’ll be providing the initial seeds, but it works best if we work it together. Bring your favorite summer dish.
Our final Trunk Show will be October 2nd, with Every house has a door.
Yelp us or your favorite Trunk Show exhibition here*.
ABOUT JEN DELOS REYES
Jen Delos Reyes is a creative laborer, educator, writer, radical community arts organizer, and author of countless e-mails. She is the director and founder of Open Engagement, an international annual conference on socially engaged art that has been active since 2007. Delos Reyes currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, where she is the Associate Director of the School of Art & Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
ABOUT TRUNK SHOW
TRUNK SHOW is a mobile exhibition space usually located in Chicago. It features monthly solo shows for which artists are commissioned to design a limited edition bumper sticker. The sticker lives, rides along with and helps propel a medium beat-up 1999 forest green Ford Taurus owned by Raven Falquez Munsell and Jesse Malmed. In addition to the month-long exhibitions, the bumper stickers are sold à la carte and by annual subscription. Openings follow a nomadic, symbiotic logic and include a public affixing, conceptual catering and playlists. TRUNK SHOW has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Hyperallergic, Newcity (who also named it The Best New Gallery on a Car Bumper) and the Chicago Tribune, which deemed these missives among the Best of Visual Art in Chicago.