Apr 6th 2018

Helps it to feel, compels it to make

@ Weinberg / Newton Gallery

300 W Superior St #203, Chicago, IL 60654

Opening Friday, April 6th, from 4:30 PM - 9 PM

On view through Saturday, May 5th

Please join us on Friday, April 6 for the opening reception of the Visual and Critical Studies 2018 graduate exhibition helps it to feel, compels it to make at Weinberg/Newton Gallery. The evening will begin at 5:00 pm with a keynote lecture by Doug Ashford—visual artist, curator, member of artists’ collaborative Group Material, and Associate Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Food and drink will then be served to begin at 6:00 pm, and together we will toast the opening of the exhibition.

The next day, Saturday, April 7, symposium presentations will take place at Weinberg/Newton Gallery from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm among the thirteen graduating scholars and makers. The cohort will be in conversation with one another, as well as invited guests, as they share their work in a variety of forms, including film screenings, performances, readings, lecture and dialogue*.

MA VCS 2018 cohort: Eduardo Chaidez, Michael Donatuti, Amanda Ellison, Evan Graham, Siamack Hajimohammad, Juan Carlos Herrera, Lindsay Hutchens, Stephanie Koch, Tiara Nord, Joshi Radin, John Steven, Zach Vanes and Celia Wickham

John Stevens, Joshi Radin, Eduardo Chaidez and Juan Carlos Herrera will present work that examines bodies in space through a re-negotiation of the ways in which we are read and received by the world around us. Through looking at notions of responsibility, representation, and modes of performativity, these artists offer up both critical and celebratory responses and actions. (moderated by Joshua Rios, Lecturer, Departments of Contemporary Practices, and Visual Critical Studies)

Evan Graham, Tiara Nord, Celia Wickham, Lindsay Hutchens and Stephanie Koch will speak to notions of trauma, pleasure, genealogy, and longing. Their work will unravel and collapse relationships between the intimate and the collective, provoking new forms of knowing the self through sensorial and historical reckonings. (moderated by Mary Patten, Professor, Departments of Film, Video, New Media and Animation, and Visual Critical Studies)

Siamack Hajimohammad and Zach Vanes will examine structures of compliance and displacement within institutional spaces, while Amanda Ellison and Michael Donatuti focus in on the hyper object, each attending to how we publicly experience and are shaped by our politics, ethics, and art. (moderated by Kristi McGuire, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Critical Studies)

* Additional performances, programs, and interventions will take place throughout the month-long exhibition, including:
Tuesdays (April 10, 17, 24, May 1), 1-4pm – Lindsay Hutchens, Family Photo Scanning Service
Saturday, May 5, 12pm – Celia Wickham, performance
Saturday, May 5, 2pm – John Stevens, presentation

In the early twentieth century, German playwright Bertolt Brecht contrasted epic theater against the dramatic to offer a new critical position for examining the world. For Brecht, if the dramatic is that which engages us creatively and emotionally, then the form offers an immersive experience that helps us to feel our place in the world. The epic stands counter to the dramatic as it applies reason and visionary scholarship, connecting our present to the richness of history and even compelling us to make worlds anew.
This exhibition and symposium—helps it to feel, compels it to make—presents works which call upon this contrast set out by Bertolt Brecht as means to celebrate and contemplate personal and collective histories, ideas and identities. The scholars and makers on view put pressure on this distinction by engaging both the dramatic and the epic to form new, critical positions that reimagine how knowledge is visualized, written and shared. Both experiences and insights are communicated; suggestions and arguments are used. There is an interest in what drives and in what motivates; events which move in a straight line and in irregular curves. Stepping across the line between what we feel and what we do, they simultaneously undertake creative investigation and propose gestures of the world as it is and the world as it is becoming.

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