Apr 12th 2019

Aspartame, Citral & Rayon


1932 S Halsted St, STE 200, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, April 12th, from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

On view through Saturday, April 27th

Aspartame, Citral & Rayon

April 12—27, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 12, 5:30—9:30 p.m.

Aspartame: A very sweet substance used an artificial sweetener, chiefly in low-calorie products

Citral: A fragrant liquid occurring in citrus or lemongrass oils and used in flavorings and perfumes

Rayon: A textile fiber or silky fabric made from regenerated cellulose (viscose)


Aspartame, Citral & Rayon is an interwoven audiovisual installation featuring works by multi-disciplinary artists Fran. E Gallagher, Phil Mulliken, and 李克非Coffe Lee. It is an exhibition that explores what wave-based mediums such as light and sound sometimes fail to provide us through the form of representation. Let us now turn our attention to our other senses, namely the gustative, the olfactory, and the tactile, and ponder on the possibility of using substitution as a method instead of representation to rethink our visual and auditory experiences. How do our artificial processes of extraction, synthesis, and addition create end products that are thin layers of fiction that become another kind of reality?

This is a show about things that are distorted just enough to maintain veneers of their previous lives while directing our attention to something else – a mirage, a déjà vu, a misplaced piece of memory, a strange familiarity, a thought that will come to mind in a second, or a presence that can only be understood as “something different.”

//A Materialist checklist of the show (in no particular order):

Laminated wood, tempered glass, cotton, enamel, oak, electricity, rubber, steel, copper, paper, acrylic fibers, pigments, resin, vinyl, adhesive, quartz, sand, sand, and more sand…

//A checklist for the senses (in no particular order):

Lemon, sunshine, comfort, diet coke, natural, fart, ticking clock, balcony, effervescent tablets, straw, buttons, key hole, bustling crowd, anger, discomfort, door knob, poetry, aliens, bell rings…

//A Human checklist of the show (in alphabetical order by last name):

Fran. E Gallagher is a creator of devised theater, and a collaborator with performing objects. Our focus is on the evolution and narrative of the living object; technology, mechanical machine, plant, creature, and furniture. These objects possess an inner life of their own; they express it by transforming in front of the viewer. Fran, and their collaborators, desire to expose the performative aspects of life as it continues to unfold.

Phil Mulliken is a writer, new media artist, and perpetual student of literature. Mulliken works with high definition CGI simulations which pit the spectacular nature of computer graphics against the brute banality of mundane objects. The result is a kind of computer-generated poetics, work which turns the high-gloss world of simulated spectacle back on itself—a procedural disaster in your living room, a synthetic tragedy just over the fence. Mulliken lives and works in Chicago, IL, and will receive an MFA in writing from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in spring of 2019.

李克非Coffe Lee is a Chinese indie musician and graphic designer based in Shanghai. He has released several digital albums and EPs including Hamilton House (福州大楼), from which the original sound scores for this show are sourced.

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