May 31st 2019

The approach

@ ACRE Projects

1345 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, May 31st, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Sunday, June 23rd

“1. Nearly…” 1

Similar to a narrative arc, we like to believe that our life builds reliably and, as its author, we determine how it settles into resolution. But as we move through public and intimate spheres, the solid foundation we seek is found to be continuously shifting and unfolding in unpredictable ways. Moments of misrecognition, instability, and isolation are more frequent than we would hope and they occur in spaces and with people that should provide anything but.

We experience these fragilities of living simultaneously to holding hopes for satisfaction, upward mobility, and reliable connection. To be solid, stable, and near. As we try to find root and better traction in the world, we wish to be closer to a place, an ideal, or a person, because “the nearness to this thing will help you (or a world) to become different in just the right way.” 2

But just as we approach the thing, it slips. It moves away, transforms, or disappears completely. How do we deal?

Featuring recent and in-progress works by Wanbli Gamache, Clare Gatto, Juan Molina Hernández, and Holly Veselka, “The approach” offers three conceptual sections:

1. Nearly…
2. On dealing
3. Speech and action, a proposal.

These sections create a framework to consider how approaches developed within an artistic practice can inform and maintain everyday living. Centered around the works of Molina Hernández, Gatto, and Veselka, The approach features Gamache in residence at ACRE’s Pilsen project space.

As she develops her works in the studio, Gamache employs the strategies of the exhibiting artists and embodies their processes during moments of public performance in the gallery. Throughout the run of the exhibition, we question and explore: How can we creatively confront difficult emotional and pragmatic problems and learn how to deal with the uncertainty that results?

Please join us for Wanbli Gamache’s activations of the approaches adopted and shared by Clare Gatto, Juan Molina Hernández, and Holly Veselka, the first of which will occur during the install of the exhibition on May 28th, 2019 at 8 PM.**

*Please note that this exhibition and related programming may contain sexually explicit content.
**This performance will occur during the install of the exhibition The approach. Please be respectful and mindful of works-in-progress when in the space.

1. Berlant, Lauren. Cruel Optimism. Duke University Press, 2011. 161.
2. Ibid., 2.


May 31st – June 23rd, 2019
First performance by Wanbli Gamache: May 28th, 8 PM
Opening Reception: May 31st, 6 – 9 PM
Open Hours: Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 4 PM and by appointment



Wanbli Gamache is a new media performance artist that works through the intersections of transgender identity and media representations of erotic imagery and pornography. She explores the issues of spectacle, authorship, and intimacy within new technological transmissions of body through virtual and simulated bodies. She is an Alumni of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Film, Video, New Media, and Animation department and currently lives and works in Chicago. She has exhibited in the New Blood Performance Festival at Links Hall, Sullivan Gallery in Chicago, and Supernova Digital Animation Festival in Denver, Colorado.

Clare Gatto is a Detroit-based artist using 3D rendering software to create and explore simulated bodies, egg sacs, and interstitial space. These digital simulations, in the form of video and photographic works, offer the in-between as an opportunity to reconsider ideas around the body as we know it and envision the physicalized self beyond labels and binaries.

Gatto earned a BFA from Ohio State State University (2012) and an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art (2017), in between which they co-founded MINT collective, a collaborative, multidisciplinary artist-run space in Columbus, OH. A recipient of the Mercedes Benz Financial Service New Beginnings Award (2017) and the Warren and Margot Coville Scholarship (2017), they attended Vermont Studio Center and ACRE artist residencies in 2018 and will be attending Seljavegur residency in Reykjavik, Iceland in fall 2019. Their artist book Good Side, published with New Archive, is in the collection of Cranbrook Academy of Art Library and the Whitney Museum of Art Library Special Collections.

Juan Molina Hernández, born in Guanajuato, México, is a visual artist currently based in Chicago, IL. In 2016, they graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Molina Hernandez’s art practice primarily uses photography and more recently writing, video, and artist books to create narratives that address the complexities of the hybrid immigrant identity. By appropriating symbols from the environment, culture, and personal memory they construct stories in relation to place, family, and a culture that never speaks one language.

Holly Veselka is a conceptual artist with a focus on project-based, research-oriented sculptures, archives, and installations. Her interests lie in how humans perceive science, the natural world, and the cosmos. She has exhibited her work internationally and received recognitions including the city of Austin’s 2019 Launch Pad Artist, a 2019 TSU Research Enhancement Grant, a summer artist residency in 2018 at ACRE, and Creative Capital’s 2016 On Our Radar. This summer Holly is conducting visual research at the Polish Academy of Science’s Institute of Mammalogy in the Białowieża Forest, Poland and participating in the 2nd Annual Digital Naturalism Conference in Gamboa, Panama. She is an Assistant Professor at Texas State University.

Stephanie Koch is interested in the links between nation and narration. Her multidisciplinary projects adopt editorial processes to shift the authorial voice from the nation to those on the perceived periphery. She received a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, she is a Curatorial Fellow with ACRE and Co-Founder of Annas, a Chicago-based residential studio and exhibition space.

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