Feb 22nd 2020

Please join us for the closing receptions of two exhibitions at Wedge Projects and it’s affiliate gallery, The Extension (1448 & 1442 W. Howard Street, a few blocks from the Howard Red Line stop).

Craig Neeson & Peter Fleps
Wedge, 1448 W. Howard Street, Chicago, IL

Warfare Prayer
I bow. I cover. I surrender. I do. I address. I command. I bring. I worship. I give. I recognize. You are worthy.
I renew. I am. You have loved. You sent. I am. Jesus Christ came. You have. You have given. You have given (me). I am. I am. You have. You have. You are. I do. I am. Lord Jesus Christ won. (for me). … has been given (to me). I am. I declare I am. You have provided. I put on. I lift up (and use). I put on (and live)
I am. the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled. I claim. I reject. I affirm. I choose. I choose. Open my….. Work in my….Show me. Show me. I would. I do. I put off. the Lord Jesus Christ provided.
I put on. He has made (for me). I put off. I put on. I put off. I put on. I put off. I put on. I put off. I put on. I do in every way stand. I claim. I pray. You would fill (me).I am thankful. You have shown. (me). I therefore claim.
I am. You have blessed (me). I am. You have begotten (me). I am. You have made. I can live. I recognize.
…. is Your will (for me). I therefore reject and resist. I refuse. I hold up. I claim. I do. I choose. I choose. I pray.
You would show me (Your will).
I am. ……..the weapons of our warfare.

Mel Keiser
The Extension, 1442 W. Howard Street, Chicago, IL
Film screened at 3:30, 4:30, & 5:30 PM (15 min)

In her work, Mel rewrites her personal history as the births and deaths of a linear progression of discrete selves. This project builds evidence that these selves exist: she makes a body for each self and buries it in a cemetery.

Entangling the borders of reality and fiction, this project is a journey to understand self-death. Mel collaborates with experts to prepare a funeral for her first self. They create a set of disarticulated bones as a surrogate body for burial, modeled from 3D scans of Mel’s body. Concurrently, a gravestone is hewn by a stone carver trained to be a priest; a casket is hand-built from a tree that clones itself; and mourning clothes are tailored from the clothes of the living and deceased selves. With these objects, Mel will hold a public funeral, burying the bodies of her past selves, incorporating a small plot of land in Illinois as a family cemetery, creating a public art site.

Complementing the burial, she co-produced a short fictional vérité film, documenting an unscripted conversation between herself and the stone carver as they look at the ephemera left behind by her first deceased self. As they talk about this past self in the third person—as someone who used to inhabit the body she now inhabits—they try to understand who that person was, and what it means to outgrow the person you used to be.

Collaborators on this exhibition and project include John Preus, Diego Ongaro, and Adam Paul Heller.

The Life and Deaths of The Mels: Here Lie the Bones is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also funded by Northwestern University The Graduate School Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund.

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