Michael Chambers and Millicent Kennedy
Life Inside – Still is a site responsive installation initially made by Michael Chambers and Millicent Kennedy during the 2020 COVID-19 related shutdown. Over the course of continued quarantine the artists have continued to trace one another’s shadows, paused in gestures of daily life, and install the overlapping silhouettes backlit by video in a window. The resulting images compress time, and keep a record of human movement in social space. The original installation with Purple Window Gallery occupied an apartment window viewable from the street, creating the mystery of looking into a stranger’s home and seeing part of their lives. At Roman Susan, this video installation has been adapted to include a gallery setting, one of the shared spaces lost in the pandemic. Our lives and social relationships are heavily mediated through screens/video and technology, now more than ever. Mirroring the viewer’s isolation outside of this scene, kept at arm’s length.
As the reach of the pandemic continues to stretch and the dynamics of life shift, the layers of silhouettes and video mimic this increased complexity, ambiguity, and compression of time. The artists want to draw upon both the recent memories of gathering together, while creating this illusion with just ourselves, and using something temporary, and without substance. These silhouettes combined together create a layered document of our time in isolated space. the process of tracing another person, and trying to make an accurate record, while you exist in the human impossibility of standing still, seems ripe with metaphor of shared anxieties and unrest in this unusual, evolving situation.
Life Inside – Still is a street-view exhibition on view 24 hours a day at 1224 W Loyola Ave, with projections after dark.
Michael Chambers is a Chicago based artist working primarily in video/sculpture installation,photography and printmaking. He received a BFA at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. There he exhibited the solo show Mighty Means in the Great Hall Gallery. He has shown with Red Lotus Gallery and The Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon Michigan. In Chicago, Chambers has exhibited with Parlour and Ramp Gallery and Purple Window Gallery.
Millicent Kennedy is a Chicago based artist, curator, and educator working in installation, fiber, print, and performance. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern Illinois University and her MFA from Northern Illinois University where she was awarded the Helen Merritt Fellowship. She’s received solo exhibitions from SXU Art Gallery, Roman Susan and Parlour and Ramp, as well as site specific installations with Terrain Exhibitions Biennial, and Purple Window Gallery. She has received artist residencies in Chicago, and Mississippi, and Michigan. Kennedy co-currates at Parlour and Ramp Gallery in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, and has served as the Gallery Director at Rockford University, She currently teaches at Evanston Art Center and Lillstreet Art Center.