Pro-Text: When Words Enter Visual Art @ ISM-Chicago

Pro-Text: When Words Enter Visual Art, Curated by Robert Sill
Illinois State Museum-Chicago Gallery, September 12 @ 5-7 PM

I’m honored to be included in this major group show at the Illinois State Museum featuring work by Illinois artists who use text. I am showing a large selection of Local Programs/A Salute to the American Girl, a series of image/text collages made from vintage TV Guides, along with an artist book containing the full suite of collages (150 total!) and two image/text films featuring poems extracted from Shadow Land, the memoir of 19th-century spiritualist Elizabeth D’Esperance. (You can see one of the films here.) Much of the work addresses memory, loss, and nostalgia for the future, or nostalgia for what never came to pass. In honor of our recherche du temps perdu, I’ll have a plate of delicious madeleines at the opening. Join me!


Illinois State Museum, Chicago Gallery
100 W Randolph, Suite 2-100
September 8, 2014 to February 6, 2015
Opening: September 12, 5-7 PM
(enter on LaSalle St after 6)
Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 9-5

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September 10, 2014

Kelsey Street Press Blog Feature: TV Guide Collages

The wonderful editors at our country’s premiere feminist press have chosen five of my TV Guide collages to present on their blog. Please check it out and tell me what you think:

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April 14, 2014

Q & A with Director of Illinois State Museum-Lockport, John Lustig

I’ve got a piece in an interesting show about process and preparatory materials at the IL State Museum, Everything in Place, curated by Jennifer Jaskowiak. The show started at the Chicago gallery and has traveled to Lockport on its way to Springfield and Rend Lake. Last week I had the opportunity to share some poems and a bit of my process with the members of the gallery. Earlier, John sent along a list of questions about my work and process. Click here to read my answers.

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March 16, 2014

Mini-Review: Suicide Narcissus @ The Renaissance Society

Curated by Hamsa Walker and featuring the work of a diverse group of artists, “Suicide Narcissus” confronts our collective culpability in the ecological disaster we’ve created by our overconsumption and abundant abuse of our environment. The exhibition is predictably somber and leaves one with a sense of both regret and hopelessness. You could argue it is even cynical, this collection of pieces, but then that would be to deny our current reality, one in which we must confront the consequences of our thoughtlessness. The consumption-driven apocalypse is visited upon some community somewhere every moment of every day, as the terror unfolding in the Philippines attests to. Right, right, we cannot definitively say that this particular natural disaster is a direct result of man-made climate change, but then we are living in the Anthropocene, an epoch marked by extreme climatic changes brought upon by human activity, so do we really need to argue that point?


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November 17, 2013

Mini-Review: Anne Wilson @ Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Anne Wilson
Rhona Hoffman Gallery Chicago
Through December 7

I was first introduced to Wilson’s work in the 1990s with her damaged linens/hair pieces, a series of work perhaps best embodied by her magnificent installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, FEAST, of 2000. FEAST is a massive dinner table covered in damaged linen fragments of various irregular shapes embellished with human hair and thread. Holes in the linen fragments are stitched around, further emphasizing the linen’s imperfections. One can’t help but be uncomfortable looking at FEAST; hair on white linen evokes in most of us perhaps not repulsion, but at least a strong aversion, a desire to remove the hair, if only to relieve the embarrassment of the incident. That embarrassment speaks to the awkwardness of hospitality and the obligation to keep the entire situation “clean.” As the holes in the linens weren’t repaired with Wilson’s stitches, but rather embellished and drawn attention to, we’re faced with the impossibility of repair, an implicit surrender to degeneration and decay. That all of this is highly sexualized makes the work that much more vital. (more…)

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October 31, 2013

Oct 23 @ Noon: Poetry Reading_Artist Talk


_WED., OCT 23 @ NOON


I’m currently showing “Dark Waters,” the finished piece and preparatory materials, at ISM-Chicago as part of the exhibition, “Everything In Place: Sketches, Journals, Preparations.” I love talking about process. If you do too, join me! I’ll be reading “Dark Waters” and talking about both the poem and the visual work and how they came about. The poem first appeared in Dream of Water, published by the Poetry Society of America in 2008 as part of the PSA National Chapbook Fellowship series. Included in my little corner of the exhibition are the finished “Dark Waters” pieces (it’s a 9-piece series), the chapbook, an artist book I prepared before making the 9-piece series, copies of the unadulterated photographs, and notes and notebooks concerning the series.

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October 14, 2013

Drawn to Language @ USC Fisher Museum of Art, September 3 to December 7, 2013

Join me at the Fisher Museum of Art at USC for Drawn to Language, a group exhibition centered on artists who work with text and image. The exhibition runs through December 7, 2013, with a reception and gallery talk by Museum Director Selma Holo on September 26 @ 6PM. If you’d like to join us for the reception, please email me and I’ll send you an invite.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this impressive show. The Fisher is showing two major pieces of mine that are in their permanent collection: 21st Century Retablo and Thesaurus for Ceasing War. Exhibiting with me are Susan Silton, Alexandra Grant, Holly Downing with poet David St. John, and Demian Flores in conjunction with singer Lila Downs and a larger group of Mexican contemporary artists. Check it out!



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September 25, 2013

Governors State University Show: Video!

I’m thrilled to be in a show with Anne Hayden Stevens and Kate Friedman at Governors State University now through March 27. I’ve got a number of pieces in the show, including Last Fisherman, Highway Dreams, Dark Waters, Drunken Forest, and my first image/text video, Material Passes Through Material. Join me at our closing reception, March 27 @ 4:30-7:30 for an artists’ talk and refreshments. For more info, visit Check out this short video of curator Jeff Stevenson, Anne Hayden Stevens, and me discussing the show and our work.


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March 15, 2013

Material Passes Through Material — Video Altar @ MOSNART

Video Still from Material Passes Through Material

Material Passes Through Material, 4:30. Found and original digital video footage. Text extracted from Shadow Land, the memoir of 19th C. spirit medium Elizabeth d’Esperance. Presented at MOSNART as part of the annual Day of the Dead Altar Walk in Pullman, Saturday, October 27, 4-6pm.

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October 27, 2012

Art from Remnants

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting my friend Mara Baker to see her installations in a four-artist exhibition, Two Histories of the World. The show is within a decrepit former factory that is set to be demolished before the end of the year. The building once was a factory manufacturing wire; later it became a warehouse/production facility bottling lotions for Unilever (the drums of leftover lotions litter the back room and they are labeled with hazard markings — toxic waste all of it); later, after the building’s owner lost the Unilever contract, it became a warehouse for the movement of discarded and soon-to-be-scrapped goods, and now, after extensive damage from a freakish hailstorm in July that also nearly destroyed the turn-of-the-century Palm Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory, the property has been sold to Salvation Army, who is going to demolish it and build a new structure (evangelical center? shelter?) on the site. Water drips through broken windows and skylights; stacks of discarded goods sit in piles and corners everywhere. Men move the debris here and there, while the owner sits guard at the front entrance, gently welcoming anyone who comes to see the disaster/artwork inside. (more…)

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October 22, 2011