Weekend Arts Guide (1/30-2/2 2020)

By: WPB Arts
Sponsors: Wicker Park Bucktown SSA33
Date: January 30, 2020 - February 2, 2020

Image Credit: Detail of Ten of Spades: The Demoness of the Broken Land by artist Yulia Kuznetsova, as seen in Chase the Ace, her solo show closing this weekend at AdventureLand Works on Paper. 

The next few days are filled with art exhibitions, opening and closing receptions, open mics and poetry slams, film screenings, happenings, a farmers market and more! The latest WPB Weekend Arts Guide has all the coverage you need to make your weekend the most artful it can be...

Thursday (1/30/2020)

No Nation Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab's Smudge Cinema Project
The Red Turtle (Michael Dudok De Wit, 2017)
The Red Turtle (Michael Dudok De Wit, 2017) is a look at what happens when Studio Ghibli once again follows the spirit of a person who's world is swept from under their feet only to find another world, stunningly animated and deceptively treacherous. Though not a silent film, this piece has no dialogue.
6:46pm to 8:50pm

Friday (1/31/2020)

Heaven Gallery
In A Room With Many Windows + Presence and Absence
One her exhibition In A Room With Many Windows, Chicago artist Gwendolyn Zabicki says "After becoming a mother, my relationship to time changed and warped. I am awake more hours than I used to be and am busier than before. Yet, there is also a lot of downtime in my day when I am feeding or holding my sleepy daughter. It is during these times that I am alone with my thoughts. Those brief, flickering thoughts that come and go so quickly between so many other things have become the subject of my new work. Sam Anderson wrote, 'How many fleeting associations combine to make up a life? How many rusty pipes do we mistake for owls? A vast majority of our waking hours are filled not with witty jokes or brilliant thoughts or epic feelings but with tiny, private mind-motions—thoughts that are hardly even thoughts at all, that don’t rise to the level of sharing with another human being. That millisecond when—again and again—a rusty pipe looks like an owl, or a newscaster’s voice reminds you of a long-gone uncle, or a daily routine sets off a small chain of involuntary associations. These things are almost nothing, and yet they are who we are.' These uncatchable, ghostly thoughts are almost impossible to notice and then adequately describe-- a kind man who held the door for me and my bulky stroller; the perfect shadows of two curators on a wall; a rainy flight home; that gray lady on a smoke break, seen over a decade ago, blending in with three gray columns; startling myself awake from a nap because I thought I was falling. The act of painting these fleeting thoughts is an attempt to capture a nearly invisible but very large part of being alive."
Presence and Absence is a collaborative group show of Korean and Korean-American artists based in Detroit and Chicago. The exhibition includes mixed media photography, video installation, minimalist objects, photographic installation of ceramics, non-traditional woven objects, and portrait paintings. Presence and Absence presents the artists’ introspective processes and the dialogue between materiality and craft that they each engage with. Stable and serene, historic and contemporary, traditional and speculative—diverse visual languages inform each work and together build a vital conversation about identity, culture, and experience today. The perspectives of each of the Korean or Korean-American artists represented in the exhibition are woven together to address the tension felt between the West and the East. In Presence and Absence, the artists identify conflicts tied to their educational backgrounds in the United States and the surrounding circumstances they are immersed in politically, socially, and culturally in Detroit and Chicago. Exhibiting artists include Joonghan Bae, Seuil Chung, Ray Im, Myungchan Kim, Jeong Hoon Park, and Yena Park.
Opening Receptions 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Volumes Bookcafe
Speak: All Ages Open Mic
We want to create a safe space for Chicago's youth to perform and share their stories, poems, music and more! Join us for the last Friday each month as we open the store to Chicago's young talent. Adults can join the fun as well, but we ask that any work shared be appropriate for young audiences (i.e. No racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist language. No sex, drugs or violence.) We're excited to get this started. Teachers, spread the word!
6:30pm to 8:30pm

Young Chicago Authors
Luis Rodriguez Regional Slam
Registration for Louder Than A Bomb is now open! Prior to the start of the competition there are many opportunities for students to hone their writing and coaches to gain resources/support. If your team is thinking about competing in LTAB2020 we encourage you to sign up for an upcoming regional slam. Regional slams, like the Luis Rodriguez Regional Slam, take places before the start of Louder Than A Bomb and give poets and coaches an opportunity to develop work and connect with poets from different parts of the city and build community.
4:00pm to 9:00pm

Saturday (2/1/2020)

AdventureLand Works on Paper
Chase the Ace by Yulia Kuznetsova
AdventureLand's first exhibitions of the year is Chase the Ace, a solo show by artist Yulia Kuznetsova!
Exhibition Closes - Final Day

Agitator Co-operative Gallery
nothing is about us without us: The Art of Harm Reduction
Agitator's first exhibition of the year is also a fundraiser for the Chicago Recover Alliance. CRA is a racially and ethnically diverse group composed of people living with HIV and drug use, working in addiction treatment, healthcare, education, law and other assorted areas. CRA is unique as an organization in that our work entails building one-on-one relationships with individuals affected by HIV and drug use and provide them with a wide array of options for achieving any positive change as they define it for themselves. CRA is an organization for those interested in directly serving, supporting, educating and advocating with others for reducing drug related harm. The closing reception will feature screenings and talks by Julia Doogan and Greg Scott as well as artists talks with Ben Kurstin and Suzanne Carlbereg-Racich.
Closing Reception 5:00pm to 8:00pm

The Dime
On The Beach: John Soss
The Dime's first exhibition of the year is On The Beach, a solo show featuring John Soss. As the artists tells it, "what began as a series of stark, poorly lit, haphazardly arranged photographs of frosted glass evolved over time into more wide-ranging documents of things I’ve found and catalogued from beaches surrounding Lake Michigan...Once the picture is taken and posted I dismantle the layout, stash the good pieces, toss a bunch of it, recycle a portion and then start over again the next day. Nothing is permanent."
Exhibition Closes - Final Day

Vertical Gallery
Winter Group Show
Vertical Gallery presents a special five-artist exhibition for their first exhibition of 2020. The Winter Group Show will feature Julieta XLF, Leon Keer, James Knight (Fourhundred ML), Li-Hill, and Martin Whatson. Julieta XLF (Valencia, Spain) paints whimsical figures, often entwined with nature, that seem larger than life. Since 2004, she has been focusing on mural interventions in public spaces. Leon Keer (Utrecht, Netherlands) is a Dutch pop-surrealist artist. He is a leading artist in anamorphic street art. James Knight (Fourhundred ML) (Vancouver, Canada) began in the graffiti art scene, and has continued to define his style to what he calls ‘rough realism’ – hyper-detailed photorealistic paintings created with spray paint. Li-Hill (Toronto, Canada) employs painting, illustration, stenciling, and sculptural elements within his works. Martin Whatson (Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian street artist best known for his calligraphic scribbles in grayscale voids. Over the past decade, Martin has developed an unmistakable aesthetic combining abstract movement with figurative stenciled compositions.
Opening Reception 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Wicker Park Farmers Market
2nd Annual Indoor Winter Market
The Wicker Park Farmers Market is headed inside at The Hall at The Robey for the winter season through April of 2020! Don't forget, the market is plastic-free so please remember to bring your own containers and totes when possible. Vendors will have branded options for sale as well as free totes at the market info booth! The Robey will be selling drinks at the bar including mimosas, Bloody Marys, coffee, and more. The market will feature live music, compost drop-offs with HealthySoil, and more activies to be announced soon! The indoor market will be held the first Saturday of each month, December through April.
10:00am to 3:00pm

The Windy Kitty Cat Cafe and Lounge
Just Kitten Around Comedy Showcase
Comedy show Just Kitten Around is back after selling out another show! Come on in at 6:30 and play with kitties until the show starts, and BYOB. Hosted by Elsie How and Alex Collyard, this show's lineup will feature musical comedy from The Garden Boys, standup from Sukhjit Singh, and characters from Lureena Cornwell. Come out if you can! If you can’t, just reserve some time to spend with the kitties on a different day. 18 and older only, please.
6:30pm to 8:00pm

Sunday (2/2/2020)

No Nation Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab's Smudge Cinema Project
Smut Cinema Part X: Safety Fist - Latex and Leather in Vintage Queer Porn and Erotica
Smudge Cinema presents, in collaboration with Julia Zinn, Smut Cinema–a look at what happens when vintage queer erotica is projected on a wall for people to watch. Smudge Cinema’s Tour de Porn is a smorgasbord of pornographic film spanning decades, genres, and legacies. In the first installment, Part X: Safety Fist, the series aims to explore the work of queer pornographic filmmakers in the years surrounding the AIDS pandemic. For decades, queer pornographic filmmakers contributed to cinema in numerous ways, including, but not limited to innovations in performance, editing, sound, and design. Distributing directly to porn theaters, such as Chicago’s Bijou Theater (1970-2015), filmmakers explored sex and cinema in feature length pieces, at times pushing stylistically into the experimental and avant-garde. While government and nation-wide media willfully ignored the lives of everyone vulnerable to HIV transmission, some queer filmmakers took it upon themselves to educate their audiences with comprehensive safer sex material. These efforts ranged from startlingly sexy to hilarious, but all contributed to an increasingly complex cultural language of health and intimacy. Additionally, sadism and masochism culture is wildly under-credited for advancing our understanding of consent, with performers engaging in various practices that required in-depth communication and mutual satisfaction. Still, many filmmakers were not interested in education, opting for straight up smut, instead. At a time when many people avoided kissing or touching HIV+ people and significant portions of the population considered quarantines for queer people, some hardcore performers chose to freely engage with blood and semen. Safety Fist is a collection of clips and shorts from Fatale Media & other '90s dyke and queer porn, inventive and fetish safer sex clips from Surge Studio videos and Greg Bordowitz (of Act Up), Michael Goodwin's Goodjac series, and instructional S/M porn and brutal/weird S/M porn from the Slave & Master series, among other sweet treats. Future installments in this series will delve into the psychedelic and avant-garde as well as the work of some titans of the gay pornographic industry of the 60's and 70's.
6:36pm to 9:09pm

Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.
Secret Agent Storytime
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to sing, dance, read books, and make crafts with Agent Zach and your friends, parents, and siblings on the first Sunday of every month at the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds. We're counting on you, junior story agents! This event is free and open to the public. Recommended for junior agents ages 0-4 and their families.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Firecat Projects
MCM Fine Framing: A Look Behind the Curtain
Firecat Projects presents a collection of artwork by the workers behind the scenes at MCM Fine Framing. Exhibiting artists include Harvey Hayes, Ryan Quigley, Gildelgar Sanchez, Matthew Schommer, Wes Smith, and Gabriel Villa.

Firefly Fiber Arts Studio
The True North Creative Trunk Show
Firefly is excited to be hosting another trunk show of The True North Creative Yarn! This indie dyer is out of Mississauga, Canada, creating beautiful variegated, speckled, and self stripping yarn! The trunk show will run to the end of January and feature the dyer's winter yarn collection.

Gallery Café
Syd Veverka: Stop Complaining and Kiss Me!
Gallery Café presents Stop Complaining and Kiss Me!, a complete take-over by artist Syd Veverka. Veverka's colorful abstracts and playful imagery are encapsulated by her murals, tables, porcelain animals, paintings on canvas and drywall, and varied artistic output on exhibition.

Jackson Junge Gallery
With the Holidays and New Year in the rear view mirror, we find ourselves in the midst of Cuffing Season! Cuffing, Jackson Junge Gallery’s first group exhibition of 2020, pays homage to this cultural phenomenon. The seemingly millennial occurrence fools no one...since the dawn of time, couples have turned to each other for warmth, comfort and seasonal fun when the days grow darker and colder. Urban Dictionary defines “cuffing” as the moment when “people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship.” Cuffing explores these desires and exposes the intimacy and inevitable end to this “thirsty” time of year. The exhibition features artworks by sixteen artists around the United States including Alvin Black III, Michael Coakes, David Decesaris, Anita Frazier, J. Allen Hyde, Kurt Kreissl, Kenneth Marier, James Mesple, Christina Ivelisse Morris, Juan Arango Palacios, Darrin Patton, Karen Remsen, Samuel Schwindt, K Smith, Allan Teger, and Benjye Troob.

LVL3 Gallery
Circle Within a Square
LVL3 presents Circle Within a Square, a two-person exhibition featuring Bernadette Despujols and Brittney Leeanne Williams. Despujols’ violent, painterly style confronts contemporary mythologies of women while Williams’ transcendent use of deep red nods to generational and embodied feminine roles. Williams’ paintings feature black women prominently in the composition, blending foreground and background, landscape and subject. The bodies are bent: their postures suggest a state of rest, a burden carried, lovemaking, being anchored. Williams uses these figures and their positionality to reference her own relationship to family history while at the same time speaking about chronicled female characters such as Naomi and Ruth from the Book of Ruth. Despujol’s sculptures and paintings speak about the female body in today’s cultural and social contexts, questioning and embracing notions of objectification and intimacy. Despujol’s compositions depict naked sitting female-bodied figures in their home, on a bed or sitting on a man’s lap; forcing a viewer to question whether the scene depicted is intrusive or empowering. Similarly lonely and internal, Despujol’s interruptions of objects and furniture designed for the body are transfigured to become the body in question. Bending, sitting, propped on chairs or inside a vast landscape, Despujols and Williams’ figures disrupt space through their dynamic expressions of womanhood.

Little Broken Things
Year One: Halftone Projects Anniversary Exhibition
Little Broken Things is excited to announce their current art show with Chicago-based Halftone Projects, a second bedroom turned print studio run by Victoria Marie Barquin. Located in Logan Square, Halftone Projects publishes prints for artists and January is their anniversary! This exhibition features all of the work they’ve made in their first year of programming, which includes collaborations with Colleen Hardison, Nicole Del Rio, Haejin Lee, and Catherine Martzloff. 

Rainbo Club
First Last In Between
New work by Sam, Tom, and Adrian.

Roots & Culture
Beyond Reach: Selva Aparicio & Valentina Zamfirescu + Onyx Engobar: Use of the Erotic as Power: A Self Study in Black Myths & Black Eroticism in the Window
Roots & Culture is pleased to present Beyond Reach, an exhibition that pairs artists Selva Aparicio and Valentina Zamfirescu who reflect on the (im)possibility of corporeal touch. In Beyond Reach, viewers near physical bodies and their memory-images yet true connection continually evades; multiple layers of material and technological intervention block the path and problematize skin-to-skin contact. Selva Aparicio gives meaning to the neglected, finds beauty in peril, and empowers her gathered materials to raise questions on mourning, death and fragility. Aparicio has covered an entire room with concrete tiles cast from impressions of human cadavers, inviting viewers to touch and intimately experience the crevices of skin frozen in metamorphosis from living to dead. Valentina Zamfirescu’s sculptural installations likewise center around bodies and mediate corporeal experiences of the world. Working primarily with digital technologies, Zamfirescu brings back suppressed personal memories and stages them in virtual reality or through digital print. While Zamfirescu’s most recent work employs VR, her virtual environments always exist within an installation and employ sculptural elements to direct and constantly pull viewers back to their occupied body. Interwoven together as a two-person exhibition, Selva Aparicio’s and Valentina Zamfirescu’s meticulously crafted installations reference a universality of being and distill our strongest, most human connections as material and digital form.

Video Game Art Gallery
System Link: Video Game as Memoir
Video games have historically been a product catered to the player. A focus on engagement, replayability, and general entertainment value has guided design strategies that create impersonal pieces, appealing to the widest range of players possible. While film, music, writing, and other media have historically been vehicles of memoir and personal storytelling, games often maintain a trajectory as products of their audience and not their creator. The voices of the individual artists have recently begun to break through the standards of generalization in the medium, creating stories where players are able to experience the emotional perspectives of the creator. In doing so memoir games reveal that assumptions about the general audience skew toward specific perspectives, and exclude others. VGA Gallery's first exhibition of 2020 seeks to highlight those works, exploring how a range of game makers and artists have translated their personal experiences into the interactive context. Each work is designed to allow the player to understand, empathize with, and connect to other lived realities, using the participatory advantages of video games to express a story as no other medium can. The different projects showcased in System Link: Video Game as Memoir offer different answers to the question “What happens when you let the player of games into your story?”




Thursday (1/30/2020)
No Nation Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab's Smudge Cinema Project: The Red Turtle (Michael Dudok De Wit, 2017) - 6:46pm to 8:50pm

Friday (1/31/2020)
Heaven Gallery: In A Room With Many Windows Presence and Absence - opening reception 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Volumes Bookcafe: Speak: All Ages Open Mic - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Young Chicago Authors: Luis Rodriguez Regional Slam - 4:00pm to 9:00pm

Saturday (2/1/2020)
AdventureLand Works on Paper: Chase the Ace by Yulia Kuznetsova - exhibition closes
Agitator Co-operative Gallery: nothing is about us without us: The Art of Harm Reduction - closing reception 5:00pm to 8:00pm
The Dime: On The Beach: John Soss - exhibition closes
Vertical Gallery: Winter Group Show - opening reception 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Wicker Park Farmers Market @ The Robey Hall: 2nd Annual Indoor Winter Market - 10:00am to 3:00pm
The Windy Kitty Cat Cafe and Lounge: Just Kitten Around Comedy Showcase - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Sunday (2/2/2020)
No Nation Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab's Smudge Cinema Project: Smut Cinema Part X: Safety Fist - Latex and Leather in Vintage Queer Porn and Erotica - 6:36pm to 9:09pm
Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.: Secret Agent Storytime - 11:00am

Ongoing Exhibitions
Firecat Projects: MCM Fine Framing: A Look Behind the Curtain
Firefly Fiber Arts Studio: The True North Creative Trunk Show
Gallery Café: Syd Veverka: Stop Complaining and Kiss Me!
Jackson Junge Gallery: Cuffing
LVL3 Gallery: Circle Within a Square
Little Broken Things: Year One: Halftone Projects Anniversary Exhibition
Rainbo Club: First Last In Between
Roots & Culture: Beyond Reach: Selva Aparicio & Valentina Zamfirescu with Onyx Engobar: Use of the Erotix as Power: A Self Study in Black Myths & Black Eroticism in the Window
Video Game Art Gallery: System Link: Video Game as Memoir