Tuesday, July 31, 2007

chi-town stand up

just when i had started to get irritated with being back home & around people again after camp (it had been one day... but nonetheless i had scheduled the day for sleep and i was urgently awakened at 10:30 by my momsie) jackie & i took an semi-impromptu road trip to the windy city. impromptu in the fact that we didn't actually decide we were going until the day before, and we didn't know how we would get there. not impromput in the fact that we had been planning such a trip for months & had spend many late nights searching a cheap hotel . (until we realized that jackie's dad had "perks.")

anyway, it was a much needed departure. good to catch up with jackie and jam to sufjan stevens (illinoise, bien sur) on the way there. good to not have a detailed itenerary... but to have things just work out. good to be back in the city... and in my little bubble. jackie had to listen to my seemingly endless flash backs from my ecp experience at the school of the art institute last summer... the starbucks where i got my java chip everyday (i'm pretty sure it was the same cute barista... but i figured it would be weird to ask.) the intersection where i had almost gotten hit by a car because i had gotten a little too comfortable & had my headphones on. the panda express where i got chow mein and orange chicken every friday. the building on michigan avenue where i watched the fireworks on the fourth. i usually don't reminisce that much, but being back there reminded me how much i actually do miss it.

we did lots of walking and shopping and eating... but the part that made it totally worth it was all of the art. the mca was totally energizing, as usual. soaking in so much conceptual art, especially on a time limit, is always overwhelming. the escultura social exhibit was such a suprise. (especially the "kitty room") the whole concept was joseph beuy's idea of social sculpture or "how we mold and shape the world in which we live." his belief is that sculpure is an evolutionary process, and everyone is an artist. i couldn't help but think of ali edwards & the life artist concept. it was interesting to see throughout the exhibit how the everyone an artist idea empowered the latin american artists creating in environments of turmoil and suppression.

jackie & i read every single word of pablo helguera's the school of panamerican unrest. such a cool concept. i especially liked his challenge to the city of chicago "we call upon chicago artists, critics, curators, and art institutions to challenge what is being done, to take it as far as they can, to break the comfort barrier, to be uncomfortable, to make us uncomfortable, to raise the stakes, and to set their pants on fire." (http://www.panamericanismo.org/index.php)

and no trip to chicago would be complete without stopping at the art institute. (except it was strange to actually pay to get in...) jackie decided before even entering the jeff wall exhibit that she was in love. all of wall's photographs are huge transparancies, lit from behind. standing in front of them, you become intranced. i usually have to watch myself at museuems, because i'll read the description of a piece before really looking at it and investigating it for myself. (it's the part of me that still loves words and text as it relates to art just as much as the art itself.) but the jeff wall exhibit had only the photographic transparancies and the title of each one. nothing more. very simple. i wasn't being spoon fed historical connections or concepts. i could just look at the art for what it was and for what emotions or ideas it provoked in me. now that i'm back at home, i found this website from the same exhibit when it was at the MoMA. (http://moma.org/exhibitions/2007/jeffwall/) each piece is accompanied with commentary in wall's own words. so interesting.

other pieces that i was drawn to enough to scribble down on my floor plan:

arthur dove, "a reasonable facsimile"
elizabeth sparhawk-juones, "shoe shop"
joseph cornell, "untitled: yellow sand fountain" (ms. wright told me earlier this year that some of my collages reminded her of cornell's shadow boxes.)
cy twombly, "the first part of the return from parnassus"
helena almeida, "deutrode mim" (or "within myself")
james bishop, "early"
berthe morisot, "woman at her toilet"
georges vantongerloo "curving function, greenish-brown"

and being the art geek that i am i just had to get a picture with my all time favorite at the aic - gustave caillebotte's "rainy day, paris street."

1 comment:

Brent DesArmo said...

becky, i think that u are just amazing!! i am envious of u and the passion that u have for art. i am so blessed to have met u!