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Home Explore Newcity Chicago September 2019

Newcity Chicago September 2019

Published by Newcity, 2019-08-27 13:31:31

Description: Newcity's September issue features our Fall Arts Preview: programs, performances, exhibitions, and events across disciplines and demographics. Also featured is the Art 50, our annual survey of the city's visual art community. Newcity Art Editor Kerry Cardoza interviews with our Art Leader of the Moment: Jordan Martins, Executive Director of Comfort Station, the community-focused multidisciplinary art space in Logan Square. Elsewhere in this issue: a comprehensive guide to this season's theatrical premieres, a history of Oktoberfest, EXPO Chicago goes big, and more!


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UNRAVELING MODERN LIVING TATIANA BILBAO ESTUDIO Featuring a collaboration with Sweet Water Foundation and projects by Archeworks, Colectivo 1050O, Cultural ReProducers, Fieldwork Collaborative Projects, Stefan Gruber, Nance Klehm of Social Ecologies, and The Weaving Mill, among others September 16, 2019–January 11, 2020 Mexico City-based architecture office Tatiana Bilbao Estudio Graham Foundation presents an immersive installation that transforms a former Madlener House, 4 W Burton Place domestic space to explore new forms of collectivity. Presented in Gallery and Bookshop Hours: partnership with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Image: Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, from Unraveling Modern Living, digital collage, 2019

CONTENTS SEPTEMBER 2019 12 ARTS & CULTURE Have you seen ART the Cats of Pilsen? EXPO Chicago takes over Chicago billboards THE CHICAGO 16 ARCHITECTURE 33 76 BIENNIAL IS BACK DANCE Harvest Chicago Contemporary Can you imagine Dance Festival offers a little bit of this, a new civic metropolis? a little bit of that FALL ARTS 82 PREVIEW DESIGN Geometry of light Can you believe how much at the Farnsworth House there is to do this season? 84 ART LEADER 48 DINING & DRINKING OF THE MOMENT Suds, sausage, spankings and a history of Oktoberfest Jordan Martins forges a global conversation from Logan Square at Hofbräuhaus 86 ART 50 51 FILM Here's who help Apocalypse now or never keep our eyes wide open 88 LIT SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity Goldie Goldbloom discusses “On Division” 91 MUSIC Belle and Sebastian’s big-screen moment 94 S TA G E A preview of all the fall shows 96 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL No sanctuary in this Teen Dream 98 3

EXPO CHICAGO opens the fall art season at historic Navy Pier 4 days 3,500 works of art 135 international galleries 24 countries represented 68 cities represented 32 site-specific installations 50 program speakers 100 free public events across Chicago Use NEWCITY for $5 off one and three-day admission* Tickets available at *One-Day: Admits one person, one-day general admission from Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22, 2019. Three-Day Admission: Admits one person general admission from Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22, 2019. Tickets are not valid for admission on Thursday, September 19. This code may be used on up to four tickets per sale.




LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Fall is springtime in the arts. The strange thing about writing these letters each month is the disorientation of time. I'm thinking about the past, both recent and more distant, in order to glean lessons about the near future, that is, the month of publication. I am writing this in the heat of late summer for an audience reading it in the early stages of fall. Those tomatoes ripening in our garden? Not so relevant to you. This disorientation seeps into real life as well. While they still might be in the future when you read this in September, I've been immersed in EXPO Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Biennial and a bevy of fall events since late July and early August. In conversations, sometimes I'll forget something is new as I've been thinking about it so long it's already stored away in my memory. That's the nature of publishing: we live in the future so much that we're prone to think about the past. While Newcity has been searching for a new lit editor, a search that should be com- pleted when you read this, I filled in for a few months. While it's a lot of extra work, it's also a lot of extra fun if you love books as much as I do. In the process, I discovered that two old friends were returning with new works this fall, works that represented a significant passage of time. Carol Anshaw—who I got to know twenty-five years ago when I profiled her on the occasion of her first novel—is coming out with “Right After the Weather\" in October, seven years after her last novel, and Chris Ware's \"Rusty Brown\" hits the shelves this month. I interviewed Chris in this issue, and the passage of time is central to the book. He started writing the story back in 2000, in our pages, when we were all much younger, and Newcity was a very different place. His book affected me deeply, not only in its own magnificent narrative and imagery, but also in the way it cascaded my own memories in two directions, both the years before, when Chris was a weekly presence in our office, and the years after, when he'd become a national sensation while the bottom fell out of our industry and our business, and we went into a long battle for survival. The good news is, we did survive. And we're on our way to thriving again, with a reimagining of the publication and our business these last few years. We've begun a transition to paid subscriptions, expanded into custom publishing—you'll see evidence of that this month, with the official EXPO Chicago guide and The SEEN—and, perhaps most dramatically, we've entered the movie busi- ness. There's a lot to share about that in future months, as \"Knives and Skin\" hits Chicago theaters before long, and \"Dreaming Grand Avenue\" gets its finishing touches. Oh, and we're launching The Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 Chicago Film Fund, too. I sometimes feel like I must sound like some sorry BRIAN old dude wallowing in nostalgia, but in real life, it's HIEGGELKE all about the future. See you there. 8

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CONTRIBUTORS KERRY CARDOZA (Writer “Art Leader Worlds: Artistic Forms & Social Imaginaries ON THE COVER of the Moment,” and editor, “Art 50”) is Vol. 1,” was released by StepSister Press at Jordan Martins of Comfort Station Newcity's Art Editor. A Chicago-based the MCA Chicago, and two of his written Photo: Nathan Keay journalist, she writes mostly about the dance choreographies will appear in a special Cover Design: Dan Streeting intersections of art, music, gender and August 2019 edition of the Notre Dame politics. Find her on Twitter @booksnotboys. Review focusing on the work of participants Vol. 34, No. 1395 in the &NOW Festival of Innovative Writing. NATHAN KEAY (Photographer, Cover, PUBLISHERS “Art Leader of the Moment” and “Art 50”) Brian & Jan Hieggelke photographs Chicago’s art world, along LAURA HAWBAKER (Writer “South Side Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett with musicians, beautifully designed Stray Strut”) is a Chicago native who, after EDITORIAL objects and paintings. living in Prague, Poland, Hawaii and New Editor Brian Hieggelke Orleans, now lives in Pilsen. She holds Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke VASIA RIGOU (Editor “Chicago Architecture degrees in creative writing from Columbia Art Editor Kerry Cardoza Biennial” preview) is Newcity’s Design College and linguistics from UIC. She is Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer Editor. Usually this time of the year finds a Fulbright scholar and was accepted to Design Editor Vasia Rigou her island-hopping in her native, Greece, the 2019 Iowa Writer's Workshop summer Dining and Drinking Editor preparing for the overwhelming art and program. When not writing, she has a David Hammond design extravaganza that is September in passion for teaching and creating art. Film Editor Ray Pride Chicago. You’ll definitely be seeing a lot Music Editor Robert Rodi more of her during the Biennial. Theater Editor Kevin Greene DAN STREETING (Senior designer) Editorial Interns JR Atkinson, MICHAEL WORKMAN (Writer “Chicago is the founder of Streeting Design, a graphic Hayley Osborn and Alexander Tannebaum Architecture Biennial: Across the Great Divide: design studio that focuses on print projects, ART & DESIGN Race, Class and the Struggle to Imagine publications and illustration. He’s worked Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, a New Civic Metropolis”) is a visual and in many creative roles over the years, Dan Streeting , Billy Werch performance artist, writer, director of Bridge, including as a gallery curator, typographic Designers Jim Maciukenas, a Chicago-based publishing and programming instructor, Cranbrook design student, Stephanie Plenner organization, and a frequent contributor to large-format print specialist and synth MARKETING Newcity. His most recent book, “Perfect musician. Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke OPERATIONS Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 GEOMETRY OF VIP OPENING General Manager Jan Hieggelke LIGHT Friday, October 11 Distribution Nick Bachmann, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM — $75 Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, Geometry of Light is a light-based art inter- Quinn Nicholson vention by Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Drinks & hors d’oeuvres included Gil, which projects light and patterns both One copy of current issue free at select locations. inside and on the grounds surrounding the GENERAL ADMISSION Additional copies, including back issues up to one Farnsworth House. Presented in concert with Saturday & Sunday, October 12-13 year, may be ordered at a sound-piece developed in direct response to Copyright 2019, New City Communications, Inc. the site by Oriol Tarragó, this intervention will 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM — $35 All Rights Reserved. reveal underlying geometries that relate the house to its river floodplain site, topography, FARNSWORTH HOUSE Newcity assumes no responsibility to return and natural landscape. 14520 River Road, Plano, IL 60545 unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All 630 552-0052 — rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Visit for advertising and editorial information. 10

Through October 20 Christien Meindertsma: Everything Connects is the second exhibition in the Franke/Herro Design Series, which highlights the work of important design talent. This exhibition is made possible by Jay Franke and David Herro. Sorted sweaters from Fibre Market (detail). Photo by Roel van Tour and Mathijs Labadie. © Christien Meindertsma.

WHAT'S UP WITH THE CATS OF PILSEN? Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 AS THE SUN DIPS Kevin's ears perk. The smell of mack- He is a cat with no name and many BENEATH THE ROOFTOPS erel can only mean one thing: Castle names, who belongs to no one… and on Throop, Kevin wakes, yawns and Blackpaw must be somewhere nearby, everyone. stretches across the asphalt. He sniffs, TNR-ing kittens today. tasting the usual street delicacies on the And he’s not alone. An estimated air: Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan’s beef Kevin trots down the alley. Up ahead, 200,000 stray cats roam Chicago. cheek, chicken and pickled onion at a clump of pale, flaky meat cooks on Neighborhood numbers are hard to Pollo Express, and the distant sweet the sidewalk, pooled by sweet, stinky come by, but one volunteer who juice. A few feet away, another meat worked South Side “epidemic areas” tang of Honky Tonk wood-roasted pile and another beyond that. claimed to have personally trapped BBQ. The smells of Pilsen mingle: close to 400 cats over a two-year pe- Kevin, who bears a clipped left ear like riod in Pilsen alone. a rathole buried in the blockade a badge of honor, doesn’t take the bait. between 16th and the railroad tracks. He knows not to follow that trail of “You’re running through alleys with wet Spray paint. Dirt. Leaking oil. Metal. breadcrumbs to the literal trap that lies food on your pants, feeling like a in wait at its end. dumpster Disney princess,“ says Au- And... tumn Ganza, a force to be reckoned Nearby, he hears a metallic click: a cam- with in the cat-trapping community. by Laura Hawbaker era snap. Kevin turns and sees one of She is the volunteer mastermind be- photos by Valerie Shouldis his many admirers, Valerie Shouldis. She hind Castle Blackpaw, her own grass- lurks like paparazzi. Kevin trots forward, roots TNR community project. “You 12 arches his back against her shin, and kinda start doing a thing, and people rolls on the ground so she can fawn, give see you’re doing something that not a him a scratch and take his photograph. lot of people are doing, and they start asking for help.” “Kevin is just giving me the same poses as last year,” Shouldis posts for her In- TNR—or, trap-neuter-return / trap-neu- stagram, “Cats Of Pilsen.” She’s been ter-adopt—is the most effective, hu- snapping pictures of the neighbor- mane way to curb stray cat populations. hood’s abundant street cat population A single pregnant female could birth a since 2018. Last year, she sold calen- litter of a dozen kittens every twelve dars, the proceeds going to local ani- weeks. Not all are suitable for adoption, mal shelters. “I told [Kevin], a good so rather than resorting to euthanasia #meowdel should be able to show or overcrowded shelters, TNR-ing finds, some range!” fosters or returns these furry denizens to a neutered life on the streets. When Kevin is the “Cats of Pilsen”’s coverboy, a cat colony has been stabilized, Ganza his green-eyed, round white mug explains, “There are no more kittens. splotted by an infamous black eye After they’re all vetted, they fight less, patch. He’s a superstar stray along this there’s no breeding aggression, no stretch of Pilsen turf. A local mechan- mating season, no crazy hormones. ic has fed Kevin for nine years. (Most Usually there’s a caretaker. If not, we street cats only live to five or six.) Com- try to swing by, set up feeding stations menters fawn over his photos and and keep them fed once a week. Any message, “I know that cat!” They call cat who’s injured gets taken in for a him Pirata/Pirate, Wilson and Oreo. feral maintenance package.”

SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity 13

Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 Street cats benefit neighborhoods by The notoriety of Pilsen’s street cat pop- Last winter, when the polar vortex hunting rodents: rats, mice, and even ulation has gained popularity on the in- brought record freezing temperatures snakes. But if not spayed or neutered, ternet, with Shouldis’ “Cats of Pilsen” to Chicago, “We did a shelter build at La the cats breed out of control—which is and another Instagram photographer Catrina Café,” says Shouldis. Volunteers why TNR-ing is important. with thousands of followers, “Cat Man spent hours building eighty insulated of Oakland.” “Cat Man of Oakland” reg- cat shelters to help the colonies survive TNR trappers coerce strays into humane ularly visits Chicago to photograph the cold. This summer, Ganza plans to traps, then take them to PAWS Chicago “‘hood cats.” He toured a Pilsen house host a kitten-adoption event at Pin- to be vetted. A typical spa treatment at overrun by strays recently, saying, “This wheel Records, where patrons can take PAWS includes spay/neuter surgery, yard is magical.” pictures of kittens destroying mini-di- vaccinations, flea treatment, de-worm- oramas of famous landmarks. ing, tattooing, microchipping, and Street cats have become a South Side Shouldis still hits the streets with her ear-tipping—or, clipping the edge off the thing. They differentiate neighborhoods camera. She’s on the prowl for new cen- cat’s left ear as a visual cue to future like Pilsen, Kenwood, South Shore, En- terfolds for the 2020 “Cats Of Pilsen” trappers. The cost for these services in glewood and Garfield Park from their calendar, the proceeds of which will, low-income areas is $45. North Side counterparts. Without the same access to money once again, go to animal shelters and PAWS has locations around Chicago and and resources, South TNR community outreach groups. offers free TNR as a part of the Our Com- Siders step up and “We’re not pretentious or snooty or any- munity Cats program in eight Chicago communally work to thing,” says Ganza. “We’re nerds. Cat zip codes, but Pilsen isn’t one of them. solve the problem nerds. We’re just taking care of our little When combating a feral cat population themselves. The cats, outside friends.” in the hundreds of thousands, there’s once thought of as only so many resources PAWS can pro- vermin or a nuisance, PAWS Chicago: vide, and the South Side has a host of are now a beloved PAWS provides free TNR vet services other issues that contribute to its street symbol of the South for 60609, 60617, 60621, 60623, 60628, cat population. North Side neighbor- Side’s grit, beauty 60629, 60632, 60636 zip codes. hoods have Tree House Humane Society and adaptability. Castle Blackpaw provides volunteer and Harmony House for Cats, as well as TNR services for South Side zip codes more volunteers… and more money. In Pilsen, many apart- outside the PAWS-targeted areas. ment complexes and Castle Blackpaw: Facebook & “Some people [on the South Side] are businesses have Instagram @castleblackpaw / unable to take care of their own pets, so taken ownership of Cats of Pilsen: Instagram they end up putting them out,” says the cat population by @CatsOfPilsen / / Ganza, who cites abandonment, eco- feeding strays and Email: [email protected] nomic pitfalls and a lack of education calling community Chicago Community Cats: about modern pet care services. Many TNR volunteers like Facebook @ChicagoCommunityCats animals end up on the street, where they Ganza and Shouldis mingle with ferals and birth litters that when they notice exponentially increase the problem. new kittens cropping up. Anyone who Neighbors try to help the cats, she says. finds a stray in need can ask for help “There are a lot of feeders, people throw- from Facebook groups like Chicago ing out whole rotisserie chickens and Community Cats. On Instagram, some- beans and rice. They’re obviously trying.” one from Castle Blackpaw and Cats of But without TNR, the cat population will Pilsen is always around with expertise, a continue to grow. trap to loan out, money for PAWS vetting, and addresses for foster homes and Ganza and an army of volunteers have adoption. Neighbors who have been stepped up and taken ownership of the feeding the cats for decades can now be issue without additional city resources, registered as official caretakers and re- treating the “trash cats” as their own ceive benefits for the work they’re doing and educating the neighborhood about to help keep the cat population under what can be done to help. “I help people control—and street cats like Kevin are vet pets when [owners] can’t afford it. healthier and happier for it. When I get food donations, I give them to feeders who can barely afford to feed “It’s a great community,” says Shouldis, themselves, let alone the cats.” who acknowledges that organizations and volunteers are stepping up to fill a TNR-ing also prevents the spread of dis- need that isn’t being managed by the ease and hormonal fighting. In addition city itself. “I talk to so many people—any to panleuk (feline distemper) and feline neighbor I can—and I would say nine leukemia, street cats must contend with out of ten haven’t heard of TNR before. a host of dangers. “Wounds. I’ve seen a There’s still a lot of opportunity to get lot of bad wounds this year,” says Ganza. the neighborhood, the city, the nation “I released a cat with a partial tail ampu- more education on what TNR is and tation. Battle wounds from mating sea- how it can help. It’s a good thing for feral son, raccoon fights, hit by a car. It’s a cats to help control the population and hard-knock life out there.” make sure they have quality of life.” 14

19/20 Max Richter + ACME October 19, 2019 / 7:30PM Photo by Rahi Rezvani. 312.334.7777 | Christine and Glenn Kelly 205 East Randolph Drive Season Sponsor Harris Theater Presents Mainstage Performance Sponsor Music Presenting Sponsor

The message is loud and clear: the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial has more than one story to tell. Moving away from the themes of the past two biennials, which discussed “The State of Art and Architecture,” and urged industry practitioners to “Make New History,” this year’s architecture extravaganza puts a strong emphasis on the other. “…and other such stories” is about more than architecture and design. It’s about creating a future for the field that is based on diversity, equality and inclusivity by bringing together architecture, design, urbanism, poli- cymaking, activism, research and the arts. It’s about changing our perspective. Under the artistic direction of Yesomi Umolu, the vast undertaking takes the spotlight. At a time when diversity and gender equality are a continuous struggle in the architecture field and beyond, having a woman of color at the top of North America’s largest architecture and design exhibition makes a powerful impact. Even more so when she’s not afraid to spark conversations about the cultural, environmental and sociopolitical issues that make up Chicago’s landscape. Taking up the city’s history, physical geography and architectural heritage, Umolu and the Bi- ennial team take a step further by bringing those new stories into the mix—stories that will lead to a different future. Fostering dialogue between Chicago and the rest of the world, the Biennial invites architects, designers, artists, theorists, cultural producers and industry practitioners from around the globe to become part of our community and bring NEWCITY'S PREVIEW change into the field. From São Paulo to Johan- nesburg to Vancouver to Berlin, this year’s Bi- ennial is widely multicultural, featuring more than eighty practitioners from over twenty countries, and showcasing unexpected collabo- rations with members of the local scene—Johan- nesburg’s Keleketla! Library teams with Chica- 2019 CHICAGO go-based Stockyard Institute to expand upon the importance of heritage sites; public housing ARCHITECTURE at the National Public Housing Museum (the former Jane Addams Homes); University of BIENNIAL London-based Forensic Architecture collabo- rates with Chicago’s Invisible Institute; and Berlin-based photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi ex- pands his practice through a School of the Art Institute of Chicago residency at Homan Square in North Lawndale. Extra emphasis is also being put on education, with a focus on Chicago youth. Partnering with Chicago Public School high schools, the Biennial will bring architecture and design curricula into the classroom and provide opportunities for students to visit the exhibitions but also to produce creative projects of their own by offering workshops and studio sessions. Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 The four-month-long architecture festival kicks off September 19 at the Chicago Cultural Cen- ter and features exhibitions, events and programming across the city through January of 2020 and the city of Chicago is invited. Explore, discuss, interact. No matter how you experience this overpowering showcase of architecture and design, one thing is for certain: if you look hard enough you’ll find yourself relating to one of those stories. Which means that the Biennial will be fulfilling its mission. —VASIA RIGOU 16

CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL 2019 ACROSS IN much urbanist theory and toward private interests, with the transfer THE GREAT scholarship through recent of public lands into private ownership atop decades, there is an ongoing a laundry list of troubling, exploitative tran- DIVIDE sitions of public resources into private and appropriate concern hands. Indeed, many such transitions fol- Race, Class and the low on the heels of growing suburbaniza- Struggle to Imagine with the inclusions and ex- tion and white flight characteristic of a a New Civic Metropolis great many cities, including Chicago. clusions that result from types of use of By Michael Workman Chicago’s history in this regard presents us public space, and the problems associated with a complex portrait, described by econ- Dancer Ayako Kato performing “To the Shore: omist Janice Madden at the University of ETHOS Episode I” as part of the Pivot Arts with its appropriation for private use includ- Pittsburgh as “one of only two major cities Festival at Lane Beach across from the Colvin where the concentration of poverty grew at House on Thorndale and North Sheridan ing, for instance, de jure segregationist and a faster rate in the suburbs than in the inner /Photo: courtesy the artist city from 1980 to 2000,” with the advent of neglectful low-income civic planning. the “conversion of office buildings, ware- houses and factories into condominiums,” Much of this is founded on the transaction- high-income luxury development housing downtown and in places like the West Loop. alism pioneered by thinkers such as John In the latter neighborhood, by way of anec- dote, Affordable Requirements Ordinance Dewey and Hillary Putnam to find solutions rules mandating that developers “put afford- able apartments in all new developments of to widespread alienation in the 1960s. ten or more units that seek zoning changes from the city or use city land or subsidies” Describing a shared “organism environment” were ineffectual due to a loophole allowing SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity of the body politic and its civic environs that developers to pay an “in lieu” fee to opt out was intended to present a way for individu- of the requirement. The rules were skirted als to act over time to find their place in it, so consistently that it prompted Alderman this background notion of how to effective- Walter Burnett Jr. to describe his ward as ly countenance the “good life” was in part becoming “a bigot neighborhood.” challenged by collective worldwide actions inspired by the flawed, but ingenious Occu- py movement, which sought to agitate against the norms and values of public in- stitutions that have been ineffectual at serv- ing the interests of those on the margins. Today, mega-developments like Lincoln Yards (and Hudson Yards in New York) are front-and-center in these discussions, as the pendulum of state support swings back 17

Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 These types of clashes are evidence of a nial, kicking o this month, economics (or Waterfront gathering on July , larger, ongoing struggle for the preservation oikonomos in the philosophical nomencla- /Photo: Michael Workman of publicly equitable spaces against corpo- ture) takes center stage: “Today, despite the ratist attempts to appropriate them for pri- promise of economic development, Chica- the live shooting death of member Robert vate gain. Examples of successful defenses go, like many other established and emer- LaVoy Finicum in a stando with the FBI and range from attorney Thomas Geoghegan’s gent global metropolises, faces challenging Oregon State Police. Essentially motivated denial of the Olympics and the Lucas Mu- urban conditions that require the reimagin- by specious claims over grazing rights to seum of Narrative Art the use of our park- ing of forms of exchange between human public lands, this archconservative approach lands. Failure to defend against such e orts activity, technology and the natural world.” in fact wasn’t ultimately concerned with an- are also numerous, and include the thor- Note again that word, exchange, upon ti-transactional notions so much as assert- oughgoing privatization of public services which the promise of economic develop- ing an argument about economic (read: and closing of South Side schools. Alterna- ment is predicated, packed with notions of white) entitlements. tively, there are examples of attempts to fair trade and equal value—could we not go correct exclusionary rollbacks of access to even one step further when imagining the Refuges and parklands, however, are central public spaces, such as Mayor Lori Light- future of our public spaces, to reflect on and to the discussion about how we delineate foot’s e ort to expand library services to question the e icacy of non-transactional the use of public space, and the kinds of eq- include Sunday hours, and the Friends of approaches to public equity and, especial- uitable engagements we may be able to fos- the Park’s e orts to defend Montrose ly, of the kinds of assembly it may help to ter. “Friends of the Parks has been imagining Beach against JAM Productions’ determi- foster? Dewey was, of course, critical of its a project that we call ‘Common Ground for nation to stage shows, particularly at the neoliberal implications, but with the shift in the Common Good,’” writes executive direc- expense of endangered bird species who dialogue to a concern with public space, tor Juanita Irizarry, “centering parks as gath- have nested there. These instances mark can we not incorporate a modicum of class ering spaces to bring Chicagoans together shifts in stakes that have expanded and de- consciousness into the social engagement to have potentially di icult conversations. tracted from the public equity, and what these programs intend to address? These would start as conversations about that means in terms of shared commitment what our parks mean to us, assuming that to improve the world this city provides ac- It’s tricky ideological territory. One may in- parks are important to all of us, though there cess to so well. voke privatization arguments in the guise of are lots of di erent entry points for caring anti-transactionalism, citing examples like about parks. For us, this flows from a lot of With all this recent history in mind, it’s no- the Bundy clan occupation of the Malheur internal and external discourse—whether table that in the statement for the third in- National Wildlife Refuge, justified using correct or not—about the di erent ways and stallment of the Chicago Architecture Bien- Posse Comitatus-derived views that led to 18

levels that different racial and ethnic groups as well as people of different income groups may or may not value parks, green space, the environment, and so on. We think it’s valid and important to have these discussions and to find ways to find common ground, despite the many ways that each of us differs. We see this as extremely important to our very fractured democracy, as well.” In any serious attempt to thread the needle fact, dissent of many kinds is then excluded MCA Chicago’s new space, “The Commons” SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity of these fractures, and to define potential fu- from the publicity that should be included /Photo: Kendall McCaugherty–Hall+Merrick, ture notions of public assembly, and its rela- to inform policy-making on how the use of tionship to non-transactional spaces, we public space should be designated. © MCA Chicago should also include libraries, playgrounds, streets, beaches, plazas and paved ways, “A thriving, livable city requires a variety of cess to both parks and employment oppor- POPS-like spaces, and a variety of other well-designed and thoughtfully executed tunities at nearby manufacturers.” public-private spaces, as well as reflect on civic spaces (neither private nor commer- shifting definitions in the discourse on how cial) where residents gather and interact,” However successful historically, much man- to repair existing exclusionary rifts. There is says Osmond. “Meeting our neighbors face- ufacturing has since evaporated, and today a rich historical record written in our archi- to-face is more critical than ever before be- bungalows may not provide an afford- tecture of the awareness of the need. “An- cause digital spaces seem to be isolating able-enough solution to housing for those drew Carnegie funded construction of more our communities. Vibrant civic spaces are in economic brackets that exclude owner- than 1,800 public libraries in the United part of Chicago’s architectural legacy ex- ship options. As the city becomes less and States and Canada,” notes Lynn Osmond, tending back to the 1909 Plan of Chicago less economically accessible, more afford- president and CEO of the Chicago Architec- that identified six categories the plan would able options are needed, or solutions such ture Center, “to provide equal access to address. Half of those six wholly or in part as rent control, especially as concerns our knowledge for self-improvement regardless address civic spaces: improvement of the city’s low-income and homeless populations. of wealth. While those libraries still deliver lakefront; an outer park system linked by “Rent control can prevent displacement,” says on the original promise, fresh commitments boulevards; development of centers of in- Rosanna Rodriguez, newly elected alder- are required. Former Mayor Emanuel invest- tellectual life and civic administration to woman of the 33rd Ward, “and help increase ed in new neighborhood libraries designed give coherence and unity to the city.” affordability by limiting increases in rent to by Chicago architects that include affordable a reasonable schedule. It can also help small housing. John Ronan Architects’ Indepen- Osmond sees indications for growth in landlords by creating provisions to establish dence Library and Apartments in Irving Park; coming years, and an even greater need to a tax credit and a repair fund for those who SOM’s West Loop Branch Library in a former consider expansion of access to non-trans- face challenges fixing buildings or are hit Harpo Studio building transformed by de- actional spaces. “The population of greater hard by property tax increases.” Among the sign lead Brian Lee; Perkins and Will’s North- Chicago will likely reach ten million in 2024. notable handful of Democratic Socialists town Branch Library in West Ridge by a We will see density increase in the city and swept into office this year on such kitch- team led by design director Ralph Johnson. suburbs in subsequent years. These more en-table issues, rent control is not a radical Mayor Lightfoot continued new investment numerous residents require not only im- idea. Supported in the pages of Crain’s Chi- in libraries that today provide high-speed in- proved transportation and other infrastruc- cago Business, DSA member Carlos ternet access and homework assistance, by ture but also improved civic spaces and Ramirez-Rosa sees rising homelessness allocating budget to keep these critical re- parks. Chicago’s innovative architects and (current figures hover around 86,000 city- sources open on Sundays.” urban planners can lead Chicago in a city- wide) on the back of an eighteen-percent wide conversation about what Chicago decrease in overall affordable housing op- Mayor Lightfoot’s focus on libraries as es- should look like in ten, twenty or thirty years. tions. In addition to including such critiques, sential public space reflects this ongoing In the early twentieth-century Chicago as Osmond notes, many of the Center’s ex- and deeply rooted historical part the insti- made good on key elements of the 1909 hibits and programs are intended to attempt tutions have played in defining our civic Plan of Chicago in developing affordable “the thorough, broad review needed to create spaces. Yet, against that background of a housing (the Chicago bungalow) with ac- a Twenty-First Century Plan of Chicago.” unified sense of civic duty, clouds of privat- Practical solutions are needed. ization loom larger and seem more insidi- ous. Part of the vast willingness to embrace corporatization appears to pose questions about probable sanitization of the public discourse—it’s hard to imagine corporatist assent, for instance, to any kind of polemics in public-private spaces, partnerships that historically “have put entire neighborhoods under corporate control but this control is only visible to those who are excluded.” In 19

Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 Present-day solutions presented as elements of Contemporary Art’s public-engagement space, Chicago’s churning urban environments have any future plan often assert the benefit of arts The Commons, which patrons can access free long served as a social laboratory where the industries, usually on the back of assertions of charge, and which is designed to place “ar- experiment in Democratic ideals of equality about the autonomy of art as an ostensibly pure tistic and civic exchange at the heart of the mu- have been tested and strained against at times good for driving civic change, regardless how seum.“ Much of this has incorporated a strong terrifying stressors of race, class and creed. It’s notoriously difficult it has proven again and dance and performance art program. [Full dis- that tension itself that late Chicago critic James again to measure its efficacy. There’s also a closure: I presented there last year.] Yood used to refer to as the source of the city’s dawning recognition that part of the challenge, art-historical “figure in distress.” That distress as it is conceived in our cultural institutions, is The MCA’s program is in keeping with much persists today in the remains of a city still ra- how the role of art is too often reduced to its conventional practice. Dance, movement and cially and economically divided across lines cultural exchange value. Much long-accepted performance art, long examples of art’s ephem- that mark the divisions of rustbelt collapse, conventional wisdom has claimed that the pres- erality, and emblematic of Lucy Lippard-style compounded by a still-consequent global eco- ence of arts industries are leading indicators and “dematerialized” forms, traditionally intended to nomic crisis, the ripples from which continue instigators of the advances of gentrification. rebuff the commercial appropriation of art, have to echo beyond the drift of metropolis and into Most recent studies, including one focusing on been enthusiastically embraced by museum neighboring states. Our continued embrace of Chicago among a group of three other major programs in most major cities. Unsurprisingly, transactionalist approaches to these cata- American metropolises, have returned findings on the heels of the advent of participatory art clysms legitimizes arguments that we should that indicate “the standard arts-led gentrifica- forms, dance and performance have also been accede public space as a corrective are more tion narrative is too generalized or simply no embraced and elevated across a great many than ever more than problematic: they present longer applicable to contemporary arts-gentri- institutional programs (including the Biennial), a continued inability to staunch the bleeding, fication processes.” In fact, the results outright and are consistently granted longterm residen- finally to recover and heal. indicate that the opposite is true, and that arts cies at parks, and perform in those and other industries instead take advantage of the dis- public spaces such as beaches and plazas Irizarry sees in these losses an exemplar of placement that occurs due to gentrification. across the city. bureaucratic gridlock, rooted in a continued lack of clarity and definition about how we To what degree, then, are arts industries, in- “Theories of politics are full of ideas, but they value our public versus private interests. cluding architecture and attendant place-mak- have been less successful in articulating how “Friends of the Parks is extremely concerned ing theory and practices even capable of ame- the concrete labor of participation necessary about the trend of privatization of public spac- liorating the effects of gentrification, if at all? If to execute those ideas is gathered through the es. We continue to push back hard against we take the arts-as-revitalization case par ex- movement of bodies in social time and space,” the ‘Lincoln Yards’ and ‘The 78’ developments cellence in Chicago, and think on Theaster dance critic Randy Martin perspicaciously because the green space that is envisioned Gates’ and the University of Chicago’s South wrote. “Politics goes nowhere without move- for those spaces is often referred to as public, Side art-as-civic-planning efforts, for instance, ment.” Emulating the lessons of Occupy move- but it will be owned by the developers. The many don’t see the difference between an art- ments, dance and performance are seen as crit- Chicago Park District inexplicably chooses ist acquiring a property portfolio to create “an- ical extensions of the body from the public and not to receive that land into its portfolio, chor buildings” intended to draw cultural inter- into institutional space, and transposed into even after both developers have made public est, the investment that’s supposed to follow, these environments with the expectation of commitments to pay to create it and to main- and how developers usually operate. Of course, equally transformative outcomes. tain it in perpetuity, even after turning it over these projects are intrinsically also about re- to the park district… In fact, our democracy versing current erasures as well as about see- However, as critic and theorist Claire Bishop may be even further in trouble if the private ing and realizing the value of black spaces and noted recently, in an important critical essay nature of the newer park spaces means that communities in and of themselves. But it also about the widely reviled, newly opened New we cannot use them for protest.” Osmond seems there’s a compelling argument that York performance space The Shed, this capac- agrees, and adds: “A denser Chicago will re- should be made, as many community activists ity has been very nearly hyper-extended, com- quire improved infrastructure of all types, par- will suggest, that the rigorous creation of com- ing more and more to resemble an instance of ticularly transportation as more residents munity impact agreements with developers can institutional groupthink. “Every arts venue in forgo automobile ownership and other per- help to assuage the displacement of poorer the city seems to be developing a hybrid visu- sonal options multiply. But the most critical constituencies which inevitably occurs from ris- al art and performance program: the Whitney need in a denser Chicago are new or expand- ing property values. Museum of American Art, the New Museum, ed civic spaces and parks to ensure we main- the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, the tain and improve upon the legacy of the 1909 Other projects, where artists have paired them- Park Avenue Armory, Performance Space New Plan of Chicago.” selves with local institutions, such as the Float- York. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art has ing Museum, a barge-turned-exhibition space a performing arts series.” Is engagement, then, Those civic spaces, open and available to the collaboration between the artist’s collective of sufficiently efficacious as an institutional bar? public for peaceful assembly and protest are the same name and the DuSable Museum, have Sufficiently radical enough a model for ad- essential to any equitable future plan. If, by fail- faced similar public-use challenges. For the it- dressing the inadequacies of urban inequality, ing to give voice to the needs and necessities eration of the project at its 2017 LaSalle location or more an attempt to model a living avant-gard- facing the full range of the public, we accept install, artists were barred from placing works ist measure of art’s social relevance within a the exclusion of general “others,” and especial- on the Chicago Riverwalk walkways for fear of notably reductive, more traditional framework ly black, brown and working-class people to blocking transit of the space for activities includ- of facilitating art and audience? Institutional access and participate in the sociocultural life ing jogging and dog-walking—although a dance reliance on appropriation of previously, suppos- of our city, our institutions will have to accept party did ensue on the walks when music was edly ineffable art forms, such as the Judson their complicity in a civic life that preferences played by a DJ on the barge. era’s founding instance of avant-garde dance, the white supremacist, wealthy and powerful. can at times serve to heighten the art profes- That’s simply unacceptable, and right now our On a purely institutional level, there seems to be sional’s myopia, while evincing both a respect track record is a bleakly gluttonous history of an admirable and burgeoning recognition that for an attempt to get the history right, as it can open-handed privatization that excludes those more must be done, that beneficence is insuffi- a blindness to the possibility of an art in an em- most in need of pathways to participation. We cient. There’s the example of The Museum of brace of the here and now. can, and should do better. 20

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On The Uses of Art— Tania Brughera and Arte Útil By Michael Workman In asserting the notion of art as able to have a use, Tania Brughera is attempting to reverse the reductive notion of art as something without purpose or utility, as merely object or material and ascribed a value merely on the skill or imaginative prowess required to manipulate them. Her work is often rooted in an attempt to transform social realities in some direct, measurable way. I’ve always loved the simple effectiveness of her “Tatlin’s Whis- per #5.” Presented as part of “Living Cur- CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE 1 BIENNIAL Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 rency” at the museum, a 2 1. “Destierro (Displacement),” (1998-2003), man in a police uniform 2019 embodying a Nkisi Nkonde icon, Behavior Art, astride a horse at the Tate Arte Útil takes a distinctly more political materials: Cuban earth, glue, wood, nails / textile, Modern employed crowd-control ma- approach, as does most all of Brughera’s 78 x 32 x 24 inches (198.1 x 81.3 x 61 centimeters). neuvers on attendees of the exhibition. body of work. No doubt, the feeling of an immediate, NOTE: Each time the piece is shown it may physical-world effect taking place occurs Continuously open to artistic collabora- incorporate new symbolic materials when facing down the prospect of a full- tors, association-based, partner projects /Photo: courtesy Estudio Bruguera grown horse about to shove you out of include Ahmet Öğüt’s “Day After Debt,” the way. You may also, then, openly won- a project addressing the student loan cri- 2. “10,148,451,” (2018), Tate Modern Hyundai der at the use of such force by police. sis by utilizing artworks as “collection Commission Credit, courtesy Estudio Bruguera points for public contribution to The Debt Daughter of a Cuban diplomat and scion Collective,” funds from which are then /Photo: Tate Modern of historical participatory art movements, used for loan buybacks. Among the hun- Brughera casts her work in distinction to dreds of similarly minded other-partner cial needs, ills, and so on, in their own performance art by describing it as a projects included in the archive, for local ways, and address Arte Útil’s distinct cri- kind of “behavior” (conducta). Brughera’s scope of reference, are initiatives such teria for inclusion. At the time of this writ- intentionally non-Western notions of as Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Project, ing, questions as to what the group will art’s usefulness are at the heart of her and Dan Peterman and Connie Spreen’s present as part of the Biennial had gone decades-long study of Arte Útil, which Experimental Station. Each of these, and unanswered despite repeated requests. helped form an online archive of the the vast collection of other projects apply Whatever’s in the offing, the project pro- same name. It’s a project that shares aesthetic solutions to community and so- vides access to a strain of socially en- much in common with earlier online gaged art worth knowing about. group collaborations such as Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s assignment-based “Learning to Love You More,” for example. 22

Radical Collaboration: Borderless founder Paola Aguirre Serra- from around the world, Bronzeville com- Borderless Studio and the Creative no is to “spark collective imagination” at munity leaders, and volunteers to create Grounds Project the former school site. art, share ideas and conceptualize how By JR Atkinson to activate the school to its potential to One of the victims of the forty-plus CPS school closings has risen to the light of Aguirre Serrano, one of the leaders of the serve the most needs. the design world, thanks to a dedicated group of more-than-designers. Anthony project, has extensive training in archi- tecture and design, both in Mexico and The work of just assembling these varied the United States, working for nonprofits voices in one room is equally if not more and in the private sector, with public of- important than the outcome of these ficials and hands-on in local communi- workshops. Central to Borderless’ mis- ties. She says her early work as an urban sion and Aguirre Serrano’s work as a cre- ative is the idea of breaking CHICAGO down barriers between disci- ARCHITECTURE plines. Too often, she notes, ar- BIENNIAL chitects, urban planners, civil- ians and designers work as 2019 siloed operations. In the spirit of their name, Borderless is found- ed on interdisciplinary collaboration. “I’d rather make something together than make something perfect,” she says. 1. The completed map of 1 The Overton project is just as much Chicago and the sites of school 2 about visibility as it is outcome, Aguirre Serrano says. Through both design and closing /Photo: Ben Kolak community organization, she hopes to attract public attention to the tragic clos- 2. The Prairie Avenue map ings of CPS buildings and the effect they installation in progress have on surrounding communities. One /Photo: Lianne Ahn project in progress is the creation of a large-scale map installation on the east Overton Elementary in planner instilled in her a sense of civic side of the school. Volunteers and de- SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity Bronzeville has been shut duty, one that she hasn’t been able to signers will paint a map of Bronzeville down since 2013, but its shake. The Overton project, entitled and Washington Park on the concrete, unique mid-century-mod- “Creative Grounds,” is structured around which Aguirre Serrano believes will high- ern architectural features three summer events onsite. These light the neighborhood’s assets: the and importance to the events take the shape of workshops buildings, people and public resources community have kept it a where students from Williams Prep (one that make the area great. key site for exploration. In block west of Overton) join architects collaboration with the The last of these summer events coin- Chicago Architecture Bi- cides with the Chicago Architecture Bi- ennial, Borderless Studio ennial in September, and will celebrate is working with architects, the creative work of the project, as well teachers and Bronzeville as serving as an exposition site for the locals not only to pre- Biennial. As Aguirre Serrano sees it, serve the building, but to transform it into however, the Biennial is a moment in the a thriving community resource and broader life of this project. She began space for artistic expression. Rather than working with Overton three years ago, letting it lie vacant, the Borderless team, and has action plans that extend far be- along with many collaborators, are cre- yond the Biennial’s January end date. ating design content, asking questions The theme of this year’s biennial asks and reimagining the physical space. The the question of how the built environ- central goal of the project as phrased by ment can reflect societal inequity, but more importantly, how it can be used to challenge inequity. The Overton Ele- mentary project exemplifies that notion. Aguirre Serrano and her team are re- flecting on the product of racial, geo- graphic and socio-economic injustices— public school closings—and are using their aftermath as a direct site to chal- lenge those injustices. 23

Democratizing Archives: A Q&A with Bianca Bova of The Chicago Architectural Preservation Archive By JR Atkinson Housed by Mana Contem- CHICAGO porary, The Chicago Archi- ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL tectural Preservation Ar- chive is dedicated to the 2019 preservation of documents, blueprints, scraps and effects related to demands travel to a specific location to Iker Gil, Bianca Bova, John Vinci, Tim Samuelson, view the archival property, and the time 2018 /Photo: Courtesy Chicago Architectural the city’s rich architectural history. They and money necessary to undertake this Preservation Archive effort can be inhibitive. It’s for these rea- partner with this year’s Chicago Archi- sons CAPA’s model prioritizes access. exceedingly thoughtful and critically driv- We grant direct, hands-on access to ma- en exhibitions and writings remain a guid- tecture Biennial in the creation of an ex- terials for researchers who are able to ing light. I consider my work with CAPA visit us, and indirect access via on-de- to be an extension of his practice by proxy. hibit displaying recently uncovered ma- mand digitization for anyone who is un- able to come to Chicago. The overlap be- What is in the CAPA archives terials. Bianca Bova, associate director tween existing institutional collections of and how do you attain items and architecture and CAPA’s own holdings materials for the archive? Is there of the Chicago Architectural Preserva- creates a low-risk opportunity for issuing a particular artifact or piece of longterm and unrestricted loans for close information housed in the archive tion Archive describes the work. research and exhibitions. We believe that that Chicagoans would be surprised in order for these items to achieve their to know about? How did CAPA’s collaboration full cultural value, they need to not only with CAB begin, and what can be be conserved, but be an active resource. We take a rather conceptual tack when it expected with this year’s project? comes to our collections, and conse- What’s unique to Chicago in quently our holdings range from the rela- CAPA was invited to participate in this terms of its architectural history? tively predictable architectural salvage, edition of the Biennial as an exhibitor Is it an especially easy or difficult photography, plans and models, to the within the Appearances and Erasures cu- city to archive? slightly more obscure in terms of art, de- ratorial frame. In 2018, I was serving as signed objects and personal realia be- a consultant at the Illinois Institute of Chicago’s architectural history runs deep. longing to architecturally relevant figures. Technology College of Architecture, and From the birth of the skyscraper to the Most of our acquisitions are via the dona- was involved in the discovery and exca- development of what is accepted as the tion of materials from private collections. vation of remnants of the Mecca Flats, a first uniquely American style of architec- One of my favorite pieces we have is a set historic apartment building that once ture, to the lasting influence and legacy of drawings by the late artist and musician stood on the site of S.R. Crown Hall. works of Mies van der Rohe, there’s a Wesley Willis. Though they’re not what When the excavation was complete, the staggering degree of significance con- most people would consider a historical- college donated artifacts to a number of tained in our skyline. We’ve been very for- ly important or architecturally valuable institutions, including CAPA. We are tunate insofar as CAPA is certainly not the item in the context of our collections, his pleased to be able to exhibit these recov- first group to undertake the effort of ar- distinct (and at times rather opaque) de- ered pieces for the first time, alongside chiving the city’s architectural history. A pictions of the city’s expressways, buses existing materials from our collection, significant part of our collection comes and skyline are iconic in their own right, salvaged from the building at the time of directly from the late architectural pho- and delineate Chicago’s architectural aes- its demolition. tographer Richard Nickel. His meticulous thetic as richly as any piece of salvage or documentation and records of the first blueprint could hope to. I was thrilled Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 CAPA aims to “democratize access” Chicago School of architecture and the when we had the opportunity to put them to archival materials. Why is this rise of Modernism have provided us a on loan for an exhibition at the Lawrence important for the preservation of base collection and a framework to follow & Clark Gallery last summer. history, and how does CAPA pursue as we expand specific collections, and his it differently? Speaking as an independent researcher, I know firsthand how difficult it often is to obtain access to institutional archives and privately held collections. When per- missions can be obtained, it frequently 24

Sweet Water Foundation Sweet Water Foundation’s Biennial in- The Biennial installation will question the Rebuilds Chicago stallation “Re-Root + Redux” will be future of the John Raber House, a Chica- Neighborhoods a reflection and extension of the work go historical landmark building at the underway at the Foundation’s flagship center of The Commons, within the con- By Kaycie Surrell site on the South Side known as The text of the greater landscape of contest- Commons. Through the practice of Re- ed spaces in the surrounding area. The Chicago is a city of stories. A city with a generative Neighborhood Development, Raber House is the eighth-oldest land- wild and vast history of expansion, indus- trialization, development and cultural di- Both images: Radical [Re]construction of versity. A city known for its architectural Community, a Historic Barn Raising on Chicago’s marvels and public spaces, but also its progressive social movements and social South Side /Photos: Sweet Water Foundation action. The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial titled, “…and other such stories” invites a conversation around the ways architecture and the environment inform cities and communities. Chicago-based Sweet Water Foundation is a perfect blend of urban agriculture, art and education that focuses on regenera- tive neighborhood development and cre- ating safe and inspiring spaces. “This year’s theme parallels the objectives of Sweet Water Foundation by CHICAGO bringing to the forefront the ques- ARCHITECTURE tion of spatial and social justice,” BIENNIAL says executive director Emman- uel Pratt. “The curators are ensur- 2019 marked building in Chicago and was made an official city landmark in 1996. A primary focus of “Re-Root + Redux” will include a custom-designed modular house inspired by the construction and framing of the original Chicago Worker Cottages—the first standardized afford- able housing in the city. It will move through a series of iterative activations as a habitable public art structure at The Commons before being transformed into a self-contained gallery space at the Chi- cago Cultural Center. Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 ing that the 2019 Biennial reaches into the Sweet Water Foundation has trans- “’Re-Root + Redux’ offers a critical inves- rich tapestry of Chicago’s neighborhoods formed vacant spaces and abandoned tigation into the practice of historical to pull out the commonalities that unite buildings into economically and ecolog- preservation within the context of neigh- us and challenges us to evaluate how the ically productive and sustainable com- borhood development in otherwise dis- built environment plays a role.” munity assets. tressed communities” says Pratt. “The installation and discussion series aims to widen the lens and discourse of neighborhood development to embrace how the practices of cultural preserva- tion and reconciliatory practices can not only coexist, but also be intentionally woven into the urban fabric of the pres- ent-day realities.” 26

CNL PROJECTS Artists and Organizations Thriving Together Creatively Art Consultation | Curatorial Services Program Design | Professional Development In the Heart of this Infinite Particle of Galactic Dust, 2019 OCT 19–20 Artwork commission managed by CNL Projects for Willis Tower. Jacob Hashimoto OPENHOUSECHICAGO.ORG | #OHC2019 designed an installation of 7,000 individual kite-like disks to create the effect of a cloud-like, faceted mass that reflects the warm tones of the Chicago sky. Email [email protected] to develop a concept for artwork for your home, office or organization. EXHIBITION blue collar anthony adcock cleveland dean on view till october 6, 2019 EDGEWATER BEACH APARTMENTS GET BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACCESS TO BUILDINGS ALL OVER CHICAGO OPENHOUSECHICAGO.ORG ukrainian institute of modern art PRESENTING SPONSORS 2320 w. chicago avenue SPONSOR chicago, il 60622 773.227.5522 MEDIA SPONSORS PA R T N E R S Detail shot of work by Clevland Dean

Design Activism: in part to growing up in Ecuador. CHICAGO focusing on five resource-ex- How Somatic Collaborative But he also credits a legacy of ur- ARCHITECTURE traction economies—moments Merges Aesthetic banization, which often goes unno- BIENNIAL in history where abundant nat- and Social Concerns ticed. “Cities in Latin America have ural resources catalyzed new an incredible capacity to think stra- 2019 industrial centers in Latin By Dustin Lowman America, such as how, starting 1 in 1893, engineer Aarão Leal Architecture may be the art de Carvalho Reis transformed form most indelibly linked to an area rich in gold and iron practical matters: Buildings ore into Belo Horizonte, now must abide by legal, climatic the capital of Brazil’s Minas and structural regulations, Gerais state. while also keeping an eye out for artistic provocation. Each An expansion of their 2016 text, physical setting’s constraints “Beyond the City,” the presenta- factor heavily into the design tion has “five cartographic light and execution of architectural boxes that tie the processes of vision. The Brooklyn-based resource extraction to models Somatic Collaborative takes of urbanization, and then relate an active approach to this ne- those resources to their distri- gotiation. Inaugurated in 2008, bution in global markets,” says the group brought this philos- Correa. Their maps occlude ophy to architectural projects countries’ borders to shift atten- in locations including New tion away from the convention- York City, Seoul and Kassel, Germany, in scales ranging 1. Bird’s-eye view of a selection from a single table to afford- of notable affordable and market able housing projects. “Our rate collective housing projects in work examines design and São Paulo, organized by decade. aesthetic questions in relation to larger societal issues, at the /Photo: Somatic Collaborative intersection of our own inter- ests and those of a larger au- 2. Back view of the Perched House dience,” says co-founder Fe- (Kassel, Germany) showing lipe Correa. Vision is important, the connection of the winter but it’s equally important to apply it where it’s needed. garden to the open landscape /Photo: Somatic Collaborative Correa and his partner Antho- Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 ny Acciavatti founded Somatic tegically,” says Correa. “On the one hand, al relationships across the con- Collaborative as an umbrella you have extremely problematic urban tinent. “We’re trying to show the group to present these projects conditions, but on the other hand, you complexities of some of these as a single body of work. Devin have some of the most successful urban resources that are not immedi- Dobrowolski came aboard a interventions that we’ve seen in the last ately visible just by looking at few years in, after chancing twenty to twenty-five years.” the stock market or at geopolit- into a summer research posi- ical boundaries on a map,” Do- tion with Correa. Arriving at de- At the 2019 Chicago Architecture Bienni- browolski says. sign after studying literature, al, Somatic Collaborative will present animation and filmmaking, Do- work that investigates urban interventions, Particularly in the context of browolski saw in Somatic Collaborative the Biennial, Somatic Collabo- an opportunity to combine his expertise. 2 rative sees their work as an ex- “Even in programs with a lot of interdisci- tension of the tendency in to- plinarity, there are still boundaries be- day’s designers to embrace the tween the disciplines,” Dobrowolski says. relationship between artistic prowess “I saw the work that Felipe was doing and and larger societal issues—how to apply was compelled.” design skill in an activist context. “We can be activists of citizens, and that Much of Somatic Collaborative’s work is makes us great citizens, but it makes us in Latin America, which Correa attributes very poor designers,” Correa says. “The more difficult part is to know how we can contribute through design. That’s an es- sential component of our work.” 28

Reappropriation nizers, then newly arrived Europeans had but it dissolves before our eyes. Power of Misappropriation every right to be colonizers, too. and powerlessness, memory and its dis- in the Work of Santiago X solution: the paradox of what should hap- By Dustin Lowman Since then, the mounds have been right- pen and what does happen existing in The enormous earthen mounds that con- stituted the Native American city of Ca- fully attributed to the Native Americans. the same space. “My art is an exploration hokia between 1100 and 1200 A.D. were long thought to be the products of a cul- It’s this history of misattribution and co- of my cultural identity,” Santiago X told ture other than Native Americans. Early U.S. explorers and archaeologists credit- lonialism that self-described Indigenous the Santa Fe Reporter. “A reappropria- ed the Vikings, Welshmen, Hindus and Toltecs, thinking the Native Americans too Futurist Santiago X takes on in “New tion of misappropriation.” primitive to be responsible for such so- Cahokia,” V1 and V2. V2 consists of a “New Cahokia” V1 /Photo: Santiago X trapezoidal prism, about eight feet tall, Santiago X is an enrolled member of both phisticated construction. Moreover, the Native American narrative, as recorded with window-like panels on all sides, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koa- and disseminated by U.S. naturalist Wil- liam Bartram, that the mounds had been onto which films are projected. In CHICAGO sati) and Indigenous Chamorro built by “the ancients, many ages prior to one, we see a Native American ARCHITECTURE from the Island of Guam (Ha- their arrival and possessing of this coun- ritual fading into and out of pure BIENNIAL cha’Maori). His work often deals try,” was repurposed as Manifest Destiny fuel. If the Native Americans were colo- electrical lines. In another, a huge, with the ways Native American culture has been bastardized in 2019 the name of westward expan- sion. With compelling simplicity, “WANTED x CHRISTOPHER CO- LUMBUS” recasts the title figure as an outlaw. “Kill Mascots, Save the People” turns the Chicago Blackhawks logo into a symbol of murder, evoking colonial atrocities and the effect such capitalist whimsy has on cultur- al dignity. For the Chicago Architecture Bi- ennial, Santiago X is partnering with the American Indian Center of Chicago and the Chicago Public Art Group in constructing an installation designed to “ex- press a vision to construct Indig- enous future-scapes,” according to Native Business. “Participat- ing in this year’s Chicago Archi- tecture Biennial is an incredible opportunity for me to contribute to the revitalization of Indige- nous landscapes throughout Chicago,” he says. wide eyeball jolts from left to right, watch- Santiago X’s vision of the future SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity ing you, being watched. of Indigenous legacies involves reasserting power, but remem- As with much of Santiago X’s work, you bering pain—grief must be pro- can interpret it several ways, and each cessed in order to be overcome. one makes sense. The eyeball looks al- It’s perhaps most powerfully ternately imprisoned in the prism and like depicted in his piece “Indige- the eye of Sauron—a symbol both of nous Survival Act 1,” a figure based powerlessness and of power. The Native on cigar-store Indians. Standing at sol- American ritual is prominent but unsta- dierlike attention, the figure is carved to ble; it’s what we ought to be focusing on, wear a gas mask that melds with its face. A gas mask is something you wear when you’re under immediate, existential threat. A soldier is someone fighting for a cause greater than themselves—if not always willfully. It’s a symbol of pain and resilience, a defaced caricature thrown into battle. 29

Maria Gaspar Brings Change By Cat Strain 1 Maria Gaspar has attained a unique set way we can source those is by uplifting tural Center is pervaded with a sense of of skills through her time in direct com- and telling the stories of one another. As munity engagement. As a socially in- Gaspar says, “there are multiple path- humanness. Gaspar uses community as volved artist, she has years of teaching in ways to get to a single idea.” Her goal is her tool belt, both in her neighborhood to translate the “texture of a space.” The a strong pillar to make sure that she is and the School of the Art Institute of Chi- CAB installation involves audio and video cago. A position that requires you to re- from past work, partnered with artifacts, CHICAGO upholding every voice, spond to a wide variety of potential hic- to be sure that her installation in the Cul- ARCHITECTURE but in the end as an art- cups, whether that be different artistic BIENNIAL ist, she must make cer- levels of collaborators or technical failure. Gaspar, who has been invited to partici- tain aesthetic decisions pate in the 2019 Chicago Architecture Bi- ennial (CAB) located in the Loop’s Chica- to capture an audience’s go Cultural Center, spoke with us 2019 attention. Exhibiting the regarding limitations, strengths and showcasing her work as a whole for the work at the Chicago Ar- first time. chitecture Biennial pres- The CAB’s curators approached Gaspar about presenting the past years of her ents limitations. The art- work in the exhibition. A great portion of her art from the past ist has had to talk to the seven years has been 2 done in collaboration curators regarding the with men at the Cook County Jail. In her most height of her installation, recent project, “Radioac- tive: Stories from Beyond and programming con- the Wall,” Gaspar had to grapple with Carceral flicts for performances Space. Her artistic loca- tion is a jail. With that Gaspar has proposed. comes a bevy of legal precedent, making sure No matter the presenta- that certain topics were firmly avoided while cu- tion, Gaspar will examine rating a platform that gives inmates the ability the “brutalness of bor- to tell their tale. Her re- sponse to this quandary, ders,” encouraging peo- was to reclaim abstrac- tion, “an art form a lot ple to examine how of POC and women feel they don’t have ac- space inhibits, encourag- cess to, and going to a place we feel we don’t es, or perverts how hu- belong.” Using the surre- al and magical realism mans interact with one to translate and embo- dy experiences. another. As well as our- Gaspar is from an immi- selves. For Gaspar, it’s grant community and the first to attend college time to turn an eye to in her family. Her art comes from a place of Radical Histories, mining passion, and a need for practical resources. The the past and being ac- tively involved in the present, to encourage change and revolution. Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 1. “City As Site,” 2011 /Photo: Maria Gaspar 2. “I believe in the magic of the hands. And in the wisdom of the eyes. I believe in rain and tears. And in the blood of infinity. (A. Shakur),” 2018 /Photo: Maria Gaspar 30

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ART AMERICAN NIGHTMARE LaTOYA RUBY FRAZIER DOCUMENTS THE LIVES BEHIND A FACTORY SHUTDOWN By Kerry Cardoza LaToya Ruby Frazier considers it her life’s mis- sion to make visible the injustices faced by work- ing-class families. Building on a rich legacy of documentary photography, from Dorothea Lange to Gordon Parks, Frazier uses images to tell us what it’s like when your government, your employer, your country fails you. Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 For “The Last Cruze,” which opens at the Re- Both the American taxpayer and local unions be told for and by the autoworkers and their fam- naissance Society on September 14, Frazier helped save General Motors, which now has ily members in the form of mass media.” spent months with the workers who lost their an estimated worth of more than $132 billion, jobs at the recently shuttered General Motors so this should be a concern for all of us. Gen- Frazier makes personal what news reports and production plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM eral Motors’ slogan is family first and yet it is statistics about changing economic trends ob- opened the factory in 1966 and, after decades ripping families apart.” scure. You see the stunned disbelief on people’s of job loss in the Midwest, it remained a crucial faces as they weigh their options, none good. source of employment in the area. Generations “The Last Cruze” includes sixty-seven photo- You see the bravery of teenagers, trying to be of families worked at the plant, often staying for graphs showing the assembly line, the town it- supportive of their distressed parents. You see their whole careers. Despite the $50 billion self, the series of events leading up to the plant the humanity of this community, the dignity they government bailout GM received following the shutdown, and most importantly, the families found in working for an American automotive Great Recession, and the fact that it’s been in impacted by the job loss. A video about Kasey giant. In these photographs, Frazier lets their the black for years (chief executive Mary Barra King, the photographer from the union that rep- story tell itself. took home close to $22 million in compensa- resents the workers, and a historic timeline on tion in 2018), the company decided to stop the labor movement will also be on display. “I believe in the knowledge and experience of the manufacturing its fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze, people within their own community,” Frazier the only model in production in Lordstown. “When I noticed that union members at Local says. “America needs to listen to workers and 1112 and 1714 were drowned out in the media by their families more.” “General Motors’ Chevrolet Cruze is a symbol accusations against them from both the current of America,” Frazier says. “It came into exis- president and the CEO of GM,” Frazier says, “it “The Last Cruze” opens at the Renaissance tence in 2008 during the auto industry bailout. became crystal-clear to me that this story must Society, 5811 South Ellis, on September 14. Kesha Scales hugging Beverly Williams in her living room (twenty-two years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, pressroom) Youngstown, Ohio, from “The Last Cruze” 2019 /Photo: LaToya Ruby Frazier 34

NOW of the Searle Chemistry Laboratory, recording Chicago-based sound artists creating new work for SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity HEAR THIS individual sounds of the building’s ventilation campus in fall 2019, February 28, 2019 at Bond Chapel system. The piece, “Six Accompaniments for /Photo: Jean Lachat CHICAGO SOUND Solo Voice,” will be installed nearby to draw at- ARTISTS TAKE OVER tention to the building’s noise pollution while Media artist and composer Olivia Block took in- showing the beauty of industrial sounds. spiration from the multiple architectural styles THE UNIVERSITY on campus for “Indiana Karst.” The multi-speak- OF CHICAGO Blind artist Andy Slater recorded campus er installation will be located in the outdoor walk- sounds including human voices, random envi- way between the Brutalist building Pick Hall and By Kerry Cardoza ronmental noise and things that only blind peo- the neo-Gothic Walker Museum. ple can hear. By projecting audio captured The University of Chicago campus will be more while using his cane as an echo locator, the “These really different shapes are on either side abuzz than usual on September 27. Nine local Wieboldt passage will be sonically activated of you if you look up,” Block says. The interesting artists will stake claim to the nooks and cran- with strange, directional sounds. stylistic juxtaposition of the two buildings led nies of the historic university grounds, installing her to think about how material relates to ideas speakers in unexpected places, to project Katherine Young’s “Resonance, and the Inhibi- around shape and architecture. While research- newly commissioned compositions by the tion of,” will be installed by the idyllic Botany ing buildings on campus, she learned that most Smart Museum of Art. Pond. Around the turn of the last century, the were made from Indiana limestone. She traveled department used the pond to propagate plants to the quarries where the limestone was sourced “The Chicago Sound Show” is the brainchild of that botanists brought back from international to capture the sounds. Laura Steward, the Smart’s curator of public travels. Young originally envisioned her piece as art, who joined the museum in August 2017. “I a “speculative soundscape” of what the area “Those recordings of flowing water and dripping spent my first bit of time here wandering would sound like if those plants were all still water will be superimposed onto that walkway,” around the campus, looking at it, exploring it there, “like a fantasy ecosystem.” While conduct- she says. The work will be a reminder about with artists, hearing what artists had to say ing research, she decided to change direction where materials come from, using water as a about how best to use this open resource,” she when she was struck by the historic scarcity of scale of geological time. “It’s almost like this jux- says. “And one thing that a number of artists women in the department. taposition of two different scales of time and commented on was the number of spaces that then different kinds of shapes. The cool thing had really interesting sonic properties and The work turns on the scientific contributions of about using sound in installations is that it’s a sonic environments.” two female scientists who completed their PhDs way to superimpose two kinds of architectures at the university, Sophia Hennion Eckerson and in a way that’s really uncanny, that you can’t do The participating artists made multiple visits to Gloria Long Anderson. Young tracked down their with just two kinds of visual images.” campus, exploring the sounds and environ- dissertations and three vocalists will read snip- ments to conceive their pieces. Multi-hyphen- pets of that text, which will be mixed with ab- Block appreciates Steward’s curation of this ate artist Stephan Moore spent days on the roof stract sounds. groundbreaking exhibition, a rare opportunity to showcase the city’s vast, eclectic sound art “It’s a sonic enchantment of the pond and the scene. “I think it’s a really cool statement that surrounding gardens, but with this hopefully she’s making that sound art is important and it’s subtle undercurrent of recognizing and appre- current,” Block says. “It’s recognizing this huge, ciating these women’s work,” Young says. “All rich, vibrant community that’s just here. It’s a the text is scientific rhetoric, but I’m rearranging nice way of making that part of the art world.” it and taking it out of context in a way that I hope will have a suggestion of a feminist questioning “The Chicago Sound Show,” September 27 of how women’s work is thought about in our through December 2019 at the Smart culture and has been historically.” Museum of Art, 5550 South Greenwood. 35

FALL ART EVENTS THIS IS WHAT DANCE AMERICA The wide-ranging contributions of artists throughout LOOKS LIKE Latin America are highlighted in several spectacular exhibitions opening this fall, from Pop Art to CERQUA RIVERA DANCE THEATRE contemporary performance. Some, such as DePaul’s DIGS DEEP INTO IDENTITY AND group exhibition “Remember Where You Are,” draw THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE attention to the complex narratives of acculturation and migration in poignant but pressing ways. By Sharon Hoyer Cecilie Keenan, a theater director here in Chicago––her background is cul- POP AMÉRICA, 1965-1975 Wilfredo Rivera is co-founder and turally diverse theater. We did a lot of dance half of Cerqua Rivera Dance research on documentaries and per- In this first exhibition to bring together Latin American Theatre, a company that for twenty sonal stories of immigrants from expressions of Pop Art, the Block Museum situates years has been staging an original, ab- around the globe. Our research was the movement in an international context while stract brand of musical theater that watching these documentaries and complicating our understanding of what inspired these puts equal importance on choreogra- having a group table discussion about artists. Nearly a hundred works from North, Central and phy, original jazz compositions and vi- immediate human response. A lot of South American artists are on display, including pieces sual art. Rivera talked with us about these stories are hard to listen to and from powerhouses such as Marisol, Andy Warhol and the company’s highly timely “America/ watch, especially in the last ten years, Robert Indiana. Opening September 21, the exhibition Americans” series of concerts, which these people are fleeing out of terror shows how Pop artists used the language and tools travel from Evanston to Hyde Park to or deep poverty. Very different then of advertising to critique politics, gender and the rise the Loop to the Northwest side. when I came here. of globalization and capitalism. Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 Your piece, “American Catracho,” Could you speak about the two FORGOTTEN FORMS has been in development for three other pieces, on the B program? years. Quite a long time. What The overlooked detritus and commonplace materials was your process creating it? This particular whole program reflects of the urban landscape form the basis of this two-person where the company has been and exhibition at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, on It takes my personal immigrant story where it’s heading, really searching view after a stint at the Chicago Cultural Center. Puerto from Honduras and gives it a universal contemporary identity issues. Mo- Rican native Edra Soto and Yhelena Hall, originally from lens. One of the reasons I decided to nique Haley is diving deep into engag- Ukraine, come from vastly different cultures, but each make it a three-year process was to ing as a professor in dance, and put- uses their experience of city life to explore the elements widen that lens and invite other artists ting a structure to her pedagogy, but that make up a neighborhood. Soto uses architecture to contribute to the conversation. I more particularly coming as an Afri- motifs from her home country in an installation that wanted it to be an artistic conversation can female in dance. How she can re- asks the viewer to reflect on memory and placemaking, about what the stories are and who are search her ancestry and take ele- while Hall uses urban artifacts that signify remnants the people behind the headlines. As ments that invigorate her way of of Chicago history. artists we can all relate to the human making choreography. That project experience, but in this case to focus on was really tasty and has a lot of meat REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE the story and share that knowledge to it. That piece is an exploration of with the musicians and dancers. At the ritual, coming from the diaspora. The DePaul Art Museum brings together four emerging end of the day, it’s going to be many artists, based in Chicago or San Antonio, each of whom layers of voices and choreography, but I’ve always been attracted to Shannon explores narratives around personal heritage and whose delivered as one voice. Alvis’ work, because I see the elements stories get told and whose get erased. As part of his of storytelling. Shannon is at a point contribution, Texas artist Jimmy James Canales will Who are your collaborators? spiritually where she wanted to inves- document a twenty-seven-mile walk across the city, tigate her Native American ancestry, gathering materials along the way to be installed in The choreographers were Noelle Kay- which had been shoved down in the the museum. Local multidisciplinary artist Melissa ser, Christian Denice and myself, with coffins. Her grandmother was Black- Leandro works on a more personal level, using digital Joe Cerqua composing the music. The foot and was sent from Montana to the and traditional weaving techniques as a thread relating research came from a quintet of re- Southern states to marry. The family, to her experience as the daughter of a domestic worker. sources: a psychologist who lives in out of shame… A lot of Latinos and Na- Florida who does work with immigrant tive Americans tend to put our lan- ROUTES AND TERRITORIES families; Shawn Lent here in Chicago guage and culture in a vault to have who is a social arts dance practitioner another façade. We talked deeply Works by three artists plumb the complex experiences working with the Syrian community; about her spiritual journey. These three of migration from Latin America. Nohemí Pérez’s “Panorama Catatumbo” consists of lush paintings depicting a Colombian jungle that juxtapose the beauty of the landscape with harsh sociopolitical struggles. In the Noe Martinez video work, “Las cosas vividas antes de nacer (The Lived Things Before Being Born),” the artist records his parents, born in an indigenous community in Mexico that they were later forced to vacate, returning to their homeland and attempting to recover the memories they left behind. (Kerry Cardoza) 36

pieces are about community, hope, renewal, find- level that it is right now, how it’s risen in danger FALL DANCE SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity ing home, a new common identity. It was a very and suffering, it’s incredible. My parents now live EVENTS interesting journey getting to how she was going with me; they had to escape from Honduras three to physically explore these questions. years ago. They’re musicians who owned their “ELECTROGYNUS” own pool hall and dance cabaret. They were music (Dance Center of There is a Native American sculptor we had many presenters. They had to flee because of gang vi- Columbia College) conversations with about how he settled into his olence. They had to pay the gangs to keep their October 10-12 heritage. When he was young, he was encouraged business open and they couldn’t keep up with the to select African American on school applications payments. They were held at gunpoint several Los Angeles-based Rennie because he could get scholarships or accepted times, taken to the bank to withdraw money. When Harris Puremovement alum into certain schools or have opportunities if he you know personal stories to this magnitude, d. Sabela grimes brings his identified this way. He was living his life as a black when people say there’s nowhere to go, there’s unique fusion of hip-hop, black professor in France when his grandmother came literally nowhere to go. Now they’re playing gigs vernacular dance and activism to him in a dream and scolded him for pretending in Chicago and finding places are empty. The to Chicago for the first time. he was something he was not. So he came back kitchens are empty, the restaurants are empty be- “Electrogynus,” birthed from the to America to explore his roots. He shared his ex- cause people are in hiding. Busboys and chefs are DNA of grimes’ Funkamental perience and as you can imagine there were tears, grabbing their bags and hiding. It’s weird when MediKinetics technique, video a lot of hugs. you’re living in that sort of world. People are afraid art by Meena Murugesan, and to get on the bus, on the train. digital illustration by Mr. Maxx This is what inspires me to do this work. The cho- Moses, celebrates liberated reography comes as the fourth, fifth layer of all the Artistically, the whole idea of “American Catracho” black bodies at the center of stuff that has happened before. And there’s a rea- began in 2009, and I explored the idea of traveling infinite speculative universes. son these are female choreographers. I’ve been to different places and its effect on your senses. working on setting the table for women and peo- The images and concepts were in place before this HUBBARD STREET ple of color in leadership roles. happened because, honestly, the circumstances DANCE CHICAGO are the same, just amplified in a grotesque way. (Harris Theater) These themes you’ve been working with for November 7-10 three years are increasingly at the fore of the I should say at the end of the day there’s hope. I’m national conversation and abysmal policy. a product of that and people who have recently ar- Hubbard Street’s mixed-rep rived are a product of that. That rebirth and the bill comes on the heels of On a personal level: a lot of the imagery in the Phoenix it can happen. The last section of “Ameri- a three-week residency in piece, people are traveling through borders, can Catracho” is about this hope. Jackson Hole, Wyoming with through bodies of water, through fences, through Kyle Abraham, founder-direc- the desert. I know people—relatives, colleagues— Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre’s “America/ tor of Abraham.In.Motion, who who have gone through that. Now to see it to the Americans” concerts, September 27-October 26 is creating a new work for the at Studio5, the Auditorium Theatre, the Segundo company. Also on the program: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and the Reva & David “Grace Engine,” another /Photo: William Frederking Logan Center for the Arts. For information and high-octane full-company tickets, visit piece by the crowd-pleasing Crystal Pite, and the next chapter of Hubbard Street choreographic fellow Rena Butler’s series of pieces, the most recent of which met a warm reception last year. BANGARRA DANCE THEATRE (Harris Theater) November 22 & 23 Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts organization comes to the Harris stage with dances informed by contempo- rary techniques and 65,000 years of cultural heritage. All the dancers are of Aborigi- nal or Torres Strait Islander background and the company adheres to publicly stated values like reciprocity, kinship and respect (among many others) in their crafting of repertoire drawn from stories told by community elders. (Sharon Hoyer) 37

DESIGN Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 JUSTICE charge of programming and hotel administra- scheduled, how the hotel is managed and how HOTEL tion are referred to as concierges, a less-hier- the ownership model works. If this model is AT THE archical term that conjures a more helpful, hos- successful, it can serve as a template for build- CHICAGO pitable vision. ing a fully functioning Justice Hotel. Van Eck is ARCHITEC- clear to note that this project will only work TURE Ciera Mckissick, one of the concierges, got in- if the community is totally on board, and BIENNIAL volved in the project in 2018, where a version she’s well aware that collaboration is not al- was tested out during EXPO Chicago. “I really ways easy. “Can housing be a healing process? By Kerry Cardoza love the work that both Tricia and Amanda Wil- Because it’s so fraught,” she says. “Can people liams do, especially with community-building,” stay in their neighborhoods and can their What does justice look like? Does it have a shape Mckissick says. “A lot of the work that I do has neighborhoods be healed from within rather or a particular architectural design? For the 2019 a common thread of having a cause attached to than from without?” Chicago Architecture Biennial, the artists and it. I like to do things with purpose and intention.” cultural workers behind the Justice Hotel are The collective has a host of goals for the proj- contemplating just that. Artist Amanda Williams, Van Eck and her collaborators hope eventually ect, some lofty and some more basic, from re- Justice of the Pies chef Maya-Camille Broussard, to build an actual hotel in a yet-to-be-deter- pairing the harm from decades of neighbor- grower Sarah Mallin, 6018North artistic director mined Chicago community affected by gentri- hood disinvestment to getting curators to work Tricia Van Eck and a host of artists and curators fication and generations of disinvestment. They cooperatively together to try to come up with will operate an experimental co-op-style hotel, envision Justice Hotel as a model for neighbor- a model that could actually stop gentrification. with the intention of generating income while hood reinvestment, where the community At their EXPO Chicago booth last year, if visi- addressing issues of housing and justice. owns the hotel so that the money generated tors wanted to enter, they first had to anony- from the venture stays in the area. mously write down what they would personal- Partnering with the Biennial seemed like a nat- ly give up for justice. The goal was to get ural fit because their intentions line up so close- “Often what happens is someone comes from people to think about what they have, what they ly with this year’s themes, titled “…and other somewhere, like the North Shore or Florida or value and connecting that to what others don’t such stories.” CAB’s curatorial statement calls all these places that are not from the commu- have, the ways in which society is unequal. This on the public and the architecture world to re- nity,” Van Eck says. “They develop the area and iteration of Justice Hotel may not be as explic- flect on how the built environment engages then they leave. So the money doesn’t stay. It it with guests, but it is still intended to get par- with “social, geopolitical and ecological pro- goes somewhere else. And then the people ticipants to think deeply about questions of jus- cesses that affect our collective past, present have to live with that impact.” tice and community. and future.” With initial funding from the Joyce Foundation, “We can be a facilitator and a platform for Those interested in experiencing 6018North’s Van Eck says working with artists and youth is programming justice,” Van Eck says. “In think- Justice Hotel can schedule a room on the gal- an intentional part of the project. “The Joyce is ing about what Justice Hotel stands for, it’s lery’s website from September 19 through Jan- interested in artists who are creating new mod- really getting people to think and converse uary 5, 2020, the duration of the Biennial. Pro- els to solve economic and social issues, often with one another and step outside of their com- gramming varies by the day of the week. through economic generation because artists fort zone as a practice,” Mckissick says. “I hope Community dinners take place on Fridays; Sun- are kind of nimble,” she says. Because they that it’s thought-provoking, and changes how days will be a day of healing. The curators in often don’t see themselves as part of bureau- people think.” cratic systems, artists and youth can bring new energy and new ways of thinking. This iteration Sanctuary, the first iteration of of the project will allow the collective to test out Justice Hotel at Expo Chicago 2018 all levels of their idea: how the programming is /Photo: Ji Yang 38

FALL Michael DESIGN and his motorcycle EVENTS DINING MICHAEL MUSER PLANS CHICAGO TO BUILD ARCHITECTURE By David Hammond BIENNIAL “THE MOST (Chicago Cultural Center, EXTRAORDINARY opens September 19) DINING ROOM IN THE COUNTRY” “…and other such stories,” the 2019 Chicago Architecture December, 2017. Michael Muser, general manag- There was a kind of hiatus, a break. For Curtis, it SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity Biennial, is bound to create er of Grace, and chef Curtis Duffy, left the restau- was like “I need my family right now.” And I did, a future for the field based rant that had gained three Michelin stars, one of too. At the exact same time that Grace closed, I’d on diversity, equality and only fourteen restaurants in the United States to just had my first kid. So I definitely took some time. inclusivity, by bringing achieve that level of excellence. Grace closed at If I could take something from the hiatus, an amaz- together architecture, design, the height of its success and the Chicago culinary ing hallmark, it was being able to partake of the urbanism, policymaking, community was caught off guard. first year-and-a-half of my baby’s life. But I like activism, research and the working sixteen, seventeen hours a day. It’s why arts. Under the artistic Since then, Muser and Duffy have been planning I’m in the restaurant business. It’s entrepreneurial direction of Yesomi Umolu, their next move, a restaurant called Ever, sched- spirit. You go to work there all day, all night. Chicagoans are invited to an uled to open in spring of 2020. We started our architecture festival running conversation with Muser by talking about the But you’re taking some time to ride your through January 2020 that past few years, after Grace and before Ever. bike, right? We’ve got the photos. features exhibitions, events and programming to shift your perspective. CHICAGO WORKS: ASSAF EVRON (Museum of Contemporary Art, through January 2020) In his first solo U.S. museum exhibition, multidisciplinary artist and former photojournal- ist Assaf Evron explores local histories of Israel and Chicago at the intersections of architecture, design and place, by documenting the ways built and physical landscape influence our contemporary society, politics, culture, religion and economy. GEOMETRY OF LIGHT (October 12-13, VIP Opening: October 11, 7pm, $75) Luftwerk and Iker Gil create a light-based art intervention that will transform the Farnsworth House and explore the geometries that connect it to the natural landscape. Following its premiere at the Barcelona Pavilion designed bin 1929 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, the work is set to coincide with the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. (Vasia Rigou) Is it correct to call the period after the Oh, yeah. You’ve got to fight for your hobbies, es- closing of Grace a hiatus for you? pecially when you have a project like this and a 39

FALL DINING kid. You’ve got to fight for those opportunities rants that people will drive to the city to visit. EVENTS to have those moments. Restaurants like ours give people a reason to leave the airport and come downtown to a Former general manager of Grace, You know, I can get on that thing at 5:30am world-renowned dining destination. That’s a Michael Muser, who will soon on a Sunday and an hour-and-a-half later, I’m magical thing. And we do it better than any- open Ever in Fulton Market, noted skipping like a rock over the Illinois River. I’m body else. other restaurants that will open out there. in the months to come. Here’s an I read somewhere that you or Curtis said idea of what to expect at three. I’ve been riding for only about eight or nine years that Ever would make Grace seem im- now. I finally manned up and made my way mature.” I ate at Grace a couple of times, GAJIN through the forest of people who said, “You’re and “immature” is not a word that would Paul Virant (Vie, Perennial Virant) going to die!” But I finally got the motorcycle and, occur to me to use as a description of the has a venture, Gaijin, that will focus man, did it remind me of how important it is for food or service. What was that about? on okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese me to see things. It depresses me how many pancake. Although associated with people have no idea what Main Street in Gary, Curtis was interviewed very briefly on the tele- a region that includes Hiroshima Indiana looks like. Dude, have you been to that phone, and what he was saying there was “Wait and little-known in the West, church? There’s a church in Gary. It’s not even till you see the adult expression of what we’ve okonomiyaki is an extremely off-limits. They let people in. This is a massive, got. If you think Grace was awesome, wait till versatile platform for experimenta- destroyed church that you can go climb around you see what we designed this time.” tion, so expect Virant’s signature in. It is epic. Magic in a box, man. Midwestern ingredients in the mix. I can tell you that the day we finished Grace, I In June, Eater updated their coverage looked at it and went “Damn it; we under-shot.” KOSTALI of Ever, under the headline, “Ex-Chef Grace was very beige, and I’m not trying to be Cousins Carrie and Michael Curtis Duffy to Open Chicago’s Most mean, but it kind of reminded me of the set of Nahabedian gained local recogni- Expensive Restaurant.” Is that “Golden Girls.” It had a very neutral tone. The tion at now-closed Naha and their accurate? How do you respond to that? design did not take very many risks. It was not thriving Brindille in River North. very opinionated. It wasn’t forceful enough. James Beard Award-winner Carrie Phil [Vettel, Tribune food critic] put the price- Now, this time around, given this opportunity, Nahabedian will next be in the point range in there, and Eater does what they we could sit back in the chair and go “Okay, kitchen at Kostali when it opens do, they’re out for the click, so they whack me baby, let’s take a little bit of a risk, man.” on the fifth floor of The Gwen. with “the most expensive restaurant in the She says the food will be a mix city.” Whatever. So it’s not that Grace was amateurish, of ethnic influences, including but rather that you’re always trying French, North African, Italian Here’s how it really works. About ninety days to do better? and Spanish. before this restaurant opens, we’ll pick up our telephones, we’ll get on our computers and we The worst day of the week for Curtis or me is CHEF’S SPECIAL will shop our competitors. We’ll take a look at when Facebook shows us a food memory from COCKTAIL BAR what price everyone out there is charging, like three years ago. We make fun of ourselves Jason Vincent and members of make a spreadsheet, and then we’ll put our- way more than anyone can and when we see his squad at Giant are planning selves right in the middle, where we always do. something that we did just yesterday we look Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar, which We just did some calls the other day, and that at it with a scowl, like “Why did I do that?” they say will be a love letter to the competitive set price puts us somewhere be- Chinese food they ate as kids in tween three and five hundred dollars. [This is Look, Curtis is the bridge between Charlie Cleveland. They’re working with on par with Alinea, the remaining Chicago Mi- [Trotter] and Grant [Achatz]. He respects his local Phoenix Bean Tofu. Although chelin three-star restaurant.] ingredients in the sense that he doesn’t want some decry American-Chinese it to go so far that now you no longer know what as “inauthentic” (yawn), the guys But our job right now is to build the most ex- it is. Curtis will always say “I want the beet to behind Chef’s Special Cocktail traordinary dining room in the country: beautiful be a beet, for godssake. We went to the ends Bar intend to show how delicious and elegant and modern, with class and heart of the earth to get it here in the way that it got it can be. and soul. When you open the door, you’re gonna here. Let’s have respect enough for it to let it (David Hammond) feel loved and you’re gonna feel cared for. be what it is.” Newcity SEPTEMBER 201940 A few years ago, around the time Now, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to sur- Grace closed, food writers and other prise you by putting five or six other things on culture critics were proclaiming an the plate and shock you with a combination of end to the era of fine dining. What flavors. And that’s true of the squab. That’s true do you say to those people? of the beef. Whatever it is, it’s him. He dances that line in the middle. He’s this beautiful writ- Sometimes there are more fine dining restaurants er of epic food albums that tell a story. It’s what than at other times. We shouldn’t do anything he loves to do. No one does what he does. The other than what we do because this is what we restaurant we’re working on right now, it’s do. We’re not stupid. We know our art form; we Curtis’ magnificent obsession. But trust me: know our baseball. This is our version of our world. Curtis is about as frustrating to me as any Fine dining is what we know how to do. human can be. That kid sees the plate differ- ently. There is an elegance to his plating tech- Another side of this is that Chicago is a great nique. So many people throw too much at the culinary city. Chicago deserves a room like Ever. canvas. We are not Cirque du Soleil. We’re far We need these joints. We need these restau- more ballet.

shown on 35mm. The Criterion Collection once encouraged “film school in a box” as the best way to describe their library; this selection can be your “film school in a coffin.” Since 2005, the foundation has facilitated or financed eleven restorations and twenty-two freshly struck 35mm prints. Revenues from ticket sales, the foundation reports, “encourage studio film archives to strike new prints of films that are at risk of disappearing from public view, either through neglect or scarcity.” Once those gems are returned to circulation, “the chances exponentially increase that they will be reissued on DVD, available in pristine, affordable form for future generations of film lovers.” HARD-BOILED AND Aside from the glorious range of imagery, of FILM TENDERHEARTED light and location, of geometry and camera movement, there are terrible lessons in love IN NOIR CITY and punishment for a formative young filmgo- er. (That was me.) Plus, the lingo sparkles and By Ray Pride Most of the brute rubies glittering through the spanks: the fanciful oratory of noir’s cirque du SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity Eleventh Annual Noir City Chicago, drawn from soliloquy lies atop the spider webs of fate and “I was born when she kissed me. the 1950s, are movies that I discovered my fortune and the bold monochrome of disillusion I died when she left me. sophomore summer at school, where the uni- and paranoia that electrifies even the most I lived a few weeks while she loved me.” versity film society had access to dozens of weary characters. 16mm prints, even beyond the ones we rented In Nick Ray’s beautiful, quietly savage “In A to show under the season’s “The Summer Dark The hard-boiled are tenderhearted when they Lonely Place” (1950), Humphrey Bogart plays & Screwy” umbrella. For several months, a few have a few things on their mind, things they a violence-prone screenwriter named “Dix members took full advantage of triple or qua- have to get off their chest. “It’s crazy how you Steele.” His neighbor, Laurel Gray (Gloria Gra- druple features in a small, provisional screening can get yourself in a mess sometimes and not hame, wife of the director, secretly breaking up room, with dust in the carpet, motes adrift in even be able to think about it with any sense,” with him during the shooting of the film) is in- the projector beam. I think of noir, I think of dust the protagonist narrates in Stanley Kubrick’s volved with Steele, whose intense murder sce- and ashes and gloom and often doom, largely “Killer’s Kiss,” “and yet not be able to think about narios may have crossed over into real life. because of that godsend summer of total im- anything else. You get so you’re no good for mersion that was akin to how, I would learn, the anything or anybody. Maybe it begins by taking As in the finest exemplars of film noir, the young-and-not-so-young French cineastes, life too serious. Anyway, I think that’s the way screenplay is a fated funhouse of crisscrossing Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Rivette, Melville and it began for me. Just before my fight with Ro- intentions: not only does Ray burrow into the Chabrol, the “Hitchcocko-Hawksians,” gorged driguez three days ago…” subtext with his own romantic struggles, he after World War II when the American films we describes how to make movies like the one were watching in a tiny cloister on campus had Some words punch beyond the years in which we’re watching. Steele is articulate about how flooded into Parisian cinemas, the MacMahon, they first were spoken. Dirty dealings between movies turn emotions into clockwork, how the cine-clubs, the Cinémathèque Française. Mexico and the United States spark in Orson character is revealed: “That’s because they’re Welles’ “Touch of Evil”: “This isn’t the real Mex- not always telling each other how much in love Noir City: Chicago, a collaboration of the Music ico. You know that. All border towns bring out they are,” Dix tells Laurel. “A good love scene Box and the nonprofit Film Noir Foundation, has the worst in a country. I can just imagine your should be about something else besides love. provided similar rare opportunity for eleven mother’s face if she could see our honeymoon For instance, this one: me fixing grapefruit, you years for any devoted local cinephile to feast hotel.” Even “Kiss Me Deadly,” with Ralph Meek- sitting over there, dopey, half-asleep. Anyone upon the greatest manifestations of the genre, er as a perfected jughead troglodyte, has con- looking at us could tell we were in love.” and on the big screen of a theater where some temporary resonance: “I’ll make a quick guess: of the titles might even have played on original You were out with a guy who thought ‘no’ was release, with nine double features for 2019 to a three-letter word.” And let’s not neglect the darken the doorstep of your dreams, most purple patois of that pulp popinjay Sam Fuller, from the thriller “Pickup on South Street,” where gangsters are selling secrets on microfilm to the Soviet Union: “So you’re a Red, who cares? Your money’s as good as anybody else’s.” The world spins, but some things have not changed. It’s a dark, deadly, beautiful world that refuses to die: see you in the shadows. “Noir City Chicago: 2019” plays September 6-12 at the Music Box. “Pickup on South Street” 41

FALL FILM THE MONUMENTAL LIFE EVENTS AND INCONSEQUENTIAL “AD ASTRA” TIMES OF (September 27) RUSTY BROWN LIT AS TOLD The headline for “Ad Astra” when it was planned for a spring release was BY CHRIS WARE that ruminative director James Gray had made a big-budget foray into By Brian Hieggelke science fiction with stars Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones for Twenti- The collection of stories surrounding the char- session with specific yet arcane details of a eth-Century Fox. This fall, “Ad Astra” acter Rusty Brown, who cartoonist Chris Ware time and place, in Tarantino’s case, his Los An- is one of the few remaining movies first introduced in these pages in the year 2000, geles of 1969. But Tarantino’s film is all surface; from Fox, along with James Mangold’s is being published as another magnum opus the story lacks deeper emotional currents while “Ford v Ferrari” and Steven Spielberg’s in September, coming in at nearly 400 pages Ware’s book is so much more, a deep explora- 2020 remake of “West Side Story.” and constituting just the first volume in this tale. tion of the essence of being human. You’ll ad- (Fox Searchlight is still in the game, Ware is a master of finding the sublime in the mire the extraordinary artwork and attention for now.) Disney wrote off millions of mundane, of depicting a million minuscule de- to such details, but you’ll also be moved to your dollars of projects in development after tails, often themselves rendered so minuscule core by the writing. the branded conglomerate’s $71.3 that the reader might harness a magnifying billion engulf-and-devour of the storied glass to search for the finer elements, assem- We conversed with Ware via email about the eighty-four-year-old studio. Future bling them into works of singular grandeur. new book. Fox-branded films and streaming Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019series will either be Marvel-mutantThe book is really a collection of characters’ sto-You do so much with the passage of move-overs or wan adaptations for ries, interwoven around a moment in the life of time in “Rusty Brown,” and it becomes the Disney+ streaming offering of Rusty Brown (and Chalky White) in Omaha, Ne- a device that adds a layer of melancholy product from the Fox library, like braska in the mid-1970s. They share a pervasive to many of the stories. I’d love to hear “Home Alone.” For this fading of the life of loneliness, although each character finds your thoughts on that. fanfare, Pitt traverses the universe and moments of joy and accomplishment, usually find his long-missing father, a scientist through creative expression like music or writing. Well, that’s really the engine behind it all—the who endangers all of humanity. passage of life and leaving behind of moments, I’d seen Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a places and people in life. Yet at the same time we REELING Time… in Hollywood” not long before reading can call up memories of all these things hundreds (September 19-29) “Rusty Brown”; the film offers a comparable ob- if not thousands of times a day, somehow “seeing” The second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world, a Chicago cultural institution in its thirty-seven years, continues to explore diversity in representation even as representa- tion expands within the larger world of movies and media. Thirty-five features and thirteen shorts programs are on tap, and a fresh emphasis on homegrown and locally connected work includes a focus on Chicago- produced queer web series. CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (October 16-27) Beyond ruinous corporate consolida- tion, what other ways is the film industry changing, here and abroad? The fifty-fifth edition of the Chicago International Film Festival will offer its own insights, with programming from around the world, highlighting the character of what’s available to light up the screens of today and tomorrow, with diverse programming, including discerning programming of documentary and presentations and panels about the evolution of the industry entire. (Ray Pride) 42

things while driving or walking or conversing with others that happened minutes or decades before, the images easily and comfortably co-existing with what we think of as present experience. This phenomenon/ability/superpower is at the very core of what makes us human, yet we hardly think a thing of it or even really notice it. Even as I write this I can easily imagine riding my bike to the old Chicago Avenue offices of Newcity (on deadline) and anxiously cutting the color sepa- rations for that week’s strip in the office, seeing the hallways and the desks and all the people who worked there. But how? I have no idea. Aside from our bodies, it’s also all we really “have,” the single thing we carry from our child- hoods to our deathbeds. Did you have the whole story in your head when you started or did it evolve over the years as you created new chapters and refined earlier ones? I had an idea what I thought it would be about, in Nebraska at about that same time— He’s just the biggest jerk in the book, and I fig- SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity but I also thought I knew what my life would it was like you were drawing from the ured I might as well own him as much as possi- be about when I was twelve. To me, the best ble, even if whatever his convictions and beliefs books resist easy explanation or summary and photo album of my memory— are have nothing to do with mine. Incidentally, so whenever this one was headed toward con- is simply remarkable. those pages were drawn for your publication venient coherency I’d deliberately knock it off To what extent does this way back in 2002, which is sobering. spring from your memory? track. My manner of writing is with pictures, Were connections to After writing about two white and one which unconsciously suggests what your own life consciously male characters in the first two- will happen in the story based on whatever it constructed or did they more thirds of the book, the third is an was I just drew. Again, I believe this analogous organically arise for you? African-American woman living to life, which is essentially adapting to chang- at a time of even more pervasive ing circumstances, and doing the best one can Well, you’re very kind, and you racism than now. Was it a particular without having any idea what it’s about. are also obviously my ideal read- challenge to write her given the er so I have to accept your com- distance she seems to exist from Autobiographical elements are a pliments with a very large grain your own experience? touchy subject for novelists, but you of Nebraska salt. But there’s sim- overtly draw from your own childhood ply no way that any book is not Yes, very much so, and along with what you by setting the work in your hometown in some way autobiographical, asked about in your first question, it’s the main at the time you were a schoolchild and, since every idea, word and image point of the story, if there is one. If America is notably, inserting a “character” named in it has somehow filtered through to start to make up for the murder and theft Chris Ware who physically resembles the artist/writer’s mind to find its way onto the that founded it, we need to keep finding the you into the narrative. The level of page, either as a memory or as an experiment common point of our experiences as much as detail in aspects of your story, from or as an aspiration. But yes, one of my aims was honor for our differences. I’m one of the many the interests of your characters in things to try to evoke as redolently as I could the sen- who inherited profound advantage, and as an like banjo history to the pulp sci-fi sations of my childhood, even if the reader’s artist I have to try to understand, however awk- periodicals that were once prevalent personal experience was wildly divergent, and wardly and almost certainly even incorrectly, to assorted period arcana to a depiction it almost certainly is going to be. (Though not, those from whom I might’ve unknowingly sto- of what I remember about going to school apparently, in your case. Sob!) len. The role of art and the point of life really is to try to feel for if not through other people. And I did very carefully try to reconstruct spaces, to paraphrase Zadie Smith, for the novelist, scenes and smells, though that was really more there’s no strict formula; it either works or it a matter of gathering them all together as I re- doesn’t. When it works, it’s valuable art, and membered them, since one recollection would when it doesn’t, it’s trash. In other words, it’s naturally lead to another. The process was no all on me. different from what we all do every night while falling asleep: remembering, worrying, antici- Chris Ware will appear in conversation pating, regretting, etc. I just happen to draw with Chip Kidd at a ticketed event hosted pictures of it. by Book Table at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park on September 25 and in Is the Chris Ware teacher character a free event at Quimby’s Bookstore on the you you might have been or the you September 27. you occasionally want to be? 43

FALL LIT MUSIC EVENTS PUNKED: MARGARET ATWOOD ELVIS COSTELLO Less than a month after the wrap of DOESN’T GIVE season three—which ventures beyond the book’s ending—of the horrifyingly A DAMN WHAT YOU prophetic Hulu adaptation of “The EXPECT FROM HIM Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019sequel, “The Testaments,” is releasedBy Robert Rodi lo gives exactly zero fucks about your ex- in a “global laydown.” With a lockdown pectations of him. He’s going to write and on advance galleys, all we know is this The punk movement of the late 1970s was play whatever he goddamn pleases; which from the publisher’s page: it “picks up wildly original, hugely influential, and—per- is just… punk. the story fifteen years after Offred haps understandably, given its inherent ni- stepped into the unknown, with the hilism—short-lived. The question ever since This is an artist who, in addition to a string of explosive testaments of three female has been, which of punk’s surviving progen- highly distinctive solo albums, has released narrators from Gilead.” The author itors (those who gloriously self-extinguished major works with two separate bands, The will launch the book from London on taking top honors, of course) best embodies Attractions and The Imposters. He’s collab- September 10, with her appearance the punk legacy? When you’ve witnessed orated with talents as diverse as Burt Bacha- live-streaming globally, including to Johnny Rotten doing butter commercials rach, Paul McCartney, Bill Frisell, The Roots, movie theaters in Chicago. Visit and warbling Andrew Lloyd Webber, this Allen Toussaint, Marian McPartland and the for details. can be a difficult call. Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter. Over the course of his career, he’s is- CAROL ANSHAW I’d opt for Elvis Costello, which at first might sued an album of country standards (“Almost seem an odd choice, as the artist’s early al- Blue”), a song cycle for string ensemble (“The We’ve been admirers of Chicago bums are clearly more punk-infused than Juliet Letters,” with The Brodsky Quartet), writer Carol Anshaw’s work since her actually punk. From the start, Costello dis- and an entire album of achingly earnest, lush- extraordinary debut, “Aquamarine,” played the kind of sophisticated use of ly scored love ballads (“North”). He’s a mar- back in 1992, but the rest of the world rhythm, chord changes and lyrics that are keting manager’s nightmare; ditto for the av- did not catch up until “Carry the One” at odds with the stripped-down, defiant erage music critic, who would just like to pin hit the New York Times bestseller list primitivism of groups like The Ramones and the guy down, already. twenty years later, in 2012. This fall The Clash. But while punk’s musical raison she returns with her eagerly awaited d’être was a middle finger to prog-rock’s Costello’s fragmented musical identity ex- “Right After the Weather,” the story of bloated pretension, its political spirit was its tends to his name. He was born Declan Cate, a set designer in Chicago’s rejection of mainstream music’s cookie-cut- McManus, but for a stage moniker he de- theater community and her encoun- ter corporatism. liberately appropriated the most revered ters with a down-and-out couple living name in rock ‘n’ roll (a gesture of such a parallel life nearby. Graceful prose is That’s where Costello comes in. There’s not lèse-majesté that it’s almost definitionally certain to abound. She’ll celebrate the another major artist who has spent as many punk) and stuck it in front of his father’s old launch of the book in Chicago on decades openly defying the industrywide stage handle. In 1977, he made the name October 3—just two days after it obsession with branding; Costello has re- change legal; then in 1986, he changed it publishes—at the Swedish Museum, peatedly slipped away from his original back to Declan McManus, and attempted in conversation with Jane Hamilton. angry young man (now angry old coot) act to put “Elvis Costello” behind him. It didn’t to follow his muse wherever it led him—al- take, although he still writes and publishes LIZ PHAIR most certainly at a cost to his own career. It music under his birth name. He also flirted may seem odd to slap a punk label on an with a third identity, Napoleon Dynamite, Liz Phair’s memoir cites Patti Smith’s artist who has a catalog on Deutsche Gram- but soon gave it up, possibly because it had acclaimed “M Train” as inspiration and mophon, but that’s exactly the point. Costel- become indelibly associated with the 2004 promises to take “readers inside the most intimate junctures of Phair’s life.” What will Phair have to say about her days in the Chicago indie-rock scene in the early nineties when her “Exile in Guyville” set the scene and its machismo foundations ablaze, cata- pulting her into overnight stardom and burdening her with expectations that she was the voice of feminism for her generation? No one’s saying, and the publisher is going to great lengths to keep it that way, requiring journal- ists to sign nondisclosure contracts to see it in advance of the October 8 publication date. (Her title, “Horror Stories,” offers a clue.) (Brian Hieggelke) 44

film of the same name (whose director, and “Painted From Memory,” his bravura FALL MUSIC SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity Jared Hess, had no idea it had originated 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach. EVENTS with Costello until the movie was well In fact, Bacharach shows up on “Look into production). Now,” returning for a trio of exceptional BRITTANY HOWARD tunes (“Don’t Look Now,” “Photographs Riviera, September 20 So which Costello will we see on the Can Lie” and “He’s Given Me Things”). stage of the Chicago Theater? There’s But you could be forgiven, on listening Alabama Shakes fans should know that no way to be certain; Costello’s gigs are to the album cold, for not being able to even though there won’t be a follow-up to noted for unpredictability. (He once fa- pick out which are the Bacharach collab- 2015’s “Sound and Color” anytime soon, mously made that element of uncertain- orations, because so much of that leg- frontwoman Brittany Howard’s bold, brassy, ty a literal mechanism of his shows, with endary songwriter’s dazzlingly complex yet vulnerable attitude has not disappeared an enormous Wheel of Songs that would but deceptively breezy style has rubbed from the scene. Her debut solo album, dictate, with a spin, which tune would be off on Costello’s solo compositions—es- “Jaime,” will be released the day of her played next.) But given that he will be pecially the insanely infectious opener, Chicago performance. The album is accompanied by The Imposters, and that “Under Lime,” the R&B foot-stomper “Mr. inherently personal, named after a sister his most recent album, 2018’s “Look & Mrs. Hush” and the gorgeously soulful who died when they were both teenagers, Now,” was recorded with that band, it’s “Dishonor the Stars.” There’s an air of Brill marking a moment of up-close self-expres- a fair bet that those songs will figure Building brilliance over the whole god- sion for her. In the singles “History Repeats” prominently in the November set list. damn project. and “Stay High,” Howard hints at the trials of growing up biracial and gay in trailer-park In which case, we’ll be seeing Costello All of which suggests that what we’ll be Alabama. Her live show is the perfect space in my personal favorite of his many alter getting from Elvis Costello in November to support her evolving, powerful-as-heck, egos: the wizardly pop maestro, architect won’t be remotely punk. Except, of course, truth-telling music. of melodic, rhapsodic, stirringly urbane for the way it will be absolutely punk. tunes like those on his 1982 album, “Im- LUCY DACUS perial Bedroom” (still tenaciously holding November 22 at The Chicago Theatre, Park West, October 10 onto its reputation as his masterpiece) 175 North State; tickets start at $62. The Virginia-born indie star is riding high after her acclaimed sophomore album “Historian”; collaboration with Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers on the boygenius EP; and a trio of emotive holiday-themed singles. Her Mother’s Day release, “My Mother & I,” is both lilting and expressive, tackling the underrepresented topic of inherited body issues. On “Historian,” youth, heartbreak and doom are all fair game, and deserve equal attention. The opening track, “Night Shift,” vacillates between childlike candor and heartwrenching thoughtfulness, standing as a strong candidate for best breakup song of 2018. As a performer, Dacus encapsulates and embraces the current spirit of rebellious yet understated women making indie rock. LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III Old Town School of Folk Music, October 27 The folk icon, author, actor and humorist, whose career spans five decades—begin- ning with the impossible-not-to-love “The Swimming Song” and a recurring role on “M*A*S*H”—has proven his staying power time and again. His 2018 Netflix multimedia special, “Surviving Twin,” included new songs, stories and readings from his father’s essays, exploring what it means to be “the third,” proving that his writing is as clear-eyed as ever. His songs function as mini-essays as he slips in and out of difficult memories with precision, sensitivity and humor. He brings these stories to the Old Town, the ideal low-key venue for his serious introspection. (JR Atkinson) 45

STAGE DIRECTOR JESCA PRUDENCIO ON SPORTS, FAMILY AND CULTURE IN LAUREN YEE’S “THE GREAT LEAP” By Kevin Greene Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 Movement-based director Jesca Prudencio has I have a background in movement, and my work both bodies and voices in this space. I’m also wanted to work on a Lauren Yee play for “a very has sometimes been described as athletic. I a choreographer, so my eye for movement re- long time.” She gets to shoot her shot at Step- view my role as a director as coaching the ac- ally fits this play. It not only has intense scenes penwolf this fall, with the Chicago premiere of tors in the process of creating a play, and I knew with high stakes, this play also has to move like Yee’s “The Great Leap,” a play about an Amer- that this play was going to be a great fit for me. a basketball game. As a director and choreog- ican basketball team on a diplomatic mission Not only is this play exciting and action-packed, rapher, and former athlete, I am able to combine of sorts to China in the 1980s, designed for it’s also a personal play for me. I understand a lot of my strengths in this production, so when “basketball fans, history buffs and everyone who struggles as the Asian-American characters in I was offered this opportunity, it felt like a per- has ever had a dream.” Prudencio took a tim- the play. The deeper we get into rehearsal, the fect fit. eout from rehearsing to speak with us about more my ensemble finds parts of ourselves, or the development of this production, the overlap people we know, or people we love, in this play. Okay, so, full disclosure: I am a between sports and theater and why we keep The energy and the excitement of the play pretty diehard basketball fan. For coming back to both. keeps us laughing and exhausted in a really the sake of the minor but passionate satisfying way. Venn diagram of theater nerds and What made you initially want basketball enthusiasts, can you talk to direct “The Great Leap”? Best known for kitchen-sink realism, about the research you did and how What has sustained you through Steppenwolf is a curious home for you integrated the findings into your the artistic process? a playwright like Lauren Yee and a directorial approach? play like “The Great Leap.” How did I’ve been a big fan of Lauren’s work for a long this come to pass? I played basketball in middle school, so it’s been time, and a friend of hers for a few years now. a long time since I’ve played a real game, but it’s Her work is hilarious, heartfelt, sharp and per- Steppenwolf is also known for incredible acting, in me. I grew up with it. I know how the game sonal. “The Great Leap” explores the intersec- and Lauren Yee has written four really complex works, and directing [this play] has been a great tion of sports, family, generations and culture. characters. It’s a drama, it’s a comedy, it’s a excuse to go back to one of my main childhood sports film on stage. It’s a thrilling, profound hobbies. When I do movement work or chore- Jesca Prudencio, director of “The Great Leap” story about second chances and finding fami- ography, I’m very interested in form. I don’t have at Steppenwolf Theatre Company ly. As a director, I am passionate about how we a specific style that I always work in; I’m very communicate with [verbal] language, and how interested in exploring different forms that serve we communicate with body language. This play the piece. In our case, basketball is form. We’ve requires a director that can bring the game into taken basketball—the warmups, the plays—and 46

we’re using that as our movement lan- configuration. Usually, an audience is FALL STAGE SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity guage in the production. Glenn-Dale on one side, and the stage is on the EVENTS Obrero, who plays Manford, the young other side. In our production, we have Chinese-American basketball player, audiences on two sides and the action HIS SHADOW has played basketball his whole life. It’s happens in between. Part of the ex- (16th Street Theater) been so rewarding collaborating with perience of the production is seeing September 12-October 12 him, someone who has played his en- the spectators on the other side. In tire life, and create our own unique sports, there is an excitement, an an- 16th Street Theater kicks off their 2019/20 movement form that is part dance and ticipation, a suspense that keeps mil- season with this world premiere from the part basketball. lions of fans glued to their TVs and playwright of last year’s hit “The Light.” A college spending a lot of money to see. We freshman attempts to get out from under his Theater and sports—both the know the game. We know the teams. older brother’s imposing shadow by stepping practice and appreciation of— We know the rules. But people keep onto the football field. But when tragedy strikes, are sometimes perceived as at wanting to see it. It’s like theater. We his career and his life will be forever altered. odds with each other. Where know the stories, we sometimes know Written by Loy Webb and directed by Wardell do you see overlap? the plays. Why do we keep coming to Julius Clark, “His Shadow” pits activism against see it? We want to see conflict, feel ambition. And only one can be victorious. Theater and sports have so much in something, and fight to win! And we common. They are both live events want to experience all these things KENTUCKY that bring groups of people together with other living, breathing human be- (The Gift Theatre) to witness conflict. Something that ings. Watching theater should be October 20-November 17 has been incredibly important to me more like watching a game. Our goal as we craft this production is that the is to bridge the two. The “distinctive new voice” (New York TImes) experience of “The Great Leap” is like behind “Two Mile Hollow,” Leah Nanako Winkler being at a sporting event. It should “The Great Leap” opens at sets her dead aim to down home in this 2015 feel like we’re watching the game. I Steppenwolf Theatre Company Kilroys List selection. Hiro is successful, self- think about that in terms of the energy, on September 15 and runs through made, single and rapidly approaching thirty. rhythm, sound, lights: every aspect of October 20, with previews beginning Despite being estranged from her dysfunctional the design should feel like we’re at the September 5. For tickets and more family in Kentucky, she finds out that her game. Our space is even in an alley information, go to twenty-two-year-old sister, a born again Christian, plans to get married. Making it her mission to stop the wedding and salvage her sister’s future, Hiro heads south to face the fate she desperately sought to avoid. Directed by ensemble member Chika Ike and featuring a sprawling cast of familiar faces and promising newcomers, “Kentucky” is a homecoming-of-age not to be missed. THE NICETIES (Writers Theatre) November 13-December 15 Ah, the American Ivies. Home to some of the most promising minds of today and yesterday. And while these pristine and prestigious campuses can serve as effective facades to the untrained and incurious eye, within these hallowed halls brews toil and trouble uniquely and unquietly American. Watch closely: while holding her weekly office hours, an accomplished professor is visited by one of her more promising students, who wants to know: if history is written by the winners, who tells the story of the oppressed? As squabbles over terminology and Wikipedia turn into an increasingly heated debate of passion and perspective, one of them decides to put everything on the line. Starring Mary Beth Fisher and Ayanna Bria Bakari (TimeLine’s “Too Heavy For Your Pocket”) and directed by Marti Lyons (“Witch”), Eleanor Burgess’ intellectual thriller demonstrates what happens when people stop being nice and start being honest. (Kevin Greene) 47

Art Leader of the Moment Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 A CONVERSATION WITH Are you from talked about how in his mind it’s all Chicago originally? drumming. I felt intuitively, early on JORDAN here, that this tied to most of my art I’m not, but my dad grew up here practice, which is dealing with MARTINS so I’ve got tons of family. I never ideas of collage. I’m interested in lived here until I was in my mid- to arts administration in a general EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF late-twenties. But I’ve lived here sense, but I’m very interested in longer than I’ve lived anywhere else what this particular place, this par- COMFORT STATION in my life, so it feels like home. ticular building, this particular con- text could be turned into. My incli- or this year’s Art 50, we cast a Along with being the nation to work with it and to light on the behind-the-scenes executive director of Comfort facilitate its growth was all kind of cultural workers who ensure Station, you’re an artist and thinking of it as a collage. Joining that Chicago’s art community thrives. Most you also teach. How do you different forces together, seeing of the collectors, curators, gallerists and ad- balance everything? Do these how they could build on one anoth- ministrators on the list wear multiple hats, roles feed into each other? er, or cancel one another out, build- evincing their passion for the arts. As exec- ing up a multiplicity of forces utive director of the Comfort Station, the Thankfully, they feed into one an- around a single thing. community-focused multidisciplinary art other. If they didn’t, I don’t know space in Logan Square, Jordan Martins is a what I would be doing because it How did Close to There master of weaving sometimes disparate definitely is difficult. I think this is a <> Perto de Lá come about? parts into a vibrant panoply. Thanks to sup- thing that a lot of people in Chicago port from the MacArthur Foundation, the would find familiar. I’ve always been I went to grad school in Salvador, Comfort Station hosted ten artists from pulled by multiple inclinations. I Brazil, and always wanted to main- Brazil this August in a cultural exchange made decisions along the way to tain some sort of active project or program, with the intention of encouraging calibrate that. I also play music and activity there. I’ve gone back a few creative discourse around ideas such as the I decided well over a decade ago times in the past eleven, twelve African diaspora and contemporary Latinx/ that that would take a back seat, years. Four years ago, I wanted to Latin American identities. and would be the hobby. stay a little longer and develop a deeper project with some friends of by KERRY CARDOZA The art practice has always been mine, a couple that had an organi- photo by NATHAN KEAY the most important thing to me. Ob- zation called Projeto Ativa, which is viously, I think teaching feeds into who we’re partnering with. I stayed that in direct ways. That’s also how there for six weeks, and we built out you’re a good art teacher, if you let this program that in hindsight is it feed into it. very much like Comfort Station— it’s a multidisciplinary space that’s The Comfort Station thing was kind of schizophrenic—you’ve got never the plan. I never had any in- different levels of experience of art- terest in being an arts administrator, ists coming in. It was great. We did an art leader. It just happened. For it in this space behind this very years, I thought it would be some- classical museum in Salvador that thing I would do for another year, let us use their abandoned storage and it’s grown immensely. I’m still facility for this occupation, as we figuring out what my longterm plan called it. is, for how I act as an arts adminis- trator, versus my own artistic prac- My collaborators, Lanussi Pasqua- tice. Again, I think they do feed one li and Joãozito Pereira, and I had the another. A mentor of mine has a intention of turning it into an annu- similar dynamic, he’s a musician al or a biennial thing. I brought over and a music festival producer. He’s a lot of Chicago-based work in my 48

SEPTEMBER 2019 Newcity 49

Newcity SEPTEMBER 2019 suitcase, some textile pieces. So this idea of practices and experience represented. another layer of them tapping into what I of a Salvador-Chicago connection was in For obvious reasons, we felt it was import- think is a very Chicago thing. The interac- that project. The idea was we would build ant that all the artists were black artists, tion of improvisational dance is a thing that on it and bring more folks there in a year Latinx or Latin American artists. Afri- we do well here. or two. And then the economy in Brazil can-American and Latinx artists from Chi- tanked. Previously, Joãozito and Lanussi cago we thought would have avenues of This is an interesting project for a had pretty good access to state funding thinking that might be in a groove with lot of reasons, partly because there for some pretty big projects, and with one things in Salvador, but then also get lost. are eerie parallels between what’s version under our belts we thought we Edra Soto’s work is a good example. going on politically in the United could fund it at a big level. The economy There’s so many things about Puerto Rican States and Brazil. Why is this tanked and then the political turmoil start- colonial history that have interesting par- project important in this moment? ed. Then Joãozito and Lanussi both got allels in Salvador, but then they’re also to- cancer, and João passed away. So in a very tally different things. When we wrote the proposal, we wrote short period of time, it was like this dream about that. It was before Bolsonaro was we had washed away several times over. I know the plan is that the Brazilian elected, when this dark turn in Brazilian artists were here in August and politics had already happened. Dilma had Then a year or so later—less than a year then next year, Chicago artists already been impeached. That was a after [João] passed away—I got an email will go there. Is there a final project straight-up political coup, actual coup. So from the MacArthur Foundation, a form or an intended outcome? the Bolsonaro election hadn’t happened email, that I think everybody gets if they yet, but the seeds of that were firmly plant- receive MacArthur Treehouse funds, which We always said, in the grant proposal, we ed. What’s been interesting to see is that we do. It said that we were eligible for this want to have some programming, but the with all my Brazilian friends, when that grant, and the application was due in ten programming is almost secondary to the election happened, it was déjà vu. On days. I didn’t want to leave any money on informal passing through the city and pass- Facebook, I was watching the grieving pro- the table, so I talked to my board chair and ing through the artistic communities. The cess. I was watching the denial, anger, ac- said I thought we should apply for it. There programming is to give the artists some- ceptance. Eventually I think we in the was no time to have any meetings or brain- thing to share and to give them an oppor- States, and in the arts community and in storm with the board. She said, “Just write tunity to get some visibility and to collabo- Chicago, have developed a resolve around, it.” We thought we wouldn’t get it, in part rate in certain ways. But it’s almost more not just the need for more political ges- because it was double our operating bud- about creating a framework for them to tures in the arts, but more artists simply get at the time. Then we got it. It was writ- meet one another, talk, hang out, have beers being politically active, more conversa- ten very much from the heart and very afterwards, visit spaces. There was no de- tions that directly address not only the im- much with nothing to lose. liverable. For a lot of foundations, they don’t mediate political situation but the broader like that. They want to see a deliverable. cultural things that it’s tied up in. You see Ever since I moved here, I always wanted a lot more direct discourse and action in there to be some kind of bridge between Can you talk about the the art world around that. You see that hap- Chicago and Salvador. In part, because I programming? I know the pening in Brazil, too. Part of what we had a very mind-expanding time in Salva- artists were here for ten days. thought would be fruitful is the conversa- dor, and there’s this urge to share it with tions that are going to happen. I have my people you know. Also there’s some inter- We asked each artist to give a proposal own thinking about these parallels and esting and very productive parallels, but based on what they would like to do in gen- what they might be. But I think what’s most also asymmetries. Both cities have the eral. Then we looked for possible partner important is that there are these artists same size population, they’re both three institutions that would be a good fit, both who are going to have a chance to com- million people, more or less. They’re both for their particular proposal or for the work pare notes in an intimate way, of their own points on the African diaspora, in very dif- they make. We partnered with a whole personal experience, in a sense of how it’s ferent ways. Salvador was one of the epi- host of people: Stony Island Arts Bank, the changed them in their art practice, how centers of the South American slave trade, Poetry Foundation, Spudnik Press, Links they’ve reevaluated certain things. I’m ex- and Chicago is this node through the Great Hall, the Franklin, 6018North. A few events cited to see those connections unfold. Migration. Favelas look completely differ- happened here. Our normal lecture series ent than the South Side of Chicago, but every Sunday was populated with lectures Other than this huge project, do in many ways they face very similar mar- having to do with these artists. Poetry you have anything else coming up? ginalization. So we thought, bringing art- Foundation developed a particular event ists from these communities, without with Alex Simões. I was keen on having I have a solo show at Goldfinch called even prescribing the curatorial framework improvised performances between the “Plant Strategies.” And I’m curating a small of how that conversation would happen, musicians and dancers in the project. One group show in the back gallery called “An- would be productive. of my favorite events, if I could choose one, imal Tactics.” That opens September 15. was at Links Hall, “Bahian Vibrations,” I’m doing a project with Yolocalli, they’re How did you select the artists? where dancers and a few musicians from based in Little Village, a collaborative, this side of the project and some invited camouflage net project with their teens. It was a long, layered conversation on both guests did two sets of purely improvised That should be happening in October. sides. My partners, so Lanussi Pasquali performance. Links Hall has a pretty rich and Juci Reis, who’s part of a studio called history of that kind of practice, so we Harmonipan, discussed the criteria being thought that it would be cool to not only about multidisciplinary artists with a range have those artists do that, but also have 50

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