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EXPO CHICAGO/2014
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MARCH // IN REVIEW


 

RUFFNECK CONSTRUCTIVISTS // ICA PHILADELPHIA
by Joshua Michael Demaree

Known for her famed silhouette tableaux that hang in museums around the world, Kara Walker is an artist and professor that has yet to complete that all-important art world trifecta of multitasking.  That is, until now.  From February 12 until August 16, Walker’s first curated show, Ruffneck Constructivists, is on view at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Ruffneck Constructivists is two equal parts proposal and love letter.  Named for an MC Lyte song from 1993—“Ruffneck” from the rapper’s Ain’t No Other album—it is clear that Walker took Lyte’s refrain to heart: “Gotta what, yo? / Gotta get a ruffneck.”[†] 
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THE FIVE SENSES // SMoCA
by Sarah Hamilton

For a very long time, I have advocated for art, and art experiences, that engaged numerous senses – not just the primary one and a half that the term “visual art” aims for. There are plenty of artists out there that do engage numerous senses, striving to create an environment, not just something to look at and maybe hear. So I was very excited to review The Five Senses exhibition at the Scottsdale Museum of Art.
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CHRISTOPHER WOOL // THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO 
by Shreya Sethi

Organized by the Guggenheim museum at the Art Institute of Chicago, a massive exhibition of Christopher Wool’s paintings has traveled from New York, after just having been on view, to the city that Wool considers his hometown. As a kind of somber homecoming, the show seems to bring with it a message as stated by Wool’s most famous painting, the phrase: “SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS,” a quote from Francis Ford Coppola’s movie of the same title.
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PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // VALÉRIE BLASS
by Tina Gelsomini

Valérie Blass is not easily classified as a sculptor, evidenced in her exhibition at Montreal’s Parisian Laundry where she is a represented artist. Blass is perhaps better described as a scavenger, an assembler of oddities, and a master puppeteer of materials. Her most recent works came together at Parisian Laundry’s Théâtre d’Objets exhibition, which contained a combination of new work, alongside those already displayed at her first solo exhibition in New York last November. Others were commissioned for Public Art Fund’s 2012–13 exhibition at the Metrotech Center in Brooklyn.
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JOSÉ LERMA // GLORIOSA SUPERBA
by Stephanie Cristello

Fighting the War From Both Sides

Conspiracy is often faithfully followed by the term theory. It is a type of narrative that lends itself to the unknowable; founded on conjecture and speculation, on estimations of the factual that cannot be proven or disproven, existing forever in a state of both reality and fiction. Though, as a word that so often attaches itself to the indeterminable definition of theory, conspiracy is a term that perpetually surrenders its factual possibilities. The potential for truth is always eliminated at the sight of the word. But what if the fiction implied was not in opposition to truth? What if the conspiracy immediately admitted its own invention?
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ETERNAL HINDSIGHT // NEW MUSEUM
by Tara Plath

Currently on display on the fifth floor of the New Museum are a pair of time-bending exhibitions—iterations of past and future that ultimately meet in the middle: the present moment, perhaps even a statement of art today. The first is an empirical study in the New Museum’s Resource Center; Occupied Territory: A New Museum Trilogy presents a series of exhibitions first presented at the museum in 1993 through a collection of documents, photographs, and ephemera.
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DAVID HARTT // THE REPUBLIC
by Stephanie Cristello

Casual Violence

A car thrown onto its side. When we visualize this image, we imagine a symbol of revolt. It is an attack on orientation, on forward movement, on progress – but it is also an image inescapably attached to the political domain, to capital and to the state, though the car itself is ubiquitous. It exists as a symbol that represents the facets of modern culture that are rarely visible – without the institution of the industrialized world there could be no car – yet becomes instrumental in envisioning the landscape of social unrest. We imagine a city strewn with overturned vehicles in the aftermath of an uprising, as if they were interlopers, their presence imposing small, but significant disruptions onto the pristine city grid.
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ALIEN SHE // VOX POPULI
by Joshua Michael Demaree

The first line of Bikini’s Kill’s Wikipedia page reads: “Bikini Kill was an American punk rock band formed in Olympia, Washington in October 1990.”  It is written in the past tense as if to say: this band was and now it is not.  The sentence is short and sweet, just like the all-girl band’s brief seven-year existence.  Though despite its brevity, few bands can claim the kind of widespread cultural and political fallout that was brought about by Bikini Kill and other radical feminist punk bands from that period.
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CAMILLE HENROT // THE PALE FOX
by Marianne Templeton

Of Timelines and Twins

Art’s romance with anthropology continues. In French-born, New York-based Camille Henrot‘s first UK solo exhibition, The Pale Fox, at Chisenhale Gallery in London, the installation exemplifies the contemporary attraction to using quasi-anthropological forms and methods for navigating the cult of information.
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CCA // CASABLANCA CHANDIGARH
by Tina Gelsomini

Founded in 1979, the Canadian Centre for Architecture houses one of the most extensive architectural archives in North America. Today, if you stroll down the left wing of the CCA towards the main gallery-space, you will encounter their most recent exhibition, exploring modern urbanism in Casablanca, Morocco and Chandigarh, India from the 1950s to the present day. In How architects, experts, politicians, international agencies and citizens negotiate modern planning: Casablanca Chandigarh, curators Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato collaborate to examine these cases with parallel urban histories.
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Image up top: View L to R: Tim Portlock | Sunrise-the extended constructivist re-render, 2011. Kendell Geers | Stripped Bare, 2009. Rodney McMillian | Carpet (Office and Ollie’s Room), 2012. William Pope.L’s | Claim, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

 
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For more information about EXPO CHICAGO/2014
visit www.expochicago.com