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THE SEEN | Chicago's International 
Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art
 
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Online Issue 29: May
 

AI WEIWEI // MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART, ATHENS
by Dr. Kostas Prapoglou

Since the start of the refugee crisis in Europe, and especially for the situation involving the Aegean islands, Ai Weiwei at Cycladic, presented at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, partly generates a new body of work in response to these events.

Spanning the two floors of the museum’s older buildings, as well as other areas of its new annex, the exhibition embraces new works by Ai Weiwei, inspired by the museum’s collection of ancient artifacts and the artist’s visit to the Greek island of Lesvos. The rest have been appropriated in an attempt to fit the local socio-political context.

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ABOVE, BEFORE & AFTER // MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO
by Brandon Sward

You may not know it yet, but you are at the center of Above, Before & After at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibition borrows its name from three of the six prepositions within Bruce Nauman’s series Elliott’s Stones (1989), which resides just outside the exhibition space. Resembling gravestone rubbings, these sheets of paper read: ABOVE YOURSELF, BEFORE YOURSELF, AFTER YOURSELF, BESIDE YOURSELF, BEHIND YOURSELF, BENEATH YOURSELF. This piece, and Above, Before & After as a whole, draws attention to the myriad of ways we occupy the space around us.

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MUDROOM // THE MISSION
by Hiba Ali

In a dimly lit gallery space of THE MISSION, Austen Brown’s MUDROOM (2016) features three television screens hoisted on black poles with looping videos. The videos review the process of shale procurement, an extraction of the mud-based sedimentary rock, and the industry’s aftermath in North Dakota’s Bakken region. The Bakken shale formation stretches from Montana through North Dakota to the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The exhibition traces this incumbent industry. Extracted and broken down for its rich resources in petroleum and natural gas, the color of the material indicates its mineral concentration; darker shale has a higher likelihood of containing oil or petroleum, lighter shale is more oxygenated and is used in clay or brick production.

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MAGICAL SURFACES: THE UNCANNY IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY // PARASOL UNIT, LONDON
by Dr. Kostas Prapoglou

Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography is the new exhibition at Parasol Unit Foundation For Contemporary Art, featuring the works of seven photographers belonging to two different generations. Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld were both born in the 1940s whereas Jörg Sasse, Elger Esser, Sonja Braas, David Claerbout and Julie Monaco were all born between the 1960s and 70s.

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Image up top: Ai Weiwei, Standing Figure, 2016, Marble, 188 x 80 x 58 cm, Photo Paris Tavitian ©Museum of Cycladic Art.

               
 For more information about EXPO CHICAGO/2016
   www.expochicago.com