Helps it to feel, compels it to make

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Friday, April 6, 2018
5:00 pm, MA VCS Symposium keynote lecture with Doug Ashford: Reading Through the Non-Human
6:00 - 9:00 pm, helps it to feel, compels it to make MA VCS Exhibition opening reception
exhibition runs through Saturday, May 5 - gallery hours Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Curated by Stephanie Koch and John Stevens
Saturday, April 7, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm, helps it to feel, compels it to make MA VCS Symposium
Curated by Lindsay Hutchens and Celia Wickham

Weinberg/Newton Gallery
300 W Superior St #203, Chicago, IL 60654
MA VCS 2018 cohort: Eduardo Chaidez, Michael Donatuti, Amanda Ellison, Evan Graham, Siamack Hajimohammad, Juan Carlos Herrera, Lindsay Hutchens, Stephanie Koch, Tiara Nord, Joshi Radin, John Stevens, Zach Vanes and Celia Wickham
    John Stevens, Joshi Radin, Eduardo Chaidez and Juan Carlos Herrera will present work that examines bodies in space through a re-negotiation of the ways in which we are read and received by the world around us. Through looking at notions of responsibility, representation, and modes of performativity, these artists offer up both critical and celebratory responses and actions. (moderated by Joshua Rios, Lecturer, Departments of Contemporary Practices, and Visual Critical Studies)
    Evan Graham, Tiara Nord, Celia Wickham, Lindsay Hutchens and Stephanie Koch will speak to notions of trauma, pleasure, genealogy, and longing. Their work will unravel and collapse relationships between the intimate and the collective, provoking new forms of knowing the self through sensorial and historical reckonings. (moderated by Mary Patten, Professor, Departments of Film, Video, New Media and Animation, and Visual Critical Studies)
    Siamack Hajimohammad and Zach Vanes will examine structures of compliance and displacement within institutional spaces, while Amanda Ellison and Michael Donatuti focus in on the hyper object, each attending to how we publicly experience and are shaped by our politics, ethics, and art. (moderated by Kristi McGuire, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Critical Studies)

    In the early twentieth century, German playwright Bertolt Brecht contrasted epic theater against the dramatic to offer a new critical position for examining the world. For Brecht, if the dramatic is that which engages us creatively and emotionally, then the form offers an immersive experience that helps us to feel our place in the world. The epic stands counter to the dramatic as it applies reason and visionary scholarship, connecting our present to the richness of history and even compelling us to make worlds anew.
    This exhibition and symposium—helps it to feel, compels it to make—presents works which call upon this contrast set out by Bertolt Brecht as means to celebrate and contemplate personal and collective histories, ideas and identities. The scholars and makers on view put pressure on this distinction by engaging both the dramatic and the epic to form new, critical positions that reimagine how knowledge is visualized, written and shared. Both experiences and insights are communicated; suggestions and arguments are used. There is an interest in what drives and in what motivates; events which move in a straight line and in irregular curves. Stepping across the line between what we feel and what we do, they simultaneously undertake creative investigation and propose gestures of the world as it is and the world as it is becoming.