Coming Suddenly, Passing Strangely

Curation for SPACES | Time-Based Exhibition

 

There is a moment on every journey when it becomes impossible to quantify how much farther we have to go. The challenge comes in recognizing the amorphousness of expectations and the malleability of experience. What was before simply is no longer. Time moves ahead, often without explanation.

In this collaboration with Columbia College Chicago (CCC), we recognize the entangled concepts of journey and destination. The collection of time-based works by CCC alumni showcase different paths and organizing principles. Each has its own methods and strikes a unique chord. Together they form constellations, but also growth charts. Sundé’s melodic gift, 06’ 07’ 05’ (2021), calls us close in lilting strides while a shadow plant rustles in view. Those warm trails press against more insistent works like KevinRoyK’s Return of the Rapture (2021) asking, “Whatcha gonna do ‘bout it?” Brandon Studer’s Ennui Agg (2018) animation drips with potentially disastrous outcomes, while Carlos Nahuel Cerutti’s video short, Vivant (2020), sidesteps any definitive answers in favor of curious ambiguity.

There are missives, too. Taking form as love letters, summons, and broadcasts, these pieces offer experience as a guide. Atefeh Farajolahzadeh confronts the limitations of multilocational presence in No Answer (2017). Somber assertions color Valentina Vella’s Netherworld (2021), a sound poem asserting that we will muddle through somehow. Cameron Lee’s sonic collage, Cloud Burrow (2021), is a diary of uncertainty and Sim Sadler catalogues undirected attentions in Waveform #1 (2021). Releasing expectation seems both possible and necessary in Sid Branca’s My Father’s Name (2018) which explains, “No one has to be their father. That includes our fathers.”

Reaching out as transmissions from the not-too-distant past, or future, artists wrap their subjects in at least the momentary sheen of being known. We see figures considered, acknowledged, and heard. Usama Alshaibi and Talia Watrous’ standout film, The Desire (2020), captures the pandemic’s aching isolation while acknowledging the devastating and ongoing impacts of separation and displacement. Carlos Javier Ortiz’s experimental documentary, Shikaakwa (2021), shares a complex view of life in Chicago. “The film is a meditation on the physical spaces that hold us up and hold us back,” explains Javier Ortiz. Kierah King shares another form of elegy through dance and spoken word in Black Woman, Why? (2021). Two works from Brianna Lynn Hernández Baurichter’s Anticipatory|Después Series (2018, 2019) draw deep traces through our individual and communal reckoning with trauma, loss, and grief. Their layering of visual, kinesthetic, and auditory experiences linger long after the body has passed from view.

This compelling collection of original texts, images, sounds, dances, stories, and journeys provides an opportunity to get lost in and beyond the now. They affirm the need to be as we are, and to exist as we must.

 

 

ARTISTS /

  • Usama Alshaibi
  • Sid Branca
  • Simon Cygielski
  • Rachel Damon & Aaron Greer
  • MARTINEZ E-B
  • Jon-Carlos Evans & David Hawkins
  • Atefeh Farajolahzadeh
  • Brianna Lynn Hernández Baurichter
  • Carlos Javier Ortiz
  • KevinRoyK
  • Kierah King
  • Cameron Lee
  • Carlos Nahuel Cerutti
  • Camilx Rivero Pooley
  • Sim Sadler
  • Brandon Studer
  • Sundé
  • Maria VanDyken Li
  • Valentina Vella
  • Gonzalo Varela
  • cody coco wallace

MEDIUMS /

  • animation
  • sound composition
  • custom software
  • spoken word
  • experimental film
  • dance film
  • narrative film

ON VIEW /

  • Toby's Vault, SPACES