Friday, January 6th, 6-9pm
Upcoming performance by Keijaun Thomas
Acre Projects is thrilled to open 2017 with No Turning Back: Allen Moore, Jules Rosskam, Maybe Jairan Sadeghi, with performance by Keijaun Thomas. The artists address identity and individuality by creating and depicting queer, trans, and minority spaces. Sadeghi, Rosskam, and Moore pursue an ontological visualization of alternate universes through an imagined intergalactic future; abstracted and imagined landscapes; or by mining a familial past. Keijaun Thomas’ performance work takes a more direct approach to critically confronting existing structures of sexism, racism, labor inequality, and structures of oppression.
Maybe Jairan Sadeghi’s text-based paintings, book-like in scale and precise in rendering, employ the aesthetics of Star Wars’ iconic opening script to tell an imagined narrative of forgotten bodies rising and flourishing from a racist struggle. Each painting’s poetic stanzas repeat “There was no Turning Back,” lending the exhibition its title. Sadeghi envisions a utopian brown future by harnessing and personalizing sci-fi’s tactics of alternate reality and covert political commentary.
Brilliantly vivid, painterly, abstracted landscapes by Jules Rosskam present potential for alternate social structures not in the future, but the present American landscape. Rosskam’s past documentary films Against a Trans Narrative (2009) and Transparent (2005) directly addressed LGBTQ realities and possibilities; the non-representational No Place landscapes featured in No Turning Back as a light-box and photographs, abstracts Rosskam’s ongoing exploration of gender politics as a philosophical creation of contemporary utopian/ dystopian reality. Pure, exuberant color is interrupted only by occasional imagery to suggest the wide-open sky of the American West. Rosskam both pictures a utopian ideal in the present and denies its existence as “No Place.”
Allen Moore’s rich, velvety LP records cast from densely-packed graphite both replicate and mirror musical records his mother and grandmother played during his childhood. Sculptural objects, the records are also functional and produce an obscured sound when played. Adding sound and color projection, Moore creates a psychological, sociological, and aural experience that pays tribute to his personal memories and experiences as an African-American urban male and artist.
As part of No Turning Back, on January 15th Keijaun Thomas will perform Distance is Not a Separation, a powerful durational work that speaks to the experience of being a femme black person growing up and working the corner. Thomas investigates the black femme body in relation to the athletic body, and rethinks and rebalances how we see and observe sports imagery, the labor and value of craftsmanship, the hairdresser, the janitor, the dancer and how language constructs and transcribes symbols on to the black femme body. Employing interdisciplinary materials and pulling in performative, narrative, experiential strategies, the artists in No Turning Back create work that powerfully speaks to a political urgency to not regress, but instead to push boundaries and create the diverse world we wish to see.
About the artists and curator:
Chicago-based artist Allen Moore converses with the signifiers of African American culture and popular culture; bringing to view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socio-economical conditions. He creates and performs experimental sound pieces using hand casted, graphite/carbon records that export loops of sound recordings from popular vinyl records predating 1986. The objects and performances speak to the artist’s emotional, spiritual narrative from childhood, paying tribute loved ones passed, and referencing the experience of growing up as an African American male during the 80’s and beyond. Often using graphite, Moore’s work employs traditional 2-D materials with 3-D substrates, gradually manipuling and carefully engineering surfaces, often in direct correlation with the graphite record performance.
more info about Allen Moore: http://www.allenmooreart.com/
Jules Rosskam is a filmmaker, educator and interdisciplinary artist interested in liminal spaces: the space between male and female, between documentary and fiction, between moving image and still. His interdisciplinary practice investigates the means by which we construct individual and collective histories and identities. Recent screenings include the British Film Institute (London), Leather Archives and Museum (Chicago), and Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam). Recent grants include the LEF Foundation’s Moving Image Fund, Crossroads Grant Foundation, The Funding Exchange, Illinois Arts Council Grant, and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Grant. His work has been published in Women and Performance, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and Make/Shift Magazine. Rosskam holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Film, Video, New Media, 2008). He is currently Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at University of Maryland Baltimore County.
more info about Jules Rosskam: http://www.julesrosskam.com/
Maybe Jairan Sadeghi received their Bachelor's of humanities and arts in linguistic and fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University. Using their native fascination for science as springboard, they use ceramics, illustrators mediums and found objects to set the stage for abstraction and exploration. They live and practice in Pittsburgh.
more info about Maybe Jairan Sadeghi: http://www.maybesadeghi.com/
Keijaun Thomas creates live performance and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials, which in turn function as tools, objects and structures, as well as a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. Thomas examines and deconstructs notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of the black body in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness amongst materials. Thomas earned their Masters degree from SAIC and has shown work in Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Boston, New York, Miami; as well as internationally in Taiwan, France, Mexico, Chile, Canada, and the UK.
more info about Keijaun Thomas: https://vimeo.com/keijaunthomas1
Curator: Anastasia Karpova Tinari is a Chicago-based art historian, curator, and writer interested in artwork that questions national identity, exposes and subverts political power structures, and broadens a prevailing art historical narrative. Anastasia is the Director of Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Curatorial Fellow at Acre Residency & Exhibitions, and regular contributor to Newcity and The Seen. Prior to Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Anastasia was a curatorial fellow at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Coordinator of Museum and Exhibition Studies at UIC, and worked Museum Education at the National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy.
1345 W 19th St
Chicago, IL 60608
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2119 S. Halsted St.
800 South Halsted Street
Chicago Union Station - The Great Hall
500 W. Jackson BLVD
Chicago South Loop Hotel
11 W 26th St
Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro
733 West Madison