We are excited to invite you to the first installment of an exhibition titled 12 Openings, a yearlong experiment in collaborative curation with unpredictable results.
Over the course of the year there will be 12 shows, each having its own two titles, culminating in a group show of 24 artists.
Each month two artists are invited to install an artwork in or around the home of Laura Shaeffer, Andrew Nord, and their sons Sebastian and Jasper, making the private public and extending our understanding of home, family, and community. Both artists are then asked to extend the invitation to one more artist to do the same, thus adding two more works, and two more show titles each month. Each new artwork multiplies the connections between the existing artworks and, overall, constructs a cumulative exhibition that subverts the traditional top-down nature of curating exhibitions, replacing it with a model of artist-driven co-curation. The narrative arc of the show is not predetermined, but rather built upon the robust and crisscrossing networks of artists in this collaborative city. 12 Openings showcases the artists that other artists are curious about and allows these connections to shine as the exhibition grows. At the end of the run, the 12th opening, viewers will be able to see 24 original works by 24 artists, selected and inspired by their peers.
Description: Alberto Aguilar will mark the south-facing facade of the home at Compound Yellow with 24 illusionistic penetrations. This hand painted intervention will transform the home into a visual spectacle for all to see from the busy street where it situated. The imagery will alternate between graphic broken glass and cartoon style ground holes allowing the viewer to make their own meaning of this all-over house mural.
Bio: Alberto Aguilar is a Chicago-based artist who taught at Harold Washington College from 2006-2018. There he also coordinated Pedestrian Project, an initiative dedicated to making contemporary art practice more available to his students. In 2009, Aguilar organized a series of dinners on social media which brought strangers into his home. These dinners culminated in 2013 with a wedding to an unknown couple before 150 unsuspecting guests. In 2016, Alberto Aguilar was resident artist at the Art Institute of Chicago where he held several rogue events, exhibitions, and performances. His work had been exhibited and presented at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Museum of Art, Queens Museum, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum of Contemporary Chicago. In 2019, he will have a solo exhibition at Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Erik L. Peterson
Description: The American system of democracy and liberty requires an active citizenry and a paradigm of public speech, in which differing views are shared and debated in a public forum. in a political climate, however, where people hear what they want to hear and block out all ideas that do not fit their own worldview, how is it possible to maintain this system? Broken Bell, a grouping of cracked cymbals arranged into the shape of a large public “listening bell,” becomes a sonic symbol that invites viewers (listeners) to speak privately and publicly at the same time. This piece invites passers-by to whisper their secrets or private views into the machine and amplify / publicize their immediate thoughts for all to hear. The participants must listen publicly to what they are saying to privately; the piece acts as a self-reflexive echo chamber where you hear yourself caught within your own speech. This percussive installation reveals itself in the vibrations of local vocal chords within the increasingly global soundscape of targeted (private) advertising and public disinformation. Broken Bell aims to disentangle the locked horns of public debate through the act of speaking out loud.
Bio: Erik L. Peterson is a public artist, sculptor, and museum educator living and working in Chicago. He is best known for his large-scale urban interventions and neon works (The Oasis, Seep, and Inner State), signature edible ice cream sculptures (CreamCycle and Soft Palate), and public performances camouflaged within urban spaces (Checks and Balances, Two Tow'n and Square Dance). His work subtly and often humorously redefines viewers' relationships to the everyday. Pieces remind viewers of their own agency in the act of looking or listening, and re-casts people as active participants in the creation of public space. Additionally, Peterson, along with Laura Shaeffer and Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, is a founder of Hyde Park Kunstverein, a community museum and solo project space in Chicago and Qeej Hero, a trans-cultural video game starring the Hmong wind instrument called the qeej.