Whitney Biennial Names Sixty-Three Artists
Among the sixty-three honorees for 2022 under the rubric “Quiet As It’s Kept,” the Whitney Biennial, which focuses this year on the southern border with Mexico and Native artists, has selected Chicago resident Lisa Alvarado, as well as Blaine, Minnesota’s Pao Houa Her and Minneapolis’ Dyani White Hawk. The curators of this edition “have done away with creating separate programming for performance and video and film, which have previously been organized by additional curators and presented in separate areas of the museum which many visitors tended not to see,” reports ARTnews. “Instead, they said that the show will feature ‘dynamic contributions that take different forms over the course of the presentation: artworks—even walls—change, and performance animates the galleries and objects’ and that performance and film/video will be ‘integrated into the exhibition with an equal and consistent presence in the galleries.'” The complete list is here.
New Works On Bus Shelters In Chicago And Two Other Cities
Public Art Fund’s “Global Positioning” exhibition with new works by an intergenerational group of twenty artists will open to the public on 320 JCDecaux bus shelters throughout Chicago, New York, and Boston starting today through June. “Many of the artists have never been seen by audiences in these cities,” PAF relays in a release. “Their works illustrate how artists have processed this turbulent moment through hope, incisiveness, and humor, underscoring a shared impulse to create, communicate, and imagine a future filled with possibility. Ranging from thirty to eighty-one years old, they come together from seventeen countries across the globe to reflect on our changing world, with stories about climate change, deforestation, pandemic-related anxiety, reconnection, and renewal. The artists work across many mediums both traditional and contemporary, including sand painting, embroidery, watercolor and collage.” More here.
SAIC Hosts Eiko Otake For Ten-Day Public Incubator
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosts movement-based interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake for a ten-day public incubator residency, starting today and running through February 5. “Working closely with her co-curator, SAIC graduate student Elise Butterfield, Eiko will explore new possibilities of her performance-based practice together with her media works at the School’s SAIC Galleries. The project, ‘I Invited Myself, Vol. 1’ will be open to the public February 4 and 5,” SAIC relays in a release. “We are honored to welcome the renowned artist, teacher, and thinker Eiko Otake to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago once again to share her creative energy and work with the Chicago community during this special residency,” Trevor Martin, SAIC’s executive director of exhibitions says. “Eiko practices the act of being present, which feels extremely resonant and important now more than ever.”
Visitors will see her as a narrator, conversationalist and performer, in this new work. During the ten-day incubator, Eiko will be present during all open hours. This experimental residency is in the spirit of her ongoing “Duet Project: Distance is Malleable” “In addition to the duet of co-curation, Eiko will pair with landscape, artist partner and camera. Ultimately, her presence will be a dance with each viewer’s gaze.” To visit Eiko’s project during gallery hours, make an appointment here.
Black Creatives Remember Virgil Abloh’s Impact on Fashion
“In his relatively short career, Virgil Abloh had achieved so much — achievements that made lasting change. It’s as if now the fashion industry exists in two realms: Before Virgil, it was an industry slow to shift the needle and firmly rooted in tradition,” reports Teen Vogue. “It was often disinclined to loosen its reins, and make way for the new guard to lay its own foundation. But after Virgil emerged on the scene, a shift happened. A shift in ideas, in who made the rules, and in how we define luxury. Perhaps most importantly, Abloh forced a shift in who is allowed to be taken seriously by the industry at large. He was a young Black man breaking all the rules, and influencing a generation through his instinctual talent. ‘He was the gateway for the whole culture,’ Kerwin Frost, who worked with Abloh, told Teen Vogue.” More voices here.
Old Town Neighbors Want Grocery Store As Part Of Massive Overhaul
“Neighbors are pushing developers to bring a grocery store to the area as they begin overhauling several Old Town buildings,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Developer Fern Hill Company, alongside Moody Church, is transforming five sites on LaSalle Drive, North Avenue and Wells Street, including the former Treasure Island grocery store,” including the BP Gas Station, the Shell Gas Station and the Walgreens at 1601 North Wells.
Archdiocese Eliminates Parishes On South, West Sides
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced consolidations of West Side, South Side and south suburban parishes as part of the Renew My Church initiative launched in 2016 after declines in membership. The Sun-Times has the list.
DINING & DRINKING
The Illinois Restaurant Association On Omicron Impact On Industry
The Illinois Restaurant Association released new survey data highlighting the impact the Omicron variant has had so far, and the positive impact the Restaurant Revitalization Fund had on the Illinois restaurant industry. According to National Restaurant Association analysis, the first round of RRF funding saved more than 45,000 jobs and helped ninety-eight percent of recipients of a grant stay in business in Illinois alone. Fifty-four percent of Illinois restaurant operators that did not receive RRF grants feel it’s unlikely that they will stay in business beyond the pandemic without a grant. Ninety-six percent of Illinois restaurant operators that applied for an RRF grant, but did not receive funding, said a future grant would enable them to retain or hire back employees.
“The National Restaurant Association estimates indicate that full replenishment of the RRF will save an additional 110,000 restaurant jobs in Illinois,” said Sam Toia, president and CEO of the IRA. “The RRF was a critical lifeline to many, but far more remain on the sidelines, still desperately looking for support while they face continued economic uncertainty. The decisions Congress could make in the coming weeks will be critical toward the future of the restaurants that are the cornerstones of every community.” The IRA call to action is here.
Soul City Kitchens Taking Over Washington Park Building
South Side food entrepreneurs will get a home base, reports Block Club Chicago, as Soul City Kitchens will “convert a century-old Streets and Sanitation facility into an affordable commercial kitchen space. If approved by City Council, it will also support food truck owners and give emerging chefs a place to sell their food.”
Trib Notes Hinsdale Trader Who Bolted Chipotle Over Fifty Cents
“West suburban Hinsdale became the center of an internet viral moment involving inflation, burritos, wealth and privilege,” the Tribune notes. “The scorn of social media users was focused on the lead anecdote of a New York Times article about food inflation: A Hinsdale stock trader voiced his annoyance with an increase in Chipotle’s burrito price. He walked out of the eatery after learning the price of a burrito was over $9, when it previously hovered around $8.50… The example was used to illustrate the choices Americans are making about their food consumption in light of widespread food inflation, but social media users pointed out that Hinsdale, with a per capita income of more than $101,000 and a poverty rate of less than 3%, is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the Chicago area. CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy, for example, tweeted ‘not parody’ with a screenshot of the anecdote. Another user wrote: ‘Using a Hinsdale options trader to show the effects of the pandemic caused food price increases is quite the choice.’ … Though people are entitled to decline to purchase a $9 burrito… the anecdote and its passionate reaction highlight who bears the brunt of rising food costs.”
Discrimination Suit Against McDonald’s Continues
“A federal judge has denied McDonald’s request to throw out a discrimination lawsuit brought by media mogul Byron Allen, reigniting a campaign helmed by the businessman to gain more advertising for Black-owned media companies,” reports Crain’s.
FILM & TELEVISION
Ye Duds, “jeen-yuhs”
Ye and current consort, actress Julia Fox, have been noted about town for their extravagant fashion, sometimes in matched outfits, such as here, here and here; Fox is posting video of Ye with DJ Khaled in the studio, and photos from a shoot for Interview magazine. Meanwhile, Netflix three-part documentary series “jeen-yuhs” moves onward from its Sundance Film Festival debut. “The first film of the trilogy, ‘Vision,’ premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival and is coming to theaters on February 10 and then Netflix on February 16,” reports Sheri Flanders for the Sun-Times. The opener, “like West himself, is rooted firmly in Chicago, chronicling not only his glow-up, but the rise of hip-hop through [Clarence] Simmons’ public access TV show ‘Channel Zero’…The preternatural level of confidence in the face of repeated rejection that West demonstrates is not only baffling, it can also come off as arrogant — a fact that he is surprisingly self-aware about. But the fact is, he is Babe Ruth, calling his home run, and when he freestyles, it’s clear that his talent is stunningly undeniable. He’s earned the right.” A clip is here.
Latino Film Fest Sets Return, Releases Poster
For its thirty-eighth edition, the Chicago Latino Film Festival announces another year of hybrid format, with virtual, drive-in and for the first time since the pandemic began, in-person theatrical screenings. A significant number of films will be made available online to residents of the Midwest, CLFF relays in a release. The poster is by Dominika Czerniak-Chojnacka, an illustrator, poster artist, author of short texts and humorous brochures as well as assistant professor at the Studio of Publishing Illustration at the University of Arts in Poznan. More here.
Experts On The Latest Safety For Moviegoing
The Los Angeles Times updates its survey on the safety of going to the show. “Wear masks indoors (though now medical-grade masks such as N95s are suggested in the face of the much more contagious Omicron variant) and maintain social distancing… Getting vaccinated, including the booster shot, is the most important piece of the puzzle. But while there’s visible exhaustion, even frustration, among the medical professionals, there’s also an upbeat message: With more agency than a year ago, audiences can make moviegoing a safer experience, depending on their comfort with levels of risk—and, of course, the behavior of those around them. ‘The overall theme is layering things on top of each other so you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket,’ says Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Francisco. ‘So when I say you get one hour of protection from a surgical mask, that doesn’t assume vaccines or ventilation. It all increases based on these other strategies you have.’”
Fulcrum Point New Music Project Announces New Co-Curators
Fulcrum Point New Music Project has selected Caitlin Edwards and Angelo Hart as the 2022-23 co-curators of their interactive programs “AuxIn: Connected!” and “Discoveries: Hear & Be Heard.” Their website is here.
Some Elton John Farewell Dates Postponed After Positive Result
Elton John is postponing some farewell concerts after he tested positive, reports Dallas’ KETK. The shows were scheduled in Dallas. “Hi everyone, wanted to send a message to let you know that I have contracted COVID,” he wrote in an Instagram story which has since expired. “Fortunately, I’m fully vaccinated and boosted and my symptoms are mild so I’m fully expecting to be able to make the Arkansas shows this weekend.” His upcoming Chicago dates remain on the schedule at this time.
Joffrey Announces World-Premiere Adaptation Of “Of Mice And Men”
The Joffrey Ballet announces its spring program, which includes the world-premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” by choreographer Cathy Marston, featuring an original composition by Academy Award-nominated composer Thomas Newman, and the Joffrey premiere of “Serenade” by dance pioneer George Balanchine, during the Joffrey’s first-ever season at the Lyric Opera House, April 27–May 8, 2022. More here.
How The Latest Variant Is Affecting Touring Broadway Shows
“Productions of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ in San Francisco and ‘The Prom’ in Baltimore were canceled because of positive tests in their companies,” reports the New York Times. “‘Hamilton’ has been particularly hard-hit: This month it halted all four of its American touring productions, in Buffalo, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and San Antonio, because of positive coronavirus tests.” The lead producer of “Hamilton” told the paper, “Touring, when we can perform, is going great—the audiences are showing up, and the audiences are enthusiastic. Touring is not going great when [the virus] sweeps through our company, which has happened to every one of our tours.”
Filament Theatre Names Reji Simon Associate Artistic Director
Filament Theatre, “an innovative Chicago theater for young audiences since 2007,” has added longtime collaborator Reji Simon as associate artistic director. A resident artist at Filament since 2017, Simon has performed in the theater’s productions of “The Van Gogh Cafe” and “The Snow Queen.” “At Filament, Reji has been an actor, a casting director, served on board committees, and everything in between,” founder and artistic director Julie Ritchey says in a release. Simon will play a vital role in advancing Filament’s long-term goal to decentralize artistic leadership through taking into account the perspectives of young people.
“Reji’s commitment to elevating youth voices and stories makes him a crucial partner to Filament’s vision of becoming a truly youth-led theatre,” Ritchey says. “It’s impossible to imagine a future at Filament without him at the helm.” Despite the pandemic, Filament has continued its commitment to supporting artists. The theater provided income to more than forty independent artists in 2021 through its virtual and outdoor workshops and performances. “As the theatre looks toward reopening to the public in March, Simon’s role will focus on making Filament a vibrant, equitable and collaborative artistic home for professional artists and young people to work together.”
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