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Artist Ida Applebroog, SAIC Student In The 1960s, Was Ninety-Three
“Artist Ida Applebroog, whose unsettling, uncompromising work investigated themes of power, violence, gender, and sexual identity, died on October 22,” reports Artforum. “Working in media including artist’s books, painting, drawing, sculpture, film, and installation, Applebroog during a career spanning six decades explored her fascination with ‘how power works—male over female, parents over children, governments over people, doctors over patients.’ She often did this through work that was intensely personal, such as her group of 150 line drawings, completed in 1968, of her own vulva—a series that would not be shown publicly in its entirety until 2010, when it appeared in her solo show ‘Monalisa’ at Hauser & Wirth’s New York outpost. ‘For me, making this kind of art is crucial,’ Applebroog wrote in Artforum in 2014. ‘My work is a microcosm of the world we live in.'”
In the mid-1960s, “Applebroog moved with her family to Chicago, where she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and, in the basement of her home, made jewelry that her husband and children would sell at art fairs. (‘I never went,’ she told the New York Times in 2010. ‘For many years I just wasn’t capable of being in the world.’)”
Penske Fires Artforum Editor Over Letter Calling For A Ceasefire In Gaza
“After thousands of high-profile artists and curators signed an open letter expressing solidarity with Palestinians and supporting a ceasefire in Gaza, published in the magazine Artforum on October 19, the public pushback was swift,” reports The Intercept. “The following day, the magazine posted a public response signed by prominent gallerists denouncing the original letter as ‘one-sided.’ … Powerful art dealers and gallerists who control the cultural and monetary tides of the art world began a private campaign to force some of the biggest names on the letter to retract their support… Martin Eisenberg, a high-profile collector and inheritor of the now-bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond fortune, began contacting famous art world figures on the list whose work he had championed to express his objections to the letter.”
“A week after the letter was posted, Artforum editor-in-chief David Velasco was summoned to a meeting with Jay Penske, the CEO of Artforum’s parent company… Before the day was out, Velasco was fired after six years at the helm of the magazine. ‘This magazine has been my life for eighteen years and I’ve given everything to it,’ Velasco, who rose from being an editorial assistant to the coveted editor-in-chief job [said] ‘I have done nothing but exceptional work at the magazine for eighteen years and this is a sad day. It breaks my heart.'”
Adds the New York Times [free link], “The letter initially omitted mention of Hamas’ surprise October 7 attack, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis, information that was added after criticism from subscribers and advertisers. A preface was also added to say that the letter ‘reflects the views of the undersigned individual parties and was not composed, directed or initiated by Artforum or its staff.’ It is not clear who wrote the letter. In it, the signatories ‘call for an end to the killing and harming of all civilians, an immediate cease-fire, the passage of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the end of the complicity of our governing bodies in grave human rights violations and war crimes.'”
Since the firing, multiple editors have resigned, including senior editor Chloe Wyma—”The firing of David Velasco violates everything I had cherished about the magazine and makes my work there untenable.”—Artforum.com senior editor Zack Hatfield—”David Velasco’s firing is unacceptable and bodes ominously for the future of the magazine. I’m sad it’s come to this but deeply grateful for the extraordinary writers, artists & colleagues I’ve worked with over the past six years”—and associate editor Kate Sutton—“I have officially resigned… I am absolutely gutted, but also proud of all that we were able to pull off these past five years and extremely grateful [to] our colleagues and contributors.”
Nan Goldin tells the New York Times: “I have never lived through a more chilling period…People are being blacklisted. People are losing their jobs.” The firing, writes Jacobin, is “just the latest instance of the magazine’s corporate owner, Penske Media, quashing editorial independence and siding with the rich… Penske Media may be the most hostile of any media conglomerate to its properties’ editorial independence.”
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Director Departs
“The director who led the reopening of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art as the pandemic wound down and endured controversy surrounding an exhibition showcasing the work of Black female artists is stepping down,” reports Wisconsin State Journal. “The museum announced that Christina Brungardt, the organization’s Gabriele Haberland director for the past three years, is leaving to take a position with an arts organization in Texas.”
McCormick Goes Dark Out Of Avian Caution
“The management for the McCormick Place Lakeside Center has agreed to draw the drapes at night to help prevent migratory birds from colliding into the building’s glass windows,” reports the Sun-Times. “The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which operates the building, is also exploring longer-term protections to deter birds from approaching the Lakeside Center.”
Champion Of Ornament Kent Bloomer Was Eighty-Eight; Work Includes Roof Of Harold Washington Library
“Kent Bloomer, sculptor, author, and champion of ornament, taught at Yale for over fifty years and influenced thousands of students and was widely celebrated for his courses on architectural ornament,” relays Yale Architecture. “His public ornament is visible throughout the United States, including the roof of the Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library.”
Red Line Extension Needs Far South Side Remake?
“Decades of disinvestment have taken a toll on areas surrounding the Red Line extension. It’s time for large-scale city planning and neighborhood rebuilding to start taking center stage,” writes the Sun-Times editorial board.
Hermès Reopens On Oak Street
“Luxury retailer Hermès has reopened its Oak Street store, a sign that corridors devoted to upscale customers are surging even though some retail districts, including the nearby Magnificent Mile, are still grappling with competition from online sellers and the loss of top retailers,” writes the Trib. “Hermès spent more than a year renovating and expanding the retail space at the corner of Oak and Rush.” Hermès “sells leather goods and other items handcrafted in France…. Most of the retail space in the surrounding Gold Coast neighborhood, especially along Oak Street between Rush and Michigan Avenue, is occupied, with several retailers such as Bottega Veneta Chicago and Burdeen’s Jewelry recently signing new leases.”
Wednesday Journal On Artist Chris Ware’s Former Oak Park Home
“A 1906 Arts & Crafts style home recently hit the market,” posts Wednesday Journal in a history of the home. “The house is a great example of Oak Park’s historic housing stock and is also notable for its ties to noted artist Chris Ware, a cartoonist [whose] New Yorker covers often feature images of small-town life that look a lot like Oak Park… The Wares finished the attic space to make a studio and bedroom space. The historic feel continues here with ceiling beams and period-appropriate light switches and light fixtures. Behind the walls, the mechanicals of the house from the wiring, the boiler, hot water heater and SpacePak air conditioning have been updated. From the surface the house looks more like 1906 than 2023.”
UN Specialist Warns Tent Cities Could Become Permanent
“Camps can outlast their initial scope by years—and U.S. courts can be slow to process asylum seekers,” reports South Side Weekly. A refugee camp expert says, “It doesn’t matter how temporary a place of refuge is intended to be, in most cases people end up having to stay longer than expected because they don’t have many other options.”
DINING & DRINKING
Jook Sing Opens In West Town
Jeff Williams and Paul Mena, the managing partners behind The Press Room, announce their newest concept, Jook Sing, will open Tuesday, October 31, in West Town at 1329 West Chicago. Inspired by the atmosphere of night markets and street food in Southeast Asia, Jook Sing will offer a culinary experience that celebrates the region’s diverse flavors, tastes and textures. Like night markets, the restaurant’s to-go style food is served in boxes that allow patrons to enjoy their meals at tables or to go. Born and raised in Singapore, chef and managing partner Christian Sia’s culinary journey began in some of the finest establishments in Singapore and Chicago. The restaurant will combine Asian American food favorites with Southeast Asian flavors and dishes. More here.
Berlin Nightclub Workers Ask Boycott; Could Bar Close?
“Berlin Nightclub workers are calling on customers to boycott the popular LGBTQ+ bar as they push for their first contract,” reports Block Club. The workers “reiterated requests that Berlin’s owners provide them health insurance and wage increases.” The bar opened in 1983. “The union’s demands for higher wages, health care and pension benefits would cost Berlin more than $500,000 in the first year of the contract alone, according to the owners.”
Brown Sugar Bakery Opens Manufacturing Facility
“Governor Pritzker was on hand for a ribbon cutting at the new Brown Sugar Bakery manufacturing facility near 76th and Western,” reports CBS 2. “The building used to house a candy factory… Brown Sugar Bakery received grants from the state to help expand the business.” Says the Governor’s office in a release, “The 10,000 square-foot facility will enable large scale production on Chicago’s South Side while creating jobs for the local community. ‘One of the most important things I get to do as governor is help entrepreneurs start new businesses, and help small businesses become big ones,” Pritzker said.
Respect The Candy Corn!
“Chicken feed, as candy corn was originally called because of its appearance, was invented by the Wunderle Candy Company in the late 1880s during a candy boom in the United States,” reports the New York Times. “Chicken feed and other treats like it were marketed toward working-class children. ‘It was the first time they could see themselves as part of the middle class because they could go out and purchase something,’ [a historian] said. ‘That something was made for them and geared to their taste and that was candy.’ Chicken feed was initially popular year-round. It’s unclear when it became a near-exclusive Halloween sensation, but research suggests it was most likely around the middle of the twentieth century.”
Beef Prices At Record Highs
“Retail beef prices in the U.S. are at record highs, pushing up prices of beef-based products,” reports CNBC. “That’s largely thanks to a shrinking cattle supply, as well as higher input costs… Herds in the U.S. have been reduced to their ‘smallest number in decades as a result of prolonged drought in key cattle ranching states like Texas and Kansas.” Prices are not expected to go down soon.
Trib Hiring Reporters
Trib investigative reporter Gregory Pratt posts on X/Twitter that the paper “seeks a City Hall reporter, a political writer focused on DNC and national coverage in addition to competitive elections and federal races, and an education editor.” Those interested should email [email protected].
A History Of Ed Burke As He Faces The Likelihood Of Prison
As former alder Ed Burke’s November 6 trial date for corruption within “a culture of impunity” approaches, the Sun-Times looks at a life in politics—”the onetime dean of the City Council is fighting for his freedom as his eightieth birthday nears… The version of Burke caught on tape comes off more like a mobster than the genteel council dean who clung to the title of ‘Mr. Chairman’ and relished the trappings of power that came with it. That regal lifestyle included the car, driver and valets/bodyguards who delivered Burke to his fortress-like West Elsdon home and Powers Lake, Wisconsin, retreat.”
Gannett Reviewers Thought Fictional; Conglom Denies Knowledge Of Bots
“Staffers at Reviewed, a USA Today-owned website devoted to shopping recommendations, were about to end their workday Friday when one of them noticed something strange,” reports the Washington Post. “Articles were publishing on the site by writers none of them had ever heard of—and using suspiciously similar language…” “Jaime Carrillo, a senior staff writer, couldn’t figure out where the reviews—for products like insulated drink tumblers and scuba gear—were coming from… The reviews were so vague about the products they were purportedly reviewing that Carrillo and his colleagues started to suspect they had been produced by artificial intelligence. Worse, some of the authors didn’t appear to exist… ‘It’s gobbledygook compared to the stuff that we put out on a daily basis… None of these robots tested any of these products.'”
Investigating Ye’s Fixations And Adidas’ Tolerance For His Behavior, Including Nazi Imagery
“When Adidas ended its relationship with Kanye West last October, it appeared to be the culmination of weeks of Mr. West’s inflammatory public remarks—targeting Jews and disparaging Black Lives Matter—and outside pressure on the brand to cut ties. But it was also the culmination of a decade of Adidas’s tolerance behind the scenes,” reports Megan Twohey in an investigation at the New York Times. In the piece, “Kanye and Adidas: Money, Misconduct and the Price of Appeasement,” writes Twohey, “Inside their partnership, the artist made antisemitic and sexually offensive comments, displayed erratic behavior, and issued ever-escalating demands… Adidas’ leaders, eager for the profits, time and again abided his misconduct… The Times interviewed current and former employees of Adidas and of Mr. West, and obtained hundreds of previously undisclosed internal records—contracts, text messages, memos and financial documents—that reveal episodes throughout a partnership that was fraught from the start.”
“The Magic Parlour” Extended Through March 2024
Welcoming its first audiences earlier this month, Dennis Watkins’ “The Magic Parlour” hit record earnings—with sales sixty-four percent higher than the same time period in previous years—in its new permanent home in the heart of the Chicago Loop, in partnership with Goodman Theatre and Petterino’s restaurant. The increased capacity at 50 West Randolph, which offers seating for sixty guests, up from fifty at the Palmer House, along with Watkins’ six-performance weekly schedule (up from five shows per week), allow greater flexibility for audiences. More details and tickets for performances between January and March 2024 are on sale here.
“My Fair Lady” Returns In March
Broadway In Chicago has announced the Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” will return to Chicago in 2024. The limited engagement will run Tuesday, March 12-Sunday, March 17, 2024, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. Tickets are available now for groups of ten or more. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date.
Kokandy Productions Announces Full Season
Kokandy Productions has announced its 2024 season, including two fully-produced musicals and the return of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Next summer, Kokandy produces the Midwest premiere of “Alice by Heart,” which reunites “Spring Awakening” writers Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater in “Wonderland.” Fall brings “immersive” Sondheim with “Into The Woods,” the first Chicago storefront production of the musical in over a decade. Kokandy also presents the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival as part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut Series. Official dates and submission guidelines will be announced soon. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date here.
Northwest Suburban School District Could Allow “The Prom” Production To Proceed
“I would like to clarify that our initial decision to postpone the musical [‘The Prom’] was not related to Hampshire High School students or their desire to demonstrate their school’s progress toward supporting the LGBTQ+ community,” Susan Harkin, the superintendent of District 300 tells the Trib (via MSN). “Instead, the postponement reflected a concern for the larger District 300 community’s preparedness to fully support this performance without risking potential harassment, bullying and violence targeting our LGBTQ+ students, performers, staff and community members.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Progressive Leader Marilyn Katz, Led 1968 DNC Protests
“Chicago progressive activist Marilyn Katz, who stepped into the national spotlight while leading protests against the 1968 Democratic National Convention,” reports ABC 7, was seventy-eight. “It was one of many defining moments in a life devoted to activist and social justice. In 1983 Katz worked on Harold Washington’s campaign, helping to elect the city’s first Black mayor. And in 2002, she helped lead protests against the Iraq War in Chicago, where a young Barack Obama found his voice on an issue that would later propel him to the White House. Katz would later work for Obama when he was a U.S. senator.”
Posts Mayor Johnson on X/Twitter: “From marching with MLK in Marquette Park to her work for Mayor Harold Washington, Marilyn was at the epicenter of Chicago politics for generations.” Reports Axios Chicago, “Katz never let go of her activism, helping organize women’s marches in Chicago after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Most recently, Katz advocated for Illinois schools to teach about Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party.”
“Ram-And-Raid” Burglaries On Rise
“Businesses across the city have woken up to their storefronts reports CBS 2. “The crime is called a ram-and-raid or a crash-and-grab. Stores are being targeted by burglars who use a car to break in.” The burglaries “happen at incredibly high speeds–and end in a violent crash. This week, there have been at least five stores targeted–mostly high-end sneaker and streetwear shops.” Surveillance shows “what is believed to be a stolen car ramming into the front of Boneyard Chicago, at 1102 North Ashland.”and burglarized–and now, Chicago Police have put out an alert,”
The owner “installed concrete barriers outside his sneaker store to prevent such crime because his store had been hit before. But without a permit, he was forced to remove the barriers from the sidewalk. ‘We spent $2,500 to put concrete barricades in front of store, and the alderman had a problem with that… If they’re going to help us, they could at least allow us to protect ourselves.'”
Channel 7 Advises Families Have A Plan In Case Of A Gunman
“America’s latest mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine is the latest reason safety experts say you should make sure you and your family have a plan,” posts ABC 7. “I looked at the last three years… and they’ve averaged over 600 a year… It’s become a part of our culture almost that these things exist,” said Rich Howard, a consultant and instructor for Knowledge Saves Lives, a company that helps people plan and prepare for emergencies.”
Afterschool Programs Across Illinois Set To Close
Grants for afterschool programs “administered by the Illinois State Board of Education expire at the end of June 2024,” reports the Trib. “Serving an estimated 42,000 primarily low-income students, the programs need $50 million annually from the state to stay open—and to remedy an accounting error by the Illinois State Board of Education that’s already resulted in closures.”
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