This July Jen and I had the extreme pleasure of collaborating with fellow artist Leah Gipson and our good friends at Revival Arts Collective to put on Revival Bronzeville. The first in many happenings focused on historically ignored communities in Chicago engaging with artists. She and I along Leah Gipson have developed an installation piece that functions as a physical space to engage with community members. The installation is entitled Project Lot#: Bronzeville it takes place off the southeast corner of 47th and King Drive. The Revival is the first in a series of events coming down the line from RAC. A still and link to our footage and the Revival Artists Collective after the jump.
On April 16, 2010 Eve and Jen will be traveling to Milwaukee with Theaster Gates to participate in "To Speculate Darkly". They will be joining the chorus that performs as apart of the exhibition. All our Milwaukee folks come out and see it. Check out the press release below from Theaster's website.
To Speculate Darkly, Milwaukee Art Museum Theaster Gates Artist Installation To Speculate Darkly Reinterprets Craft and Fosters Community
Theaster Gates Artist Installation To Speculate Darkly Reinterprets Craft and Fosters Community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Claudia Arzeno
Tel. (414) 220-4321
Cel. (773) 629-2853
Artist Installation To Speculate Darkly Reinterprets Craft and Fosters Community
Milwaukee, WI February 08, 2010 – Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, Jr. has reached out to area craftspeople and the African-American community to reinterpret for the present day the legacy of Dave Drake, a slave in antebellum South Carolina who famously adorned his pots with poetic couplets. The installation, titled To Speculate Darkly, will transform the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Decorative Arts Gallery from April 16 through August 1, 2010, into an engaging exploration into the significance of craft labor and race in America.
To Speculate Darkly juxtaposes the uniquely spectacular pots of Dave Drake, known as Dave the Potter, with a built environment comprised of a glass lantern slide tunnel, ceramic speakers, and vessels created by Theaster Gates Jr. “Race, craft, and labor are at the center of my work on Dave the Potter,” says the artist. Recently selected to participate in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Gates is a potter, musician, and performance artist who has earned national acclaim for his intelligent commentaries on race, the city, and the museum. “As the show was starting in Wisconsin, I wanted Dave’s story to engage both craftsmen and the African-American community of Milwaukee. To do this, I worked closely with the Kohler Manufacturing Company and several African-American churches—with Greater New Birth Church being our most amazing collaborator. The ambition of To Speculate Darkly is twofold: to amplify the life and work of Dave the Potter and to ask new questions about the ‘function’ of craft objects in contemporary art practice.”
The installation will feature a music component as well, giving a resounding voice to Dave the Potter and, by extension, craftspeople working today. Drawing on the relationship Gates has created with Dave’s persona, the artist arranged Dave’s poems to music and engaged a local, two-hundred-person Milwaukee church choir to perform a captivating sound piece. The choir will perform live during the MAM After Dark event that shares the exhibition’s opening on Friday, April 16.
To Speculate Darkly reinterprets a section of art history that is often ignored. Through this work, Theaster Gates, Jr. reaches out to a wide and diverse audience by making the artwork contemporary and accessible, as well as creating a space where conversations can take place.
Friday, April 16, 2010, 5 p.m.–midnight
Theaster Gates opening and MAM After Dark
Sunday, May 16, 2010, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Target Family Sundays: Making Pots Sing
To Speculate Darkly is supported by a generous grant from the Joyce Foundation, which fosters the development of new works in dance, music, theater, and visual arts by artists of color. Additional support provided by the African American Art Alliance. The exhibition is curated by Ethan Lasser, curator at the Chipstone Foundation.
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