Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Beyond Words, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Lesley Jackson, Keeley Haftner, Caroline Liu, Andrew Barco, and Amy Leners.
There’s no doubt that we encounter words at every turn of daily life. But text is something more complicated, though just as integral. Michel Foucault wonders exactly how to define a text in his essay “What is an Author?”.
The problem is both theoretical and technical. When undertaking the publication of Nietzsche's works, for example, where should one stop? Surely everything must be published, but what is "everything"? Everything that Nietzsche himself published, certainly. And what about the rough drafts for his works? Obviously. The plans for his aphorisms? Yes. The deleted passages and the notes at the bottom of the page? Yes. What if, within a workbook filled with aphorisms, one finds a reference, the notation of a meeting or of an address, or a laundry list: is it a work, or not? Why not? And so on, ad infinitum.
A text is a chain of iterations interlocking together to fashion a meaningful image of the world. It’s difficult to know where they begin and end because texts are living documents of lived experience.
When seen this way, we don’t have to look only to words and language to find texts. A work of art is also a text. It’s more plain to see when an artwork draws from written or literary sources, but that is not the extent of art’s textual quality. Art as an illocutionary act draws from an accretion of meaning through changes, edits, critique, interpretation, exhibition, interfacing with setting and other works, etc. Much like words fit together to make sentences and sentences to make paragraphs, physical and contextual components fit together in a modular sense to create a text that is something bigger than the sum of its parts. This exhibition highlights the crafting of textual artworks, but the texts of each work are intentionally not similar. They stand to show the versatility of text, from personal narratives, to poetic reflections, to abstractions of visuality.
Beyond Words is curated by Danny Floyd.
Lesley Jackson makes quasi-functional objects that challenge our relationship with inanimate things through the use of overtly poetic gestures. Lesley Jackson was born in Louisville, KY and earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Recently her work has been shown at Heaven Gallery, Cornerstore Gallery, Born Nude Gallery, and NADA New York with SPF15 Exhibitions. Solo exhibitions with Efrain Lopez Gallery and 4th Ward Project Space occurred .
Keeley Haftner has shown internationally at events and venues including Currents New Media Festival, Nuit Blanche, MOCCA, aka artist-run, Hamilton Artist’s Inc., Studio XX, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She has given workshops and talks at galleries, universities, conferences and festivals including AASHE Minneapolis, Concordia University, University of Chicago, and the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery. Keeley has received grants, awards, public commissions, or residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, the Placemaker Program, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative Collaboration Grant, Soi Fischer, and SÍM (Iceland). She will be published in the upcoming 3D Additivist Cookbook by Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke. Haftner obtained her BFA in fine arts in 2011 from Mount Allison University (MTA) and completed her MFA in 2016 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is currently one of the four curator-founders of Public Access gallery Chicago.
Caroline Liu is an artist that is shaped by a peculiar concussed experience that involved her tiny head and a solid wood door. Her short-term memory never fully recovered and her work became a therapeutic practice and vehicle for holding onto memories and emotions she would otherwise forget. As a person with irreparable memory loss, she is constantly exploring feelings and ideas of identity, vulnerability, and loss. Her work is a personal pilgrimage in finding herself and discourse. She moved from the Land of Enchantment, otherwise known as New Mexico, to Chicago in 2013 and has been living/working in the city ever since.
Andrew Barco is an object, installation and performance maker based in Chicago, Illinois. His work is concerned with the often strange and improbable ways ideas and habits can be transmitted across cultural landscapes and through time. With an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Andrew’s work uses craft and industrial histories, quirky and edgy relational gestures, and philosophical inquiry to create affective and thoughtful encounters. His work has been featured in group exhibitions in Durham NC, Baltimore MD, Hartford, CT, and Chicago, IL, New Orleans, LA.
Amy Leners is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Chicago, IL. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book, Paper and Print from Columbia College Chicago. Her work is in collaboration with forgotten spaces, exploring our relationships to architecture and space, specifically our homes and how the possible ephemerality of these spaces affects our psyche. Using handmade site specific pigments, alternative photography processes, printmaking and handmade paper she creates works that are made by and of these spaces.
Danny Floyd is a curator, artist, researcher, and educator based out of Chicago. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, an MA in Visual and Critical Studies, and an MFA in Sculpture both from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). His written and studio work deals with the social aspects of perceptual realms like weather, music, architecture, and mediated cultures. Floyd currently teaches in the Visual and Critical Studies Department at SAIC. He is a founding member of Ballroom Projects and Adler & Floyd, both artist-run initiatives on Chicago's South Side, and a regular contributor to Serpentine Magazine.