The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Fiction Within, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring work by Jessica Harvey, Carla Fisher Schwartz, Barbara Diener, Caleb Yono, Erika Råberg, and Yaloo, curated by Sharmyn Cruz Rivera.
Fiction Within reveals possible realities, dreams, and fabrications used to cope with social pressures and dominant ideologies. Using both confounding and comical imagery, the work presented compels the audience to question their own notional truth. The artists employ reality as a stretchable, moldable state that allows for subversive beliefs and ideologies. The discourse within the exhibition becomes, at times, a parafiction, and in other instances, a mirage that seems too unimpeachable to be trustworthy. These six artists are not interested in deception, but in the paradigms that culture instantiates to create illusions of identity, security, and national symbols.
Jessica Harvey uses ashes to create black and white photograms that resemble a distanced view of stars in space, whereas Erika Råberg’s work depicts the romantic absurdity that transpires in recreating historical narratives. Carla Fisher Schwartz uses fiction to continue building upon her search for an elusive island now erased from Google maps: an impossible enterprise that makes us think about the innate failure of contemporary living. Barbara Diener’s video work uses mystery and language as ways of luring the viewer into questioning the legitimacy of the spiritual world in relation to our own fantasies and desires. From a sensitive position, Caleb Yono draws an array of new life forms – anthropomorphic, animal-like, and femme subjects – in order to erase heteronormative behavior and hegemonic masculinity which dominate our sense of self. In a similar vein, Yaloo fabricates bodies in virtual renderings that complicate relationships to gender, western and eastern identities, and disparate landscapes.
Jessica Harvey is a Chicago-based artist who explores the myths we create for ourselves and nature while trying to preserve a more desired history. Digging through public and private archives, she conducts long-term investigations on historical and personal events based on “facts,” reinterpreting these stories through the use of photography, video, archival resources, and objects constructed from everyday materials. The images and installations act as a catalyst for a fantastical exploration of the psychology that one attaches to memory and place. She received an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009 and a BA in film and video from Columbia College in 2005. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Iceland for the 2011-2012 year. She has attended residencies at ACRE, Anderson Ranch, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Hardesty Arts Center, The Luminary, and Vermont Studio Center. She has participated in group shows at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI), Johalla Projects (Chicago, IL), The Center for Contemporary Photography (Detroit, MI), and the Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Recent solo and two person exhibitions include shows at Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD), Hardesty Arts Center (Tulsa, OK), ACRE Projects (Chicago, IL), Good Weather (North Little Rock, AR), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), and Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL).
Carla Fisher Schwartz is a visual artist and educator based in Chicago, IL. Through print media, sculpture and video installation, her studio practice examines the relationship between the mapped image and contemporary notions of exploration, virtuality, and the simulated environment. Her art has been exhibited throughout the United States, including the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Hyde Park Art Center, the McKendree University Art Gallery, and the Kala Art Institute. Schwartz is currently an artist-in-residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition. She received her MFA in Visual Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, and her BA in Studio Art with a minor in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Barbara Diener was born in 1982 in Germany. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography from the California College of the Arts and Masters of Fine Art in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, Hyde Park Art Center, Hyde Park, IL, Alibi Fine Art, Chicago, IL, David Weinberg Gallery, Chicago, IL, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, Invisible Dog Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Lilllstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL, Riverside Art Center, Chicago, IL. Pingyao Photo Festival, China, The Arcade, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, VT and Project Basho, Philadelphia, PA among others. Diener’s photographs are part of several private and institutional collections including the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. In 2013 she was selected to participate in two highly ambitious and competitive artist residency programs: the Fields Project in Oregon, IL and ACRE in Steuben, WI. She currently is a HATCH 2015-2016 resident through the Chicago Artist Coalition. Diener is a winner of Flash Forward 2013, the recipient of a Follett Fellowship at Columbia College Chicago and was awarded the Albert P. Weisman Award in 2012 and 2013. In addition Diener received an Individual Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events in 2015. Diener is the Collection Manager in the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and teaches photography at Oakton Community College and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Caleb Yono is an interdisciplinary artist working to mediate discursive signs and effects of identity, class, and sexuality through representations of bodies charged with queer potential and tendencies. Through his practice, Yono hopes to create relational ecologies of image and desire that elicit an estrangement of what is expected of the human through the shaping and rearranging of his own discursive mask. The result of Yono’s work is a network of interdisciplinary gestures aimed at asserting "queer feeling structures” as momentary displacements of a harmful normative society. He received his MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.
Erika Råberg is an artist dedicated to a lens-based practice based on slow, careful observation, using primarily photography, video, and performance to explore nonverbal communication and moments of transition through sight and sound. Erika earned an MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, where she was a recipient of the Ryerson Fellowship and a 2015-16 Shapiro Research Fellow. She was recently a resident at ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin, and will be in residence at The Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia, in the spring of 2017. Erika has shared work in Chicago venues including the Elmhurst Art Museum, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Sector 2337, Chicago Artists Coalition, Mana Contemporary, Ballroom Projects, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
Yaloopop Jiyeon Lim received her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, with a focus on digital image making and video installation. She was the first recipient of the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fellowship, awarded by SAIC’s Video Data Bank, and has received a Gold Award from AHL Foundation, New York. Yaloo has participated in a number of solo and group shows and screenings in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia; Malmö, Sweden; and Seoul, South Korea. She is a currently a HATCH resident artist at the Chicago Artists Coalition.
Sharmyn Cruz Rivera is a Puerto Rican curator based in Chicago. Her curatorial endeavors and research revolve around sound art, video, contemporary dance, performance art, and human geography. She started as an independent curator and art writer for The Fractal, a multidirectional project focused on cultural commentary and art criticism. She holds a MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a dual BA in Art History and Modern Languages from the University of Puerto Rico. Sharmyn is a program assistant at LAMPO, an organization that promotes and supports artists working in electronic and electroacoustic music, free improvisation, sound art and other new forms. Recent projects include INSIDE VOICE: a sound art program at Threewalls, Home Channels at [Open House] as part of Platforms: 10 years of Chances Dances. Currently, she is a HATCH Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition.