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HATCH Projects

Suddenly Plastic

Friday, November 21, 2014 to Thursday, December 18, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, November 21, from 6-9 pm

As the body enters deep sleep the brain may momentarily produce the sensation of falling. The peculiar feeling of shock or falling, the hypnic jerk, is an involuntary jump--an accidental state caught between neural passivity and instantaneous trauma. The boundaries of the hypnic jerk are a space, if only momentarily, where action takes form, it rises and deflates, and in its annihilation projects an other form.

It is in the collapses, slips, and hypnic jerks where these six artists expose accidents that make and unmake worlds for them. In Benjamin DeMott’s sculptures, the subtractive process of building a sculpture is visible--the detritus of his personal archive, whether conceptual or physical, is manifested as assemblage. Lily Dithrich unabashedly jams the gallery’s architecture with a monumental chair whose own size clumsily recedes into space. The stains of a mattress cover are made observable in Lauren Carter’s work, emissions and traces of a person’s life. In Kiam Marcelo Junio’s mirror work, our own reflection is refracted into distortion--our bodies immersed into a present accident. Andi Crist’s equine skulls, plaster casts and originals, displace and haunt our perception of occupied bodies. Edyta Stepien’s collections of roots sourced from pavement cracks find new foundations within the gallery space.

Suddenly Plastic examines the potential behind a method used by artists in their production. In their process, the artist annihilates and gives form.  Through a negative orientation of plasticity, artists present us with forms that deny their previous state and yet exist and ascend towards new formations. In the creative surge, artists expose trauma, accidents, and dislocations, as potential shifts in their own epistemology.

Curated by JGV/WAR (J. Gibran Villalobos and Wil Ruggiero).


Lauren Carter is a Chicago-based visual artist whose current studio practice incorporates anthropomorphized representational structures and objects as metaphors for the corporeal experience and notions of degeneration, nostalgia, and anxiety. A native of south Louisiana, Carter received her BFA in Painting and Metalwork from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2007.  In the fall of 2012, she received an MFA with Distinction from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she was an instructor of record in the Departments of Foundations and Painting/Drawing. Selected exhibitions include: Encaustics USA, ARC Gallery, Chicago (2013); Body in Flux, (three person exhibition) Chicago Art Department Gallery, Chicago (2013); pre/proscribed. (solo exhibition) Gallery AC[2], Albuquerque, NM (2012); New View, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM (2011).

Andi Crist was born in Birmingham, Alabama and received her BFA from Columbia College in 2011. She is co-founder and executive director of Autotelic – a nonprofit community arts studio located in Logan Square. Crist’s work ranges in discipline from sculpture and installation, to paper works utilizing photography and found images. Recent works are conceptually rooted in appropriation, process and the assessment of value. Crist is currently a HATCH Projects resident at Chicago Artists Coalition and has recently exhibited work at Mana Contemporary, EDITION Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. 

Benjamin DeMottAssociate Professor, SAIC Department of Ceramics (2012). BFA, 2004, Tyler School of Fine Arts, Philadelphia PA; MFA, 2008, New York State College of Ceramics Alfred University, Alfred NY. Select exhibitions: Denver Art Museum, CO; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Ice Box, Philadelphia; Meulensteen Gallery, New York; Jane Hartsook Gallery; New York. Publications: Ceramics Now, Interview; Art Forum. Bibliography: “New Turns in Contemporay Ceramics” Gwen Chanzit; “Medium as Metaphor” Maika Pollack; “Overthrown in Denver” Donald Kuspit; Collections: Holter Museum, MT. Awarded: 2013-14 Chicago Artists Coalition's HATCH Projects Residency.

Drawing, assemblage and vernacular ceramic traditions coalesce through material thinking and kinesthetic wonder. Concerned with the agency of materials, interest in phenomenology and the performance of making in an expanded field of cultural production. Born in Allentown Pennsylvania, Ben enjoys flyfishing, terracotta, gluten and haikus about all of the below:
red-bricked recorder
slackjawed and thigh deep knotting
flys in the back cast

Lily Dithrich is a sculptor and woodworker based in Chicago, IL. She received her BA magna cum laude in Studio Art from Oberlin College. In her early research and practice she began a series of furniture based sculptures that relate functionality and anthropomorphism. During her recent participation at the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, Dithrich further expanded her body of work and research into the production of furniture and sculpture.

Kiam Marcelo Junio (preferred gender pronoun: ‘they”) are a multidisciplinary artist living in Chicago, IL. They work in multiple media including photography, video, printmaking, installation, burlesque, and performance art. Their research and artwork centers around queer identities, the Filipino American diaspora, post-colonial Asian American tropes and stereotypes, and politics of visibility in the context of social justice. Jerry Blossom is Junio’s alter-ego, a genderqueer Filipino femme-presenting persona who hails from an alternate post-queer, post-colonialist utopia. Junio was born in the Philippines and has lived in the U.S., Japan, and Spain. They have served seven years in the U.S. Navy. They are also a registered Yoga teacher and recently launched QIAM, a fashion micro-brand.

Edyta Stepien is a multimedia artist that lives and works in Chicago. Her artistic practice focuses on large scale video and sight specific installations. In her installations she is blurring the boundaries between what is natural and synthetic what is organic and mechanic. She is creating hybrid immersive environments. Edyta was raised in Poland and moved to Chicago in 1998. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an emphasis in Film Video and new Media. Since 2009 she has been resident artist and member of Chicago Art Department a non-profit art organization dedicated to cultivating new voices, ideas, and practices in contemporary art. Edyta exhibited and was part of live events in Chicago Art Department, Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Marwen Foundation, Collaboraction Theatre, Defibrillator Gallery, and Currents New Media Festival ( Santa Fe), Directors Lounge (Berlin) and the Expo Plymouth (London). 

JGV/WAR is the collaboration between J. Gibran Villalobos and William Ruggiero. Their practice includes writing, curating, research, and project development with a focus on socially engaged practice, and contemporary Latin American art. Villalobos and Ruggiero both are art historians and administrators whose research and projects position programming and civic engagement at the center of their practice. Through the use of “shadow curating,” they antagonize each other to create projects that have undergone a conceptual and pragmatic galvanization. They have completed projects for Sulivan Galleries, exhibitions including Photo Requests from Solitary  and Tamms Year Ten with Laurie Jo Reynolds (2012), Room with a View (2013).  They have presented at Extinct Entities on the work of Hugo Michel-Hernandez, and at the Hemi GSI at UCLA on the work of Celia y Yunior and Candelario Luaces.  They will be presenting an upcoming exhibition on Cuban new media Cuban Virtualities in December, and in May 2015 will execute a transitory project for the Havana Biennial 2015.