Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Superficial Paradise, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Yesenia Bello, Cameron Clayborn, Verónica Casado Hernández, Rebecca Himelstein, Daniel Hojnacki and Nicole Mauser.
“The city had been shaken for nearly six years by a catastrophe involving, not only people’s values, but in the case of many, their very existence. Unlike most socially generated catastrophes, in this case virtually nobody in the community had been cushioned against the blow; the great knife of the depression had cut down impartially through the entire population cleaving out the lives and hopes of rich as well as poor. The experience had been more nearly universal than any prolonged recent emotional experience in the city’s history; it had approached in its elemental shock the primary experience of birth and death.”
This quote, taken from sociologists Robert and Helen Merrell Lynd’s Middletown in Transition, describes the effects of the Great Depression on a previously wealthy midwestern city. The American political historian Alan Brinkley used this excerpt to illuminate the trend of escapism in the American media as a means of coping with severe economic downturn. Eerily reminiscent of the collective dread shared by many in November 2016, as they braced themselves in face of GOP onslaught, Brinkley connects this “universal elemental shock” to the need for temporary, but extreme departure from everyday constraints.
Superficial Paradise, considers the relationship between escapism and nostalgia. Yesenia Bello, Cameron Clayborn, Verónica Casado Hernández, Rebecca Himelstein, Daniel Hojnacki, and Nicole Mauser explore the multiplicities of experience, both personal and collective, looking backward and forward and ask ‘what was’ and ‘what if’ of our uncertain futures.
Superficial Life is curated by Sheridan Tucker Anderson.
Yesenia Bello was born in Norristown, PA and now makes installations, sculptures, and drawings in Chicago, IL. As a first-generation Mexican-American, she considers the shameful act of slowly losing one's native tongue and the spectrum of human instincts that arise when attempting to connect without words. Through the often full-body manipulation of materials she discovers new forms of building her own visual sentence infrastructures. Yesenia Bello graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.
Cameron Clayborn is a sculptor, performance artist and community organizer. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Cameron works with people, opposites, weight, and imagery of death as material to complicate the aesthetics of the black, brown, and African-American body; with audience participation his body shifts from a state of vulnerability to powerful and sexy. He seeks to “turn inside out” the private discourses we have with ourselves and others to an open public dialogue. Cameron has exhibited and performed at Chicago Art Department, Links Hall, Archer Ballroom Projects, Tritriangle, and Fat City Arts.
Verónica Casado Hernández is a pastist- as opposed to a futurist. She uses History to practice trans-temporal drag and explore narratives of power and rebellion related to women’s social identity. Verónica is a Chicago based visual artist and cultural historian. She earned her MFA in the Low Residency program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Casado Hernández has exhibited her work and lectured in the USA and Europe.
Rebecca Himelstein is an interdisciplinary artist who tracks cultural forms and processes understood as normal or natural through repetitive and rule driven interactions with them. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a thesis on race and gender expectations in speech speech synthesis technologies.
Daniel Hojnacki’s work investigates the act of remembering, and the roles time and memory play into his practice using photography, painting, and installation.
Nicole Mauser’s works have been featured in exhibitions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; High Concept Labs, Chicago; Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago; Reynolds Gallery, Richmond; Fort Gondo, St. Louis; and is in permanent collections of The Alexander, Indianapolis; The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park. Select works have been featured in New American Paintings, Newcity Magazine and The Kansas City Star. She contributes writing and reviews to Newcity, Art Practical, 8½ x 11, Bad at Sports Blog and The Journal for Humanistic Psychiatry. Mauser was a co-founder of the artist-run gallery PLUG Projects as well as a co-founder of KCPAC (Kansas City Plein Air Coterie). Currently, she is a Lecturer at the University of Chicago and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UIC. Nicole Mauser received an MFA from the University of Chicago and a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Sheridan Tucker Anderson is a Chicago based curator and art historian who is interested in exploring cultural phenomena through visual art. With close study in both Postwar American and Contemporary Art, Tucker Anderson seeks to introduce new ideas of inclusion and diversity into the art historical canon by juxtaposing new and old. She has curated exhibitions at the School of the Art institute of Chicago, the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Artists Coalition, as well as supported exhibitions at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2014 to 2016 she served as the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Curatorial Research Assistant at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and serves as a resident curator at Chicago Artists Coalition’s HATCH Project. She has a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago.