Spotlight Series

Spotlight: Chicago Artist Writers

This summer, Daily Serving is shining a light on some arts publications that we admire, and this week we’re reading Chicago Artist Writers. Today and tomorrow we’re looking at a two-part review of 2nd Floor Rear, Chicago’s DIY festival of art in alternative spaces. In Part 1, artist Brit Barton discusses the various projects taking place across a sprawling parade route of performances, which brought up issues of gentrification, performance etiquette, and a post-election reassessment of the terms of artistic production in artist-run exhibitions. This article was originally published on February 21, 2017.

Annie Kielman + Josh Patterson, et. al. The MorphoTransverse Methods, 2017; performed at Tritriangle. Photo: Brit Barton.

Annie Kielman + Josh Patterson, et. al. The MorphoTransverse Methods, 2017; performed at Tritriangle. Photo: Brit Barton.

The first full day of “2nd Floor Rear: A DIY Festival of Art in Alternative Spaces,” in its sixth year of annual programming, seemed in earnest to address the inclusiveness and ambiguity of contemporary performance art; meaning, it can be just about anything, especially within the 2017 curatorial theme of “Ritual.” The events of Saturday, February 4th’s “2nd Floor Rear” programming took place in neighborhoods along the Blue Line. Although, what the programming made up for in everything-ism, it seemed to lack in cultivating a genuine audience experience.

As the murkiness of what makes performance art a performance, or art, became slowly more apparent throughout the day’s events, still larger and more paradoxical questions arose. How does this kind of art festival intersect with gentrification and the reverberating political conditions of migration while roaming throughout West Side neighborhoods?  What is the proper role of documentation of performance art? The day seemed divided into performances that required either audience participation or spectatorship, rarely blending the two successfully.

Continue reading Part 1 here.

 

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