November 4 – January 20, 2008.
Artists: Lynda Barry I Wafaa Bilal I Mary Brogger I Adam Brooks Burtonwood & Holmes I Michael Hernandez De Luna I Frederick Holland I Harold Mendez I Michael Rakowitz I Ellen Rothenberg Edra Soto I Dolores Wilber I Paula White
Adam Brooks, of the duo Industry of the Ordinary, has for many years used text as his medium to survey the landscape of political thought. Often soliciting the input and opinions of others, he has compiled the Freedom Wall at Huron and Lake, papered the streets of Chicago with historical quotes on politics, created soapboxes for pronouncements, and with his wife, Cindi Canary of the Campaign for Political Reform, diagrammed political contributions for a recent Illinois gubernatorial race.
Tom Burtonwood & Holly Holmes’ prints and sculptures juxtapose advertising flyers from local grocery stores with the images of weapons created by the US 's most powerful weapons manufacturers. Commenting on the foundation on which our economy is built and fed, they have created room-sized installations of tanks, often to scale, papered with these colorful candy-colored flyers. Courtesy of GardenFRESH, Chicago.
Beat poodle Fred Milton’s brilliant tirades against the war, and specifically against George Bush and Dick Cheney is the creation of cartoonist Lynda Barry. Milton’s pointed poems are simple, playful and cathartic. A demoralizing sign of the times, several of the “ alternative” publications who carry Barry's strip have cancelled or threatened to censor her Fred Milton strips.
Edra Soto Fernandez’s One Vision: Hollywood Soldiers (right) is an ensemble of video stills of actors playing soldiers in Hollywood movies. Since both the government and media censor images of real soldiers, real blood and real coffins, America's enthusiasm for the war is based more on fictitious portrayals from Hollywood and global media, rather than actual events.
Frederick Holland's rage and cynicism has been close to the surface for years but previously centered on highly crafted objects that aestheticized sexuality and violence. Since the current war, Holland has turned his focus to popular culture – games, advertising, quizzes and educational materials – as his vehicle for critique of the policies and assumptions that mainstream culture takes for granted. Courtesy of Flatfile Galleries, Chicago.
Michael Rakowitz's body of work has presented a range of responses to US consumerism, including building homes for the homeless from trash bags and HVAC vents to recreating his Iraqi grandfather's import business. He will include versions of two recent works in Consuming War. “The invisible enemy should not exist,” in which archeological artifacts missing from the Baghdad Museum, as documented by the Oriental Institute, are laboriously recreated from commercial packaging wraps (right), and “Enemy Kitchen” a cooking class based on his mother’s Iraqi recipes. Courtesty of Lombard-Freid Projects, NYC.
Paula White is a fifth generation textile artist, home healthcare nurse and a student in Northwestern University's masters program in creative writing. At a July Prostrations for Peace event, prayer flags were made which she has sewn into colorful quilts.
The Consuming War exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center ran through January 20, 2008. CW featured the work of 14 artists -- Lynda Barry, Mary Brogger, Wafaa Bilal, Adam Brooks, Burtonwood & Holmes, Michael Hernandez de Luna, Fred Holland, Harold Mendez, Michael Rakowitz, Ellen Rothenberg, Edra Soto, Dolores Wilber, and Paula White. Ranging from steel carpets and inflatable bombs to postage stamps and cooking classes, their work is thoughtful, sharp and inspiring. Click here for some photos of the show and the opening.
We've gotten some great press on Consuming War. Here are some links for highlights:
CW will also include several interesting events that will give you a chance to participate -- including talks by Chicago Tribune journalist James Janega about reporting from Iraq; Geraldine Gorman, a nurse with the international aid group Emergency, and a special conversation with Dr. Donny George Youkhanna, the former head of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. And, at the opening, plan to join us for a memorial concert by Michael Zerang and Jim Baker, in remembrance of their friend Malachi Ritscher, who immolated himself in protest of the war, here in Chicago last November. (Read more about Consuming War here)
Articles, Reviews, Podcasts
And thanks to the staff of HPAC, Chuck Thurow, Allison Peters, Kate Lorenz, Chris Hammes, Colleen Coyne and everyone who helped and inspired us.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those