This past weekend I explored some of the rich art Chicago has to offer. Friday night I attended a performance of the Pulitzer winning play, Clybourn Park by Bruce Norris at the Redtwist Theater. The play was about a house in 1959 and again 50 years later in 2009. The first act set in 1959, explores racism as a White family sells the house to an African American family. After intermission, we again explore issues of race and gentrification as a White family buys the house with plans to demolish it and rebuild.
The play did an excellent job a positing the two eras next to each other, highlighting improvements with race relations but also large problems that still exist. The second act in 2009, gave voice to both parties, a buyer trying to find a home to raise her family and a homeowner trying to honor and preserve a rich history and culture. Seeing this play has lead to many thoughts and conversations with my friends.
Saturday, I went to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and took a free tour (you know how I love free). The theme of our tour was “digging into history to create art.” The exhibit of Paul Sietsema was my favorite. He is famous for looking back into old photographs, calendars, new papers and documents to create his art. He collects and combines them to create his own pieces through ink. Check out the piece with the newspaper I included. This looks like some coils dropped on newspaper with paint poured over it. It is not an actual newspaper. There are no coils or paint. It is completely 2 dimensional, which you can tell when you get up close. According to our tour guide, he is commenting on the exorbitant prices for art by splattering pennies over the Art section of the New York Times.
My other favorite piece is “documenta 13” by Mariana Castillo Deball. This sculptural work is her commentary on the way museums pull people’s belongs out of context and often exploit them. It is a beautiful slice of geology with fragments of representations of relics from different cultures, depicting what washed away museums would look like. Many of the pieces in the Museum of Contemporary Art comment on Western museums use of other culture’s possessions and culture. Our docent was awesome and I really appreciated the tour. Because of her I was able to learn a lot and really recommend checking it out!
Questions for Amie? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu with the subject “Ask Amie” and she will make sure to answer them.