Sunday, June 28, 2009

Art, art everywhere...

above: exterior and interior shots, Konsortium installation, The Suburban, Oak Park

I accompanied Kevin to a photo shoot in Oak Park yesterday (we would have seen the new Art Institute addition but it was Taste of Chicago and neither of us is interested in that insanity, sorry Megan, Danny & Sabina!)

After his shoot we stopped by The Suburban, an independent project space run by Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam, old friends from my Milwaukee days. The Suburban is a jewel of an independent space, located in two backyard spaces--a cinder block box and an expanded garage / studio space (thanks to support from Luc Tuymans).

interior of The Suburban with great collection

The Suburban smartly mixes it up with experimental projects by artists in the region, such as Joseph Grigely, Jeanne Dunning, Kay Rosen and David Robbins, national artists like Andrea Bowers and Tony Feher and international luminaries like Ceal Floyer and N55.

installation Henrik Plenge Jacobson

To see the variety of shows staged at The Suburban you can order a copy of "The Suburban, The Early Years 1999-2003" or look for their up-coming book surveying of a decade of projects.

My personal favorite? Meg Duguid t.p.'d the exterior of The Suburban with 300 rolls of toilet paper stolen from the Art Institute of Chicago. I bet the neighbors hated it.

Stay tuned for The Suburban's newest venture, the Poor Farm Exhibition space (above) in rural Wisconsin. That this building is a remnant of governmental action in face of rising homelessness (and preventing indentured servitude in light of bankruptcies during the Depression) radiates real meaning at this time of our own financial collapse.

There was an article in yesterday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that bemoaned that the mid-west was no longer producing great inventions. I think the size of the Poor Farm Exhibition space will allow artists a great platform for the artistic R & D that we'll need to grapple with our transformed futures.

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