A Suitcase of Politics – Baggage? or Box of Tools

0 Posted by - May 15, 2007 - Blog

Artists and non-artists alike are invited to grab a suitcase, fill it with tools that can “incite, create, collect, and record political/emotional scenes” then hit the streets and incite, create, collect and record political/emotional scenes. Then, return them to Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois to be inspected, collated, discussed, distributed, and diverted to new uses.

It is a way to express your love for other people’s baggage, while putting together your own.

The show is called Pathogeography and is modeled on the Situationists’ psychogeography but substitutes pathos (feeling) for psyche (the soul), emphasizing the emotional investments, temperatures, traumas, pleasures, and ephemeral experiences circulating throughout the political and cultural landscape.

From the artists: “We envision the project as a surrealist but not unsympathetic irritant to current cartographic trends in art making. With our collaborators, we want not only to reveal hidden political histories as we map the affective expressions of various body politics, but also to create magical linkages and intensities that might extend our political horizons.”

The suitcase project is one of many fascinating interventions in Gallery 400’s visiting artist series:

There’s Gretchen Vitamvas’s suits for men and women inspired by military camouflage but modeled on the interiors of El cars. The suits will be worn by volunteers who travel around the city by public transit and exercise in (in)conspicuousness. (May 24)

And there's also the daring “Unmarked Package: A Case for Feeling Insecure” intervention. The Institute for Infinitely Small Things will leave small unmarked packages at locations in Chicago characterized by excessive security – a test for insecurity in Chicago's public places. (May 18)

Alas, it’s too late to catch “Loomed” by artist Anya Liftig where she turned her body into a loom to weave environments together using movement. The performances wove artist and viewer into the fabric of the moment. And it’s too late to attend the University of Hip-Hop, two workshops (with artist Lavie Raven) which introduced newbies to the basic skills involved in graffiti writing for community murals (May 5).

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