Archive for March, 2009

Tonight-Go Looney for Mooney!

March 26, 2009

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the past month, which, truth be told, would have at least kept your hair (and clothes, and shoes and new deerskin bag…ugh, don’t even get us started) dry as a cracker, then by now you know that Spring has finally come and you have an official excuse to stay outside your house for far too long. After all, what is the point of having good weather if you’re going to stay indoors?

A great excuse to leave your house this evening, for example, is the opening reception for three (count’em!) exhibitions at the John David Mooney Foundation.

The space, in fact, is used by the Edinburgh College of Art to showcase works by the school’s faculty members Gordon Brennan and John Brown, as well as the fellowship winners Janine Biunno and Rachel Gargiulo, among others.

The works engage in a relevant dialogue that touches on issues that range from personal narratives, to global concerns, and yes, some very Chicago-specific matters as well.

The exhibition will run through March 30th, and doors will open at 5:30p.m. tonight.
So throw on that fun little number you had been dying to try on since, oh, last year, and make it a date. Just leave your deerskin bag back home, just in case.


Gordon Brennan and John Brown, World-A-Rama, 2008


Time To Be a McChicagoan!

March 13, 2009

Like many Chicagoans, you, too, will wake up on Saturday morning, scratch your head, kick the pizza box next to your bed, contemplate the meaning of life, and then realize that it is far too early (at least by hang-over standards) for that sort of thinking.

That’s why the best place to start your day is by indulging in the mindless–but visually engaging—spectacle of Dyeing the Chicago River starting at 10:45. The privately funded (but public accessible!) event will kick off at the corner of Columbus and Wacker Drive. Hey, if for no other reason, then you can at least take solace in the fact that you will have nothing with the river turning green, for once.

After you’ve watched icy blue turning emerald green head over to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will stretch from Balbo and Columbus all the way north to the Buckingham Fountain, starting at noon. The event will feature marching bands, giant leprechauns, men in kilts, floats, horse-drawn carriages, clover leaves, anything green, and yes, a heck of a lot of Irish pride.

If you’re still downtown (and upright), you might as well check out the following:

Fado Irish Pub
Come watch some live music with Nappertandy performing their rock versions of Celtic songs and Celtic-inspired take on old school rock & roll until 4pm. Sample the Irish beers on special and tell yourself that the only reason you’re getting your drink on at 1pm is because you would hate to dishonor such a noble Irish tradition.

Lucky Strike Lanes
Grab a Guinness (and a friend’s hand for balance), and slip on the world’s most unattractive pairs of shoes as you challenge your buddies for a game of bowling. Be sure to stick around for DJ Gusto’s spinning and the prizes & giveaways. True hardcores will try the $4 Jameson shots and $5 Irish Car Bombs. It may be time to write your liver that “Dear John” letter.

Grace O’Malley’s
Should your still retain most of your senses (and clothes) by that point, come watch the Shannon Rovers pipe and drum band and the World Academy of Irish Dancers bust move that will probably have you wondering “How?” By that point, it might be a good idea to load up on food and go for the Irish sausage dogs, the fish n’ chips, the corned beef & sauerkraut, and wash it all down with some Green Miller Lite.

Once you get home, be sure to take off your green beads, wash your face of the green clover leaves you had some chick paint on your cheeks, and throw your leprechaun hat on the couch. Just for extra measure, look inside last night’s pizza box for any possible leftovers. You won’t know the difference anyway.

Review: PhotoDimensional at the MoCP

March 10, 2009

The current show at the MoCP begs the question: How strict are the boundaries between two and three-dimensional representations? The show features works by thirteen artists—some emerging, others established—all of whom challenge some of the most basic foundations in photography. A photograph–a frozen moment in time portrayed in a single angle, undermines the very foundations of Post Modernism: multifarious interpretations, lack of singular meanings, and the collapsing of boundaries.

Bettina Hoffman’s DVD “La Ronde”, 2004, is a circumambulatory view of a scene whose participants are eerily frozen in motion. Hoffman cleverly reminds us that for every given shot, 359 other angles are possible.

Heather Mekkelson’s installation, “Debris Field”, 2008-2009, is a recreation of an actual photograph of a post-disaster scenario. The lack of borders delineating the installation and the sheer size of it render the experience overwhelming, drawing the limitations of photography as an accurate conveyer of depth, complexity and space. The stillness of the installation and its positioning in a gallery setting, however, still makes it seem more like a photograph than the real deal.

Katalin Deer and Pello Irazu both photograph three-dimensional compositions that feature photographs within each one, thereby annihilating the distance between the photograph as a vessel to transport information versus as an object in its own right. The concepts of two and three dimensionality appear to be interwoven with such intensity that makes any attempts at separating them as straight as reading an Escher drawing.

Vik Muniz and Laurent Millet create installations that, when photographed, intentionally appear flat and devoid of depth. This allows both artists to comment on the impossibility of experiencing space in ways that are universal and readily legible.

Melinda McDaniel and Susana Reisman turn the photograph into an object of contemplation. McDaniel never fully develops her photographs, allowing the exposure from the gallery lights to continue affecting the final product, thereby turning the object into a continuous experience. Reisman prints her images on long strips of canvas rolled into organic, nautical shapes, which she lets elegantly sag over time, a la Eva Hesse. In both cases, arguably more so than any of the works mentioned above, the artists present photography in a refreshingly and comprehensively new way.

It appears that with that much dialogue occurring in the field of Contemporary photography, the answer to the aforementioned opening question is a simple “What boundaries?”, as it lets photography hover between two and three dimensions, and between a reality seen and a reality imagined.

The show will be running through April 19th, 2009.


Pello Irazo, La Fabrica, (Belgrado), VI, 2007

Almost FAMEous

March 4, 2009

A great union can be defined and manifested in different ways, at times successful and at times, well, not as much. For example, it can be between two human beings, like Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or a Playboy bunny and her plastic surgeon. Other times, it can be between a person and an animal, like Bill Clinton and his tabby cat Socks, or Rihanna and that angry vermin Chris Brown. At times, it can be between two kinds of food, like peanut butter and jelly, or bread and high fructose corn syrup. You get the idea.

Now, it is time to add a new member to the family of great pairs: fashion and media.

As such, you are cordially invited to attend FAME, the Fashion and Media Extravaganza to be held at the Harris Theater by the Illinois Institute of Art on Friday, March 6th.

Superior achievements by students in fashion design, animation, culinary arts, interior design, visual effects and visual communications programs will be showcased twice that day, once at 11a.m. and once more at 6p.m. Each cycle will be broken down into a media show and a fashion show that will follow immediately after.

Special guests will include Erica Strama and NBC Chicago’s very own Art Norman.

With so much attention, glitz and creativity, this union is second to none. To purchase tickets, please click here.


Think You’ve Got The Passion For Fashion?

March 4, 2009

It is that time of the year again. A time when penguins consider the weather far too hot to even think; when snow boots start feeling insecure about getting passed up for cute sneakers in the closet; when grass blades dare to stretch their necks above the ground; when it becomes okay to drop the “S” word—Spring.

As everyone’s favorite season (at least anyone who wishes they didn’t have to hide the goods under a stuffy, cumbersome coat), the change in temperature, mood and yes—style, will be celebrated in a great extravaganza, and rightfully so.

The 2nd Annual Spring Fashion Show will be hosted at The Palmer House by The Women Treatment Center on Saturday, March 7th. Titled The Passion for Fashion, the event honors the remarkable women “who have completed treatment and dramatically changed their lives.”

In addition to the exciting fashion show, an awards ceremony honoring Merri Dee and Sylvia Wolf will be followed by a raffle. The grand prize is a custom designed gourmet dinner for ten in the winner’s home by Food Network superstar Dan Smith of Hearty Boys.

With that much razzle dazzle planned, you’ll feel comfortable enough to kick back, relax, enjoy your time, and drop the “F” word—Finally.

For tickets, please click here


Just Shoe-t me.

March 2, 2009

Okay, so while we are all for incorporating a little bit of foreign influence in fashion, something about the pair of Dior fertility heels feels a wee bit…offensive? silly? both? that sounds about right. The Senufo fertility figure, a revered form in traditional West African ceremonies, was taken out of its original context–a shrine, then molded, re-cast in brass, and glued to the heel of a zebra print sandal for skinny starlets to wear to an event with the hope of being discovered by a hot producer. Makes you wish you knew some real voodoo to exorcise the stupid out of designers. And as for all those bamboozled into buying these shoes–yes, they make you look fat.


Exhibit A–The Culprit: The Fertility Goddess Pump, Dior


Exhibit B: The Victim–Mischa Barton


Exhibit C: The Weapon–Senufo Figure, picture by Man Ray