Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday, September 20: Chicago Artists Discuss - The Personal Art of Dissent

Chicago Artists Discuss: The Personal Art of Dissent
Saturday, September 20, 1:00-2:30pm
Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA)
820 N Michigan Ave.
FREE. Reservations requested. Call 312.915.7630 or email

How is art a vehicle to voice political dissent? Chicago printmakers Marilyn Propp, Brandy Pudzis and Michael Goro in conversation with Theaster Gates. How does their work make statements on issues raised in the '08 presidential campaign?

Co-sponsored by LUMA and The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council.

This program is in conjunction with LUMA's Art of Democracy exhibition (September 6-November 9) timed to coincide with the 2008 Presidential election. The exhibit displays works by 60 printmakers whose art is concerned with democracy, social activism and political change. The artists continue the tradition of using poster and print media as a vehicle for social advocacy and propaganda. The exhibition is organized by the New York Society of Etchers and includes 25 Chicago-based artists.

Program Participants:

Marilyn Propp
Artist statement: Kaddish is the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning. It is a prayer for peace and a celebration of life. The human heart needs the freedom to express our deepest longings, our darkest secrets and our common humanity.

Brandy Pudzis
Artist statement: War and sexuality are closely linked. The exertion of control/dominance/power is intertwined with the human dynamic of struggle. I examine and deconstruct inequalities to provoke discussion of often uncomfortable realities.

Michael Goro
Artist statement: I was inspired by an ancient Chinese proverb: "A fish rots from the head down." It captures perfectly the central theme of my print. It serves as a metaphor for the state of contemporary American politics. Government corruption, barely concealed under a thin veneer of hollow slogans, has led the country to the verge of political and economic disaster.

Theaster Gates is active-whether it's institutional critique, object making, public discussion, or performance. His creative work recently enlisted the use of a mythic character known as Yamaguchi, who represents an effort to articulate the complex relationships between Blacks and Asians in the United States by convening soul food dinners. In addition, Gates uses public space and cultural institutions as launching pads for conversation in a series called Representations. His most recent project, the Black Monks of Mississippi, combines the richness of meditative traditions with gospel riffs and philosophical text to create a critical soul music.

The Public Square fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. By building bridges between theory and practice, The Public Square encourages the use of ideas as tools to improve people's lives. The Public Square programs promote participatory democracy and create space for public conversations. Knowledge is power, yet much crucial knowledge still circulates only in small, isolated communities.

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