Versionfest, Proximity, Ron Olsen and Chicago Events


It’s that time of year for the annual Versionfest here in Chicago. Lasts years was a hoot and even made some people nervous. In fact a few hours away from now the Dark Matter group show opens in Bridgeport. I helped a bit with the curating and laying out the show last week and it’s looking to be a good one. Dark Matter is a group show which tosses out the distinction between high and low art (let’s face it, the artfairs have proven there is little difference), and instead taps into a collective consciousness that artists of all backgrounds seem to be responding to in their practice. Whether activism, collages from food containers, psychedelic vinyl porno drippings or an art informational Elotes cart these artists reach out to form communities, react against hegemonies or simple create laborious works meant to drizzle away time space and escape from one reality by creating another.
This Versionfest also marks a first for me, showing a work from my collection (in addition to one of my Thrift pictures). We included the drawing Ron Olsen made for me 2 years ago. Long time readers of the blog may recall my post on Ron and his drawing of ‘perpetual battlefields’. Dark Matter indeed.

Detail from Ron Olsen, 2006 (War In Wal Mart Parking Lot)
Artists include:
Michael Genovese, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Michael T Rea, E.C. Brown, Jefferson Mayday Mayday, JC Hammes, Edra Soto, Adam Farcus, Brian Ulrich, Greg Stimac, Aron Gent, Chris Roberts, Ryan Davies, JJ Stratford, Alice Bradshaw, Randall Garrett, Daniel St george II, Sharon Parmet, Ryan Davies, Natalie Steinmetz, Cole Robertson, Lisa Yu, Christopher Ilth, A.S. Lawrence , Nat Ward, Natalie Steinmetz, Dave the Lightbulb man, Vicki Fowler, Thunderhorse, E*Rock, Neville, Erika Mikkalo, Jenny Inzerillo, J. Byrnes, Mary Balda, Jon Bollo, R.K. Shuquem, Nicholas Schutzenhofer, Jenny Tsiakals, Rose Candela, James Adam, AROE, Oscar Arriola, Juicy, Tony Arriola, Peter KISER Berry, CHILE, Sara Condo, COPE2, COSBE, CRAE, CYCLE, CYFN, Nicky Dieter, EGOR, EVOKE, FACT, GOMA, David COVE Gonzalez, GYROS, Joel DEPTE Ibarra, IRAK, JACK, Rick Jara, JARE, A. Lewellen, MELON, READ MORE, RIBITY, RK9, SHIP!, SIVEL, SMUT, SWEK, SWIS, TELLY, TRUE, TWIST, Ryan Valvick and many others . To see work by participating artists go to this Flickr page .

Another first is the debut issue of Proximity Magazine. If buddies Ed and Rachel Marzewski don’t have enough on their plate with running the Versionfest and an art/performance venue, they’re created a fantastic new magazine centered on local and global art and art communities. The first issue rocks and is chock full of interviews with curators, artists and writings on empowerment, cultural criticism and Chicagoland cholos. This city just got tons cooler. Buy one and feel your money funding the greater good.

One Comment

  1. Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Hurray for Version Fest and the Dark Matter show! I agree, this city keeps digging deeper and deeper into the cool factor.

    By the way, your work is so powerful and beautiful. Thank you!

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