Mary Patten (main space) and Mathew Paul Jinks (project room)
JANUARY 11 – FEBRUARY 23, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION: JANUARY 11, 6-9PM
Schizo Culture: A Collaborative Reading/Publication Release: January 31st, 7 PM
Schizo Panel: February 9th, 7 PM
MARY PATTEN: PANEL
In all her work, Mary Patten seeks to address collisions as well as alignments between the worlds of “politics” and art-making. The frailties of memory, speculative fiction, and the archive of the everyday are all evident in her “singular” work – where she claims authorship, fully aware that there are no wholly original ideas. She continues to be drawn to collective and collaborative forms of art and cultural production in which to re-claim language, feeling, and political passions from fundamentalist thinking, and to reclaim a utopia of the everyday, a way of being together in the world that allows for anger, joy, and reparative visions.
Debuting at threewalls, PANEL is a performance-based, multi-channel video/sound installation, drawn from a transcript of a panel discussion at “Schizo Culture,” a symposium on schizophrenia and radical politics organized by Sylvère Lotringer held at Columbia University in 1975. The panel at “Schizo Culture” addressed the relationship between doctors, the medical profession, and torture, and coercive uses of therapy in prisons and mental institutions. Speakers included philosopher Michel Foucault, radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing, the Insane Liberation Front’s Howie Harp, and radical activist Judith Clark. PANEL re-imagines the architecture of academic and political conferences, where discourse is shaped by such things as panel, podium, microphone and stage. It conjures the spaces of incarceration and repressive institutionalization, then and now, and an imagined 1975 audience of intellectuals, artists, and political activists. Video projection, digital imaging, and audio re-vivify an obscure, yet potent 1970s text whose contents are eerily relevant to the torture “debates” of the present moment.
PANEL is experimental in form, yet legible as political inquiry. The fragmented nature of the manuscript reinforces a sense that the panelists were not engaging one other. Patten imagines them as ghosts in separate spheres, arranged in a line and facing an audience that has largely disappeared. PANEL extends the metaphors suggested by “Schizo-Culture” by creating four hallucinatory clouds that intermittently interfere with our reception of each speaker: a swirl of moving collage, a kind of “dreaming out loud” by each of them--the philosopher, the radical psychiatrist, the revolutionary prisoners’ advocate, the Insane Liberation Front activist. These “clouds” intermittently interrupt and blur the panelists’ contentious, pensive, persuasive, or rambling speech acts. The installation invokes the air between a dense piece of ephemera that has slipped through historical cracks and its collective address to what was once a massive social movement.
Mary Patten is a visual artist, video-maker, writer, educator, occasional curator, and political activist. For over 25 years, she has exhibited installations, videos, drawings, prints, and public collaborative projects locally, nationally, and internationally at venues ranging from the Chicago Cultural Center, Gallery 400, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, the Hyde Park Art Center, DOVA Temporary, Randolph St. Gallery, Creative Time (with Feel Tank Chicago), Art in General, The Cooper Union, the New Museum in NYC, Shedhalle/Zürich, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Her book Revolution as an eternal dream: the Exemplary Failure of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective was published by Half Letter Press in 2011. She has also published in Radical Teacher, AREA Chicago, Prompt, The Passionate Camera (ed. Deborah Bright) and WhiteWalls. Online artist’s projects include “TERROR-ist?” and “Experiments in Living.” Patten has directed and participated in many large-scale collaborative art projects for over thirty years, including the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials project , Pathogeographies , Project Enduring Look, billboards with ACT UP/Chicago, Artists’ Call against Intervention in Central America, Action against Racism in the Arts, and Cityarts Workshop. Some of her videos are distributed by the Video Data Bank. She has won fellowships from Artadia, the Illinois Arts Council, the NEA, and many others. She teaches in the Film/Video/New Media/Animation Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
MATHEW PAUL JINKS: THE UNRELIABLE NARRATOR
Mathew Paul Jinks, also utilizing the strategies of speculative fiction, shows a new work in the Project Room, “The Unreliable Narrator.” Shot in India and Chicago in 2012, the work combines elements of performative ethnography, documentary, and travelogue through a series of vignettes. The practices of metallurgy, homeopathy, folk singing, and chirognomy all play their part in a space where fictional characters are interwoven with historical narration, creating a meditation on the politics of authenticity.
The work employs stilled framing, dynamic diegetic sound and physical performances as meditative spaces of sustained enquiry. Characters are encountered episodically through the familial relationships of the Producer (Parveer Singh); historical interview with the Uncle, food preparation and folk singing from an Aunt, and guidance through the brass city (Moradabad) by Gurvinderpal Singh. Chirognomy and Homeopathy and Metalurgy are devices embedded within the sub narrative; the ancient Hindu art of reading the hands spans the works historical and quotidian journey, whilst the study of plants speaks to the slow poisoning of a culture, the metal casting and cleansing are the eternal return of performative cycles and echo the responsive performances by local artists Mark Jeffery and Frank Rosaly, which fold the work back into a contemporary space. The six episodes cycle at over 60 minutes in length, no beginning or end, the decision when to stay or when to leave is with the viewer.
Mathew Paul Jinks is an English Immigrant, living teaching and working in Chicago Illinois. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland in 2005, studying Fine Art Photography, then emigrating to the U.S and completing his MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Studio Arts, as a University Fellow, 2008. Whilst currently living and working in Chicago Mathew teaches at The School of The Art institute and De Paul University. Mathew is currently working on a body of work entitled Trauma Narratives; Relocated, that incorporates performance and sculptural works adapted from collected narratives of the histories of pre-diasporic immigrants in Illinois. In July 2012 Mathew plans to travel to India to explore the Brass workers of Moradabad through moving image and sound. Recent screenings and exhibitions include, 'Violence' in St Louis and Chicago, 'The Gene Siskel Theater', Chicago, 'On Sundrun' at Gallery 400, Chicago, 'Art Chicago, Next Art Fair' Chicago, and "Instruments of Resurrection" at Roots and Culture Gallery, Chicago, curated by Elizabeth Chodos.
This project is partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant, from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.