Slow at (e)merge
Slow is travelling. Nation’s capital. We’re meeting Benjamin Zellmer Bellas, who has gone on to the East Coast before us. Along for the ride are slow (and Chicago) stalwarts CC Ann Chen and Carol Jackson.
(e)merge. It is a fair, and to steal someone else’s language previously describing the MDW fair, it is an unFair. Housed in a midcentury hotel, The Capitol Skyline Hotel, with rooms doubling as booths. We are the Chicago contingency. We were asked to curate, not just bring piles of market ready art stuffs.
Respite. We may be in that place because we choose, as in vacation. We may find ourselves holing up whilst traveling for obligation. The room, the suite, the slumber is always the quiet in between. Neither pubic nor private, but more defined character than most of what we call liminal. We’re always in hotels when our waking moments are more charged than mundane days. We’re running, connecting, expanding, mourning.
Slow is connecting three artists’ work through the context of the hotel room. Each artist works through a conceptual framework that is deeply invested in ephemeral states that are still or restful—but illuminate conjunctions with turbulence and transition. Carol has translated a visual trope of language ribbons into conveyor belts as a way to make noises hang in the air, and then dissipate—it is a connection to a structure of sound that differentiates verbal and written text. Carol also conjures the sunset, the visual trope of the day’s end. Whose days are ending? The great West. Ann has a long history of catching the veritable wave. Looking at ripples of water—a way to visualize change as a visible structure—not quantified as in a graph, and not heightened as a newsworthy event, but subtle unacknowledged phenomena happening around us all the time. Benjamin connects his home, his family, the most ordinary stuff and stories, to big questions of space, distance, intimacy, grand gestures, monuments and loss.
Carol Jackson is known for her conceptually rigorous leather work and sheet music drawings. She has a substantial international resume including shows at the Smart Museum, Gallery 400, Three Walls, Roots and Culture, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Cultural Center, the Chicago Project Room all in Chicago, 10 in One both in Chicago and New York, Van Harrison in New York, L.A.C.E. in Los Angeles, Kunsthaus Speckstrasse in Hamburg, More Over Gallery in Naples, the Van Abbe Museum in the Netherlands and many others.
Benjamin Zellmer Bellas is represented by slow. Through poetic narratives, Bellas unexpectedly relocates autobiographical moments of enmity, longing and uncomfortable honesty in banal visual forms. He has shown in group exhibitions in many national and international venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, 1a space Hong Kong, Florean Museum of Contemporary Art, Baia Mare, Romania, Open Space Art Center, Vicotia, BC. He has participated in a wide variety of film, video and performance events and festivals across Europe and the US. He has had solo or focused two and three person shows at slow and Kirk’s Apartment in Chicago, Kohl Gallery at Washington College, Flashpoint Gallery, and Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington DC all in the last year.
C. C. Ann Chen is a Chicago, IL based artist and educator. She interested in subtle disruptions of the conventional and familiar. Her work stems from architecture and landscape, and explores perceptual translations and misinterpretations of place, time, memory, and history. She has participated in exhibitions in numerous Chicago venues, including the slow, the Bike Room, Gallery 400, Research House for Asian Art, Zhou B. Art Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Heaven Gallery, Fraction Workspace, Gallery 312, and Gescheidle. Upcoming projects include a two-person show at The Bike Room, Chicago in November 2013 and a group show with the Alliance for Artists’ Communities in 2014.