Sunday, February 24, 2008

Enter Into Circulation : An Alternative Library

Dear K,
I went to a great show last Saturday. Strange collections, handmade books, letterpress texture, sweet stories, eccentric illustrations, and sculptural pages--thought of you completely! This was the Finch Gallery's first opening at their new location on Armitage. Neighboring a boarded up brick building with a vintage sign (although unintentionally) for Angelo's barber shop and the new condos of "South Logan Square," the space is perfectly out of place. Clean white walls inside old frosted glass windows, where fringe meets frill. The show was just as artistically measured--the kind of work that plays out quietly with sometimes curious, dark readings. Seemed very East Coast, if you know what I mean. Aesthetically serious, yet playfully wry in content. Somewhat the nature of the book (and the small space), the show was very intimate. I wanted to steal away to study some pieces in private. A few works, though, seemed to fit the public setting. One, in fact, invited participation. The Library of Petty Thoughts (below) called viewers to sit on a velvety bench and write in one of the hundreds of tiny "P" books. The installation was mockingly "ivy league" in brand identity. Of course, I wrote something very petty at the time, but cannot recall now.

Other memorable works included a felt bearded blue superman (who could not love a superhero with a book for a heart?), a row of mixed-media houses which looked like a personalized game of life (below), an archive of personal effects using nostalgic package design to relay an ambiguous message about the fictional ("she") collector, and beautifully intricate paper diorama sets (at top). Wish you were here!

The show was presented by "Pulp, Ink & Thread" a division of The Book and Paper Center of Columbia College
Curated by Lauren DuBeau
@ The Finch Gallery, 2747 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL for more

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