Sunday, September 19, 2010


Also this month's Project Wall Space: J. Thomas Pallas

Opening Friday October 22, from 6pm-10pm

October 22 - November 20

Transformation Opera is a sound and video project by Amelia Winger-Bearskin in which music generated from four different video works merge in the center of the gallery. Personal and Public figures are captured by video during moments of transformation, and then projected as slow moving loops. Sleepwalkers, Italian arias, trash TV, and tragic love ballads are warped to create the dreamlike musical environment.

Winger-Bearskin is an assistant professor of art at Vanderbilt, where she teaches video and performance art, as well as new and interactive media. Her undergraduate studies were in opera and performance art, her MFA is in time based media art (transmedia) from the University of Texas in Austin, 2008. She was in the group show Art in the Age of the Internet at the Chelsea Art Museum in 2007 and was a featured video and performance artist at Basel in Miami, Scope at the Lincoln Center and other art fairs consistently since 2007 as an artist at large for the perpetual art machine [PAM]. She has concentrated her live performance since 2009 on Asian Performance Art Festivals, performing live in the Philippines, South Korea and China as there is a unique support structure for performance that she wishes to study in hopes to bring similar structures in place in the USA.

1765 S. Laflin St.
Chicago IL 60608
antenapilsen (at)
(773) 340-3516
Hours: by appointment only

Transformation Opera, by Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Professor of Video and Performance Art

The ability of an appropriated image to maintain its original intent can be manipulated to create subtext with far more subtlety, complexity, and intelligence than a brand new creation.  The Transparencies/Transformation Opera exhibit combines two artist’s work, both of which contain original and appropriated images.  Artists Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Vesna Pavlovic pose questions of authorship, the difference between reality and illusion, and the post-modern wonderings of the authority of the audience.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin’s is a charismatic and powerful personality that doesn’t purposefully seek out performing, but it seems to follow her around anyway.  It comes easily to her, and in Transformation Opera, she recreates a space that is emblematic of a performer’s headspace, filled with grandiosity, foolishness, and dying dreams.   Four videos, all of which feature sound in some way, converge to fill the gallery space with the ambiance of perpetual performance.  Winger-Bearskin uses her own performances twinned with appropriated footage of (former) starlets Mia Farrow and Lindsay Lohan against a confluence of operatic vocals, shoe gaze, and honky-tonk.

In “ambienTTransformation,” Winger-Bearskin uses the turn of phrase for being a hyper-productive artist literally, as she unwittingly made a performance piece in her sleep.  Actually sleepwalking throughout the entire piece and recording herself the whole way through, the video perfectly captures the restless energy associated with performers between performances.   In her sleep the artist smears honey on her face and covers it with $150-worth of gold leaf.    She is asleep, and yet the video is perfectly shot, and it is not necessary to understand the context of its creation to appreciate the appeal of the artist’s expressionless face being covered in gold.  “I could try my very hardest to be earnest,” Winger-Bearskin says, dreaming of all the different ways she could manipulate her face, calling on her relationship with her young son to inspire authentic concern in a dreaming state of nonsensical logic. The childlike, diva-esque behavior of an artist performing in front of a camera is echoed in other pieces in the exhibit, like Mia Farrow’s over-the-top starvation opera, and in Lindsay Lohan’s Morrisey-tinged anguish.

In “Transformation Opera,” she spontaneously performs with the house band at Second Fiddle, one of the more identifiable honky-towns in Downtown Nashville.  Succeeded by a piece that shows Lindsay Lohan in a tasteful, respectful, terribly sad analysis of her recent jail-sentencing, Winger-Bearskin’s light-hearted rendition of Willie Nelson’s outlaw country ballad “Crazy” reminds you that fame is good luck and bad luck, and opportunities taken or squandered.

“The Transformation of Lindsay Lohan” is a series of stills from YouTube, taken seconds before and as the actress hears her sentence – 90 days in jail.  Blond hair and beautiful bone structure collapse as her face falls and her head drops, all as the first few measures of Morrisey’s “Seasick, Yet Still Docked” play.  For a performer, the moments between being free and imprisoned carry the additional weight of transforming an identity.  Lohan’s life is a well-known spectacle.  In jail, she will be without audience, and what is a performer when she is not performing?

As so many videos are being played at once, there exists an inability to view each one individually. Victor Turner called liminality “the state of being betwixt and between.”  Winger-Bearskin’s videos capture this moment - between sleep and waking (“ambienTTransformation”), between audience and performer (“Transformation Opera”), between celebrity and prisoner (“The Transformation of Lindsay Lohan”) – and, through the addition of sound and the careful proximity between videos and gallery space, creates a suspended liminality among her audience.  It is at once unsettling and comforting -- a familiar feeling of unrest.

Friday, September 10, 2010


work by artists from Chicago

Opening Saturday, September 11, from Noon-9pm
September 11 - October 10, 2010

Shikaakwa is a native american algonquian word used to describe the area that is now known as Chicago. The French-American settlers in Illinois back in the 1800s took that word and re-spelled it as Chicago. For this exhibit Gallery 414 brings to Fort Worth the work of several artists who reside in Chicago. The work ranges from painting, works on paper, digital prints and video. The artists include:

Saul Aguirre
Yong Choi
Miguel Cortez
James Jankowiak
Jaime Mendoza

Jenny Priego

Saul Aguirre is a Chicago Based artist born in Mexico City. He has been considered a standout at NEXT 2010 Chicago by PEDRO VÉLEZ who is an artist and critic living in Chicago. Saul used real manacles, to remind people of the reality of being picked up by the police during a live spectacle, and captivated people with his small drawings. Saul has been exhibiting Nationally and Internationally, in several Museums and Galleries since 1990.

Yong Choi is a Korean artist and sculptor currently residing in Chicago. He was born in Jinju, Korea, and joined Korean Army in 2002. He was a sergeant when he was discharged from the service. He moved to NewYork in 2005 because of baseball. And he accidently went to art school and moved to Chicago because of baseball. He got a BFA degree from  School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. He is just seeking each day’s happiness, and want to express his feeling, and celebrate and remember some specific moments. Making art is the best way to express himself, and continue growing through the process.

Miguel Cortez is an artist living in Chicago and born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He has studied filmmaking at Columbia College and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Future shows in 2010 include an exhibit at Gallery 414 in Fort Worth, Other exhibitions include shows in Champaign, IL at the Krannert Museum and at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, as well as, in Bridge Art Fair in Miami. Other shows included exhibits in Dallas at Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, ‚Lo Romantico at Glass Curtain Gallery and ‚Lies that Bill Gates told me: Exploring the Digital Divide‚ at VU Space in Melbourne, Australia.

Jaime Mendoza: Concerned largely with issues of immigration, ethnicity and place; Mendoza works in a wide range of media—activist inspired public art, sculpture, film, sound, and photography — all of which fuse the politics of contemporary urban culture with poetic meditations on aesthetics, history, and identity. Most recently Mendoza was awarded a grant from the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network to participate in a one week residency at Galería De La Raza in San Francisco, California.

James Jankowiak was born and raised in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Although his early forays in the Chicago graffiti scene proved to be influential upon several generations of spray can artists, he always took risks with his art and continues to evolve as a painter and installation artist. His work has been exhibited at several notable institutions such as the MCA, Northwestern University and the SAIC’s Roger Brown Gallery. Plus he just had a solo show at De Zwarte Ruyter in the Netherlands. This summer he will be doing an installation at CoSphere and in October will have a solo show at The Architrouve.

Jenny Priego is visual and performance artist who draws inspiration from her existence as a feminine being and random beauty. She uses several forms of media to interpret her self exploration, such as technology, her body, voice, and formal fine art technique. Her latest and ongoing project is "Adelita Pata de Perro" a photographic memoir of Adelita, a character that was inspired by the women who fought in the Mexican Revolution. Priego's Adelita is a hyper-ethnic woman wandering the world on an ever changing journey, and on her voyage of discovery she encounters symbols of power, femininity, sex, and cultural imagery. She finds herself in different situations and places that take her from Paris, to Rome and sugar cane mills in Mexico. Priego studied at Columbia College and currently works as a Stewardess. Jenny lives and works in Chicago.

Gallery 414
414 Templeton
Fort Worth, Texas
Phone: (817)336-6595

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From the Wash: Mark Nelson

From the Wash: Mark Nelson

Opening Friday September 3, from 6pm-10pm
September 3 - October 2

From the Wash is an exploration into the coded and indigenous landscape of the Painted Desert of the Petrified Forest in northern Arizona through performance, video and installation.

Mark Nelson lives and works in his GringoLandia Studio, located on 21st Street in the Pilsen neighborhood. His foundation in painting and theater evolved into multi-media installations. He has received the Illinois Arts Council's Fellowship Award twice and a third time as a runner up. His work can be found in collections such as the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Panama' in 2007 and private collections in the Republic of Panama’ and North America. Mark Nelson is an adjunct faculty for Triton College and has been teaching art in the city of Chicago for 22 years.

1765 S. Laflin St.
Chicago IL 60608
antenapilsen (at)
(773) 340-3516
Hours: by appointment only