Weinberg/Newton Gallery is pleased to host the School of The Art Institute of Chicago’s MA in Visual and Critical Studies program in the group exhibition helps it to feel, compels it to make.
In the early twentieth century, German playwright Bertolt Brecht contrasted epic theater against the dramatic to offer a new critical position for examining the world. For Brecht, if the dramatic is that which engages us creatively and emotionally, then the form offers an immersive experience that helps us to feel our place in the world. The epic stands counter to the dramatic as it applies reason and visionary scholarship, connecting our present to the richness of history and even compelling us to make worlds anew.
This exhibition and symposium—helps it to feel, compels it to make—presents works which call upon this contrast set out by Bertolt Brecht as means to celebrate and contemplate personal and collective histories, ideas and identities. The scholars and makers on view put pressure on this distinction by engaging both the dramatic and the epic to form new, critical positions that reimagine how knowledge is visualized, written and shared. Both experiences and insights are communicated; suggestions and arguments are used. There is an interest in what drives and in what motivates; events which move in a straight line and in irregular curves. Stepping across the line between what we feel and what we do, they simultaneously undertake creative investigation and propose gestures of the world as it is and the world as it is becoming.
Eduardo Chaidez, Michael Donatuti, Amanda Ellison, Evan Graham, Siamack Hajimohammad, Juan Carlos Herrera, Lindsay Hutchens, Stephanie Koch, Tiara Nord, Joshi Radin, John Stevens, Zach Vanes and Celia Wickham