Related Programming Opening Reception Thursday, July 13 • 6–8pm After-Party at BING with special performances and DJ Selah Say Thursday, July 13 • 8–10pm Seva: Cultivate Mindfulness Tuesday, July 18 • 6–8pm Artist Roundtable Wednesday, August 2 • 12–1:30pm Playlist Fridays curated by YAW at Currency Exchange Café Fridays • 12–2pm
Groups interested in visiting Remain to Be Seen should email Nikki Patin at email@example.com.
A special thanks to Nikki Patin, Community Arts Engagement Manager, Dara Epison, Program Coordinator for the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, as well as Gabe Moreno, Preparator. Presented by the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life Initiative and Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. @artspubliclife arts.uchicago.edu/apl
Arts Incubator Gallery 301 E Garfield Blvd • Chicago, IL
Remain To Be Seen
Showcasing the work of Artists-in-Residence Yaw Agyeman, Lauren Ash, and Stephen Flemister July 13 – August 25, 2017
Remain To Be Seen showcases the culminating work of the 2016/17 Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture Artists-in-Residence, Yaw Agyeman, Lauren Ash, and Stephen Flemister. The ten-month residency provides studio space at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park and supports Chicagobased multi-disciplinary artists whose practices critically engage issues of race, ethnicity, and community. The residency asks that artists move outward rather than retreating inward, and, through their practice, interact with the communities and neighborhood surrounding them. In exploring the process of healing via meditation and movement, Lauren Ash, cultivates a practice of self-reflection and self-care that centers mindfulness. Largely collaborative, Ash’s work is grounded in bringing the self into the present moment as a way to heal past trauma and cultivate future possibilities. Her practice has focused on creating and supporting spaces where women of color can work towards wellness--both individual and collective. For this exhibition, Ash has created an interactive platform for reflection, which includes a guided meditation and affirmation EP, narrated by Ash, with original music production. Stephen Flemister’s practice interrogates notions related to agency, voice, and visual representation. Flemister’s work subverts the long history of monumentalization by choosing to cast everyday people, many from the Southside of Chicago, in his large-scale portraiture and sculptural work. Through his depiction of the everyday person in the form of a monument, Flemister gives representation and power to individuals who otherwise would not have been celebrated or accounted for in the historical record.
While in residence, Stephen Flemister was able to realize a major component of his Thread.City project--a digital art installation projected onto the windows of his shared studio space, which can only be seen after sundown from the Prairie Avenue side of the Arts Incubator. Thread.City presents prompts to which any anonymous passerby can respond. The spatial and temporal qualities of the project demand an immediacy that, in some ways, can only be experienced by those passing by on foot. As such, the vast majority of those that interact with the piece are those inhabitants of the Washington Park neighborhood, traveling down Prairie Avenue on their way home or to work. While taking in and responding to the prompt on display, the viewer is also offered a poetic reflection of themselves in the windows of Flemister’s studio space. For this exhibition, Yaw Agyeman has created video and sound pieces that explore his experience as a child of Ghanaian immigrants. The told and untold narratives of family histories, hardship, and joy are on display in his work. The audience’s experience with this work can be described as simultaneously empathetic and alienating--mirroring the feelings and experiences of first-generation American immigrants. Agyeman’s prolific and spiritual voice is present throughout his works, including a selection of photographic pieces. He has presented parts of his expanding portraiture practice as part of this exhibition, choosing to feature photographic works that focus thematically on fatherhood and Blackness. The portraits are shot in both digital and black and white 35mm. An exhibition which features work from multiple artists, working within vastly different disciplines, requires a connecting thread for legibility. Although each artist is rooted in uniquely distinct practices, the body of work on view in this exhibition asks the viewer to reflect upon the self, affirm one’s existence, and challenge ideas of agency and visibility. Visibility, as a tool for repression or affirmation, is a powerful force. This exhibition seeks to unpack how and when this force is applied, while steadfastly reflecting the image of those inhabitants of Chicago’s Southside whom remain to be seen.
– Nadia Sulayman, Curator
Yaw Agyeman Yaw Agyeman is an interdisciplinary performing artist born in Chicago. He works primarily as a musician/sound designer but also has an extensive theater background (actor) and makes photos. Yaw’s work addresses language as cultural currency. His work also uses space as a way to share music, community, and culture.
Lauren Ash is a socially-engaged artist and visionary most recognized for her leadership prioritizing black women in the wellness and editorial fields. As the Founder and Executive Director of Black Girl In Om, she promotes holistic wellness for women of color.
YAW has performed on both the theatrical and musical stage. He has toured in the play Red, Black and Green: a blues (MAPP) and performed in the world premiere of the musical, Mister Chickee’s Funny Money (Chicago Children’s Theater). He has been featured on VH1’s Soul Cities, a show produced by Nelson George that showcases singers in cities all over the country, as well as on the Africa Channel’s, Soundtracks at Red Kiva, a program that focuses on artists of African descent. Currently, he is a member of the artistic collaboration, Black Monks of Mississippi, headed by the dynamic and prolific, Theaster Gates.
As artist-in-residence within Arts and Public Life and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago Lauren has guided Seva, a monthly mindfulness series involving movement, meditation, and dialogue. Over the course of her residency, Lauren has created for you and for me, an audio guided meditation and affirmation EP and interactive, experimental self-care space featuring original and collaborative works. Her dedication and sustained attention to relentlessly representing and centering black women across all of her projects has garnered the attention of NYLON, Saint Heron, Vice’s i-D, Thoughtfully Magazine, ESSENCE, and many other platforms where she is recognized as a trailblazer and creative to watch.
a brown tale 1 (canvas, acrylic, ink, and lead crayon) a brown tale 2 (canvas, ink, lead crayon, and coffee) untitled (digital prints) 1. mister billy 2. mister billy again 3. home if we make it 4. mama’s boy d3n 3 na ma y33 | a letter (2 channel video) coloring books: 1, 2, & 3 (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle; Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss; Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss; and permanent markers)
for you and for me Created by Lauren Ash, for you and for me is an interactive, experimental self-care space featuring original and collaborative works. for you and for me is also the title of Ash’s audio guided meditation and affirmation EP created with black women in mind, featuring original writing and narration by Ash and music production by Calid B. and Dee Lilly. Both the space, and EP, are inspired by Ash’s personal journey of cultivating holistic wellness as a black woman and her desire for all women of color to have a space to breathe easy, grow, affirm and be affirmed, manifest, and explore. untitled (acrylic on canvas) for you and for me music by calid b. and dee lilly (digital audio files) 1. for intuition (your highest self) 2. for presence 3. for self-compassion 4. for abundance 5. untitled original journal entries of a black girl in om, excerpts from 2012 - 2017 (paper)
take one (seriously, take one): a note to self design by deun ivory (paper) leave one (please, leave one): a note to others design by deun ivory (paper) gratitude collection: plant, purple panty, one eye illustrations by deun ivory (paper)
Stephen Flemister Stephen Flemister is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, printmedia and new media, with practices invested in modes of portraiture, influences of digital culture and their common forms of application. Through objects, installations, and experimental studies, Flemister explores methods of visibility and fabricated realities, among social systems. During his 10-month residency at the Arts Incubator, he created an interactive conversation platform, Thread.City, while working with portraits. Flemister received his BA in Interactive Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago and his MFA in the Low Residency Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His works have been shown at Hyde Park Art Center, Columbia College, South Side Community Art Center, and Arts Incubator with public installations and performance throughout Chicago. stephenflemister.com
working notes (Cynthia) (screenprint on paper) working notes (Paul) (screenprint on paper) working notes (Avery) (print and graphite on paper) untitled (and named) (wood and paper bust) untitled (Cardboard, wood, and paper bust) thread.city/now (closed-loop message board on display)
Opposite: Yaw Agyeman, Courtesy of Artist; Lauren Ash, Arts + Public Life; Stephen Flemister, Nicole Harrison.
Published on Jul 13, 2017
"Remain To Be Seen" showcases the culminating work of the 2016-17 Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture Ar...