Ted Gram-Boarini — Peggy Chiang — Shir Ende — Stefan Harhaj — Thomas Huston — Jack O’Sullivan — Susan Pasowicz — Hubert Posey — John Elio Reitman — Frances Roberts — Chris Viau
guest curated by Max Guy alongside the Arts of Life curatorial committee
This show is named Micropop USA after one of my favorite exhibitions and catalogs, The Door into Summer: The Age of Micropop, curated and edited by Midori Matsui in 2007 in Mito, Japan. A definition of Micropop from the show’s PR:
Micropop can be defined as a “small-scale, avant-garde” approach or attitude that attempts to create a new aesthetic consciousness and norms of behavior through the combination of fragments of information gleaned through one’s own experience, in an age where history has come to be viewed in relative terms, and in which those spiritual statements that once served as the source or stronghold of various values have lost their authority.
The approach can be described as a “small-scale attempt at survival” that aims to acquire a solid sense of being “alive” in the turbulent global era of today, in which people, information and things move around the world at an unprecedented speed and scale, and where faraway events can impact the basic foundations of one’s own lifestyle, forcing each person to form the basis for his or her own judgment in response to a situation that is always changing fluidly.
Reading that definition, I thought of “avant-garde” as an attempt at survival for the first time, and that thought resonates to this day. The Door Into Summer left a deep impression on me and I’d like to consider this show as a spiritual sequel to the original. Micropop USA brings together the work of nine Chicago artists and two from abroad whose “inventive use of inexpensive materials, obsoletes spaces, banal products and information of the every day turns the constraints of living in the late postmodern age into a condition of freedom.” Whatever that means to you, consider this show the Door into Autumn.