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Does the “Queer” Label Protect or Divide? An Intergenerational Dialogue

Jul 26, 6:00pm


Do we still need the labels “queer art” and “queer artists”? Join us for an inter-generational dialogue with four Chicago-based artists for a discussion about queer labels in the art world. Inspired by Chris Stewart’s recent print article in GAYLETTER, this event aims to create space for artists and audiences from every living generation to hear their perspectives on the evolving state of the label “Queer” related to the organizing of art and the public identity of the artist.

This event will be moderated by Tracy Baim, Publisher of the Chicago Reader, and co-hosted by Wrightwood 659 and SAGE.

Panelists include artists Jared Brown, Juarez Hawkins, Silvia Malagrino, and Leonard Suryajaya.

Space is limited.

About the Participants

Jared Brown is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago. In recent work, Jared has been broadcasting audio and text based work through the radio (CENTRAL AIR RADIO, 88.5 FM), in live DJ sets, and on social media. They consider themselves a data thief, understanding this role from John Akomfrah’s description of the data thief as a figure that does not belong to the past or present. As a data thief, Jared Brown makes archeological digs for fragments of black American subculture, history and technology. Jared repurposes these fragments in audio, text, and video to investigate the relationship between history and digital, immaterial space. Jared Brown holds a BFA in video from the Maryland Institute College of Art and moved back to Chicago in 2016 in order to make and share work that directly relates to their personal history.

Juarez Hawkins is an artist, educator and curator. She received a B.A. from Northwestern University, and her M.A. from Columbia College Chicago. Her personal work examines the evolution of identity, spirituality and the body. Juarez has exhibited widely, hosting solo exhibitions at Concordia University, the 33 Collective Gallery, and the South Side Community Art Center. As Co-Curator of Gallery Programs at Chicago State University, she has organized exhibitions from the permanent collection, as well as student work, and established artists including Richard Hunt and Marva Pitchford Jolly. Recent curatorial projects include Bill Walker: Urban Griot at the Hyde Park Art Center and The Love Affair Continues at the DuSable Museum. Juarez is a member of Sapphire and Crystals, a collective of African American female artists.

Silvia Malagrino is a Chicago-based artist, native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, and a fellow of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media, Columbia College Chicago.

Her innovative interdisciplinary work in multiple media – including photography, installation, and digital video, – amalgamates critical thinking with poetry, and metaphor with documentation.

Malagrino has exhibited internationally and her work is included in the collections of the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago,  Memoria Abierta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fundaçao Atos Berçao, Brazil and La Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, France, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including The CINE Golden Eagle Award for her first film Burnt Oranges- a feature length experimental documentary about the long-term effects and repercussions, personal and social, of Argentina’s 1970’s state terrorism. In 2005, her digital video animation The Stream of Life received the prestigious Lorenzo De Medici First Prize Award in New Media at the 5th Edition of The Florence Biennale in Italy.

Malagrino is a Professor in Photography at the School of Art and Art History of the University of Illinois at Chicago and a recipient of a 2012 Illinois Secretary of State Distinguished Artist Award for outstanding contributions to cultural and community leadership.

Leonard Suryajaya creates photographs that are at once absurd and mundane. In collaboration with his family and, more recently, students, he explores identity and belonging, placing his subjects into carefully constructed sets that are light-filled and clean but elaborately posed, and filled with dizzying patterns on the verge of clashing. Suryajaya is Chinese, grew up in Indonesia, attended Christian schools, and was educated in Buddhism. His multi-ethnic upbringing came with experiences of otherness and suppression of identity, which prompted his move to the United States when he was 18, where he later received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He still lives in Chicago but travels back to Indonesia once a year to work there. For Suryajaya, photography is the construction of worlds. His photographs are acts of recreated closeness, ways to revise memories, to complicate identities, and to reinstall new layers of familial intimacy that favor celebrating identity rather than hiding it.  

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