Exhibitions at UIC Gallery 400 explore immigration and dispossession

Installation view at UIC Gallery 400 of “Chronicle of a Fall,
Installation view at UIC Gallery 400 of “Chronicle of a Fall”, by Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even, 2022. Image courtesy of UIC Gallery 400.

Two exhibits examining issues of immigration, (dis)location, and belonging will be on view in Gallery 400 on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus through August 6.

The exhibits, “Chronicle of a Fall” by Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even and the group video exhibit “A Kind of Robbery,” are free and open to the public.

“Chronicle of a Fall” is a feature-length immersive video installation depicting the transitory and fragmented experience of a group of immigrants in the US. The work deals with a period in which interpersonal relationships, the experience of home and meaning and belonging have been transformed and fractured by global capital, electronic media and government policy.

The exhibit begins with a simple question posed to a group of six migrant workers, primarily from the Global South and the Middle East: “What is your home?”

Many of the immigrants or immigrant-born subjects of “Chronicle of a Fall,” including the artists themselves, have left a country where democracy is overshadowed by the US, where democracy is threatened by US citizens. enabled by US policy. The work’s multiple videos convey the disjointed nature of immigrant subjects’ experiences, providing an intimate and visceral view of their everyday lives and home environments.

“UIC Gallery 400 is delighted to present the impressive ‘Chronicle of a Fall’ in its 90+ minute run. The filmmakers have created a captivating setting that encompasses the absorbing scenes in which the work’s immigrant participants provide intimate insight into their experiences of disjunction, partiality, love and longing,” said Lorelei Stewart, director of UIC Gallery 400.

Referencing Jean Rouch’s 1961 documentary “Chronicle of a Summer,” “Chronicle of a Fall” updates the earlier film’s cinema verite approach with emerging technologies, such as parallel body-worn cameras used by both subjects and actors. filmmakers, as well as through volumetric capture. and projection mapping.

Installation view at UIC Gallery 400 of “Chronicle of a Fall,
Installation view at UIC Gallery 400 of “Chronicle of a Fall”, by Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even, 2022. Image courtesy of UIC Gallery 400.

Where “Chronicle of a Fall” highlights the unequal formation of immigrant identities and social ties, “A Species of Theft” focuses on dispossession—the loss of possession, that is, land or personhood—as an entry point to understand how the property is generated.

Featuring artists Marwa Arsanios, Carolina Caycedo, Tomashi Jackson, and Skawennati, the exhibition draws on complex historical interpretations of displacement, immigration, labor, and alienation between North America, Britain, and Kurdistan. As a resource, land establishes personal and political connections related to belonging to a place. Their theft and surrender as an object of control have shaped colonial settler societies and what their conceptions of race and identity are, according to the exhibit.

“The artists in the exhibition dramatize various historical issues that are still present and always relevant today,” said Denny Mwaura, curator of “A Species of Theft” and deputy director of UIC Gallery 400. “I hope the show offers a meditative perspective and educational. experience that allows deeper reflections on our relationship with the earth”.

“Species of Theft” borrows its title from theorist Robert Nichols’ book “Theft Is Property!” in which Nichols argues that “dispossession” is a form of theft, dependent on law and race to produce and pave the way for property. The featured artists converse with Nichols’s theory and concern themselves with issues related to citizenship, nation-building, and self-governance. They employ video to acknowledge “the future, ecofeminist practices, and sovereignty with an emphasis on editing techniques and narrative structures that amplify experiences mediated across different landscapes.”

During the execution of the exhibitions, the UIC Gallery 400 will hold multiple events with participants from “Chronicle of a Fall”, a screening of Jean Rouch’s Chronicle of a Summer from 1961, a conversation with the artists Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even, and additional screenings of related works. by contemporary film artists.

Support for “Chronicle of a Fall” is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the School of Art and Art History, the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts, and UIC. The exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The artists developed “Chronicle of a Fall” in part through a grant with the MIT Open Documentary Lab, 2019-2021, with additional support from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Connecticut College, and the City of Chicago.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the School of Art and Art History in the UIC College of Architecture, Design and the Arts provide support for “A Species of Theft”. The exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Visit UIC Gallery 400 for full details and related upcoming programmes. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m.

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