Out of Site performance art series returns to Wicker Park, Bucktown
Now in its third year, the Out of Site performance art series returned to Wicker Park and Bucktown last Friday, August 9. The concept is simple: 10 local artists, each presenting from 5–7pm on Friday in a public space, draw the attention of residents and tourists alike. The themes—space, movement, time, nature, sexuality, materialism and beyond—are a bit more complex. These "unexpected encounters", continuing through Friday, October 11, were organized by Carron Little (director of Eyeporium) and Whitney Tassie (assistant curator of Utah Contemporary Art Museum and former director at moniquemeloche).
Devised in conjunction with WPB Mural Project and funded by the WPB Chamber of Commerce, Out of Site is a highly community-oriented project. The organizers aim to highlight the already thriving arts scene in the area, noting that, "The magic of coming across something unique is what makes Wicher Park/Bucktown so special."
There's plenty to see here, and no reason not to see all of it. But just in case you're low on time, we've selected a few that are definitely worth hopping on the Blue Line for. So if you're passing through after work on a Friday, look up from your phone and scan the area. You never know when you might spot a dance/spoken word ensemble. Or a sidewalk mural. Or a naked person.
Honey Pot Performance: August 16, the Polish Triangle
This collaborative quartet of black female performers delivers one of the most politically poignant acts in the lineup: a commentary on African-American diaspora and survival in a devalued labor market. Their piece, "The Guidebook Sessions," is a tribute to a Jim Crowe–era resource called the Negro Motorist Green Book, which helped traveling African Americans find accommodating businesses. A hybrid of public art and public service, Honey Pot's multidisciplinary performance draws not only on the topic of race, but on poverty and unemployment.
DeMarcus Purham: September 6, the Polish Triangle
If you've never witnessed an "artist in a box" performance, now's your chance. Purham's piece is an experiment in acrylic on plexi-glass. For eight hours, he'll stay in his box, creating detailed cityscapes of Chicago in the glass. By 5pm, he should have something worth looking at.
Ieke Trinks: September 20, throughout WPB
This quirky performance artist hails from the Netherlands, where she's acclaimed for her work with everyday objects such as cups, chairs and shoes. With a performance collaborative in Rotterdam called TRICKSTER, she has become skilled at constructing and deconstructing materials in imaginitive ways that change audience perception of said materials. Who knows what she'll play with next?
Meghan Moe Beitiks: October 6, Damen 'L' stop
Perhaps the most learned on the list, Beitiks' performance art riffs on the relationship between nature, structure and culture. She's a Fulbright fellow who has presented papers and lectures internationally on how to improve or remedy broken or invisible environments. We expect she'll be a big hit with the Wicker Park crowd.
Amber Marsh and Lolly Extract: October 11, Western 'L' stop
This mother-daughter puppetry duo is sure to turn heads of traingoers, with their colorful costumes and "Hydra vs. Hercules" street battle scene. Extract has done professional puppetry for the Roanoke Symphony and the Lyric Opera, and Marsh has been busy teaching puppetry basics in Chicago Public Schools. This is not just your average sock-and-paper bag fiasco.