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Public Art, Past & Present

  • Comfort Station 2579 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL, 60647 United States (map)

The second installment of Pentimenti Productions ongoing partnership with Media Burn Independent Video Archive, Public Art, Past & Present is a special screening of short documentaries about public art, hosted at the Logan Square multi-disciplinary space, Comfort Station. The Monumental Art of Marc Chagall (1974) follows the titular French artist as he creates the Four Seasons Mosaic. Director Chuck Olin uses the style of direct cinema along with interviews, to show Chagall's artistic process, and the evolution of his piece from model to its final unveiling in Chicago. Produced for the Chicago Council on Fine Arts, Chicago's Miró (1981) provides an overview of the surrealist's life and work, while chronicling the creation of the famous statue, Joan Miró Chicago. These two films, both courtesy of the Media Burn Archive, will be followed by three short pieces by acclaimed local artist Maria Gaspar made for her 96 Acres project, including: Not Just Another Day (2015), PARK (2016), and Stories from the Inside/Outside (2015). The juxtaposition of these two bodies of work will create a fruitful post-screening discussion between Maria Gaspar and Pentimenti sterographer and Media Burn board member Ben Kolak about the evolving role of public art in Chicago, questions about its intended audience, issues of place & access, and more.

Founded in 2012 and led by artist, Maria Gaspar, 96 Acres Project is a series of community-engaged, site-responsive art projects that involve community stakeholders’ ideas about social and restorative justice issues, and that examine the impact of incarceration at the Cook County Jail on Chicago’s West Side. 96 Acres uses multi-disciplinary practices to explore the social and political implications of incarceration on communities of color. Through creative processes and coalition building, 96 Acres aims to generate alternative narratives reflecting on power and responsibility by presenting insightful and informed collective responses for the transformation of a space that occupies 96 acres, but has a much larger reaching outcome.

Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video and television created by artists, activists and community groups, with a mission to preserve audiovisual records of history and culture and to engage audiences with their creative reuse. Media Burn is a project of the Fund for Innovative TV, which has been producing challenging documentary video and television since 1990.