Time, warped

Courtesy of Studio &

John Grow’s painted snapshot of downtown Chicago, “State & Randolph, 1986” is one of the most literal representations of the theme for “YEAR: A Brief Underview of the History of Time.”

By Ted Holteen Herald staff writer

Revisionist history has become so commonplace in American classrooms that it’s now the norm. So it’s hard to find words to describe the alternate timeline that 30 artists dreamed up for “YEAR: A Brief Underview of the History of Time” at Studio &.

“We all were taught ‘this is the man who did this,’ and we know about all the wars, but this is the grout in between those pillars of things we’ve been taught,” said Tim Kapustka, a founding member of the Main Avenue arts collective, in a group interview on The Four Corners Arts Forum on KDUR-FM.

The & crowd, each of whom also has contributed to “YEAR,” invited artists to choose a year and create a piece of art to reflect their interpretation of that time. The works will be displayed in chronological order for tonight’s show.

“It’s part of the creative process, and we’ll figure out how to show it,” Kapustka said.

There are no limitations to what can be done. Kapustka said he doesn’t know what the exhibit will look like. Artists had until Thursday afternoon to submit their pieces, and the show will be arranged for display on the fly. Not all of the art will be visual; Shay Lopez and Minna Jain plan to immerse themselves in the exhibit with performance art. Jain chose the year 2064 for her multimedia presentation.

“I’m inspired by ideas of time and place and how they inform us,” Jain said. “I love science fiction and fantasy, how the stories can resonate. I’m wanting to not break down 2064 culturally or environmentally, but instead I wanted to make it more personal. This is the most fun I’ve had with a piece of art in a long time.”

There will be a lot to see, watch and read. Scott Dye’s small painting of a bird and ship comes with a title that is its own history lesson: “1835; in which a young Charles Darwin, aboard the HMS Beagle, lands on the Galapagos Islands and encounters the Blue-Footed Booby for the first time. That same year, Auguste Comte, a prominent French Philosopher, posits that humans will never be able to understand the chemical composition of stars but is subsequently proven wrong by astronomers embracing the recently developed technologies of spectroscopy and photography.”

Artist Elizabeth Somers opted for simplicity in form and presentation. Her take on 1960 is a minimalist sculpture that is a good example of why it will take time and attention to fully appreciate “YEAR” and not miss anything.

“I didn’t have to think twice,” Somers said. “Even 20 years ago I was intrigued by minimalism and more so now. We’re so inundated with information, and art’s like that. The more color or materials you add, you get caught up in it. So I did one simple piece, and I knew what I would do would blend in. Tim always comes up with something challenging and stimulating. Every so often, I get a little tired of art just hanging on the wall.”


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