Stony Island Arts Bank 6760 South Stony Island Avenue, Chicago Carlos Bunga, Under the Skin, through January 3 Frida Escobedo, Materials Reservoir, through January 3 The Stony Island Arts Bank is a project of Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates’ nonprofit Rebuild Foundation. The foundation converted a vacant former savings bank on the South Side into an archive, exhibition space, and community center to encourage artist-led, community-driven revitalization. Current programming includes works by Barcelona-based multimedia artist Carlos Bunga, and architect Frida Escobedo (Mexico City). For Under the Skin, Bunga uses cardboard and adhesive tape to create a fluid space that responds to the surrounding architecture and comments on the making process. For Materials Reservoir, Escobedo gathered debris from a demolished South Side church to create a reverse Tower of Babel, with walls that can be re-arranged and destroyed. The piece comments on how meaning and materiality can be appropriated and constructed by each participant.
Posts tagged with "Stony Island Arts Bank":
If you're in town for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, be sure to visit the newly-opened Stony Island Arts Bank, a formerly derelict 1923 bank structure on Chicago's South Side that has been transformed into a spectacular center for exhibitions, artist residencies, and the preservation of archival collections of black culture. The building's rebirth was made possible by artist Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation, which has renovated three other buildings in the area as part of its program of "culturally driven redevelopment." The Arts Bank's opening, said Gates, offers the Biennial "a way of understanding that great things can happen anywhere if we make the investment." In this case Gates (who bought the building from the city for $1 and then raised hundreds of thousands for its renovation) worked with his team of architects, bringing out the character of each room organically. Some parts were restored, others left as-is, and others made new. "If you're patient with the program, the building has so much to offer," said Gates. The heart of that program, outside of amazing rooms for artists and scholars, is the storage and display of the extensive archives of the Johnson Publishing Company, which printed black lifestyle magazines like Ebony and Jet. That collection is housed in a cavernous 2nd floor library whose books seem to reach to the sky. In other rooms and hallways you can see the Frankie Knuckles collection of the "godfather of black house music: and the Edward J. Williams Collection of more than 60,000 glass lantern slides. On display in the first floor gallery is an appropriately makeshift (and beautiful) installation by Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga. Other Rebuild Foundation buildings include Black Cinema House (also home to Gates' studio), the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, and Dorchester Projects.