Exhibitions at UIC Gallery 400 explore immigration and dispossession

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 exhibitions examining issues of immigration, (dis)location and belonging are on view at Gallery 400 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago through August 6.

The exhibitions, “Chronicle of a Fall” by Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even and the group video exhibition “A Species of Flight”, are free and open to the public.

“Chronicle of a Fall” is a feature-length, immersive video installation illustrating the fragmented and transient experience of an immigrant group in the United States. The work deals with a period in which interpersonal relationships, the experience of home, and the sense of presence and belonging have all been transformed and fractured by global capital, electronic media, and government policy.

The exhibition begins with a simple question posed to a group of six immigrant workers, mainly from the Global South and the Middle East: “What lives in you? »

Many immigrants or foreign-born subjects of “Chronicle of a Fall”, including the artists themselves, have left a country where democracy is cast in the shadow of the United States, where democracy is under threat. by American citizens made possible by American policy. The work’s multiple videos convey the disjointed nature of immigrant subjects’ experiences, offering an intimate and visceral insight into their daily lives and domestic surroundings.

“UIC Gallery 400 is delighted to launch the breathtaking ‘Chronicle of a Fall’ lasting over 90 minutes. The filmmakers have created a compelling environment that encompasses the captivating scenes in which the work’s immigrant participants provide intimate insight into their experiences of disjunction, prejudice, love and desire,” said UIC Director Lorelei Stewart. Gallery 400.

Referencing the 1961 documentary “Chronique d’unété” by Jean Rouch, “Chronique d’une chute” updates the cinema verité approach of the old film with emerging technologies such as parallel body-worn cameras. used by both subjects and filmmakers, as well as volumetric capture and map projection.

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

Where “Chronicle of a Fall” highlights the uneven formation of immigrant identities and social bonds, “A Species of Theft” focuses on dispossession – the loss of possession, namely land or person – as a point input to understand how the property is generated.

The exhibition, which features artists Marwa Arsanios, Carolina Caycedo, Tomashi Jackson and Skawennati, is informed by complex historical understandings of displacement, immigration, labor and alienation between North America, the Great -Britain and Kurdistan. As a resource, land establishes personal and political ties linked to belonging to a place. Its theft and transformation into an object of control shaped colonial societies and their conceptions of race and identity, according to the exhibit.

“The artists in the exhibition dramatize various historical issues that remain present and still relevant today,” said Denny Mwaura, curator of ‘A Species of Theft’ and deputy director of UIC Gallery 400. hopes that the exhibition offers a meditative and educational reflection an experience that allows for deeper reflections on our relationship to the land.

“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. Featured artists discuss Nichols’ theory and engage with issues of citizenship, nation-building and self-government. They use video to acknowledge “the future, eco-feminist practices and sovereignty by emphasizing editing techniques and narrative structures that span mediated experiences across varied landscapes”.

During the duration of the exhibitions, UIC’s Gallery 400 will organize several events featuring the participants of “Chronique d’une chute”, a screening of Jean Rouch’s Chronique d’unété in 1961, a conversation with the artists Nadav Assor and Tirtza Even, and additional screenings of related works. by contemporary filmmakers.

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

The artists developed “Chronicle of a Fall” in part through a fellowship 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 .

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

Visit UIC Gallery 400 for more details and upcoming related programs. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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