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Review: Too Big to Fail/April Gallery

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photo by Paul Germanos

photo by Paul Germanos

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Housed in the refurbished Texas Ballroom, the April Gallery exhibition features installations, video and text-based objects that engage academic research with artistic practice. Heavily textual pieces like Kristi McGuire’s “I mean, it’s sort of half-heartedly about Modernism, I guess,” where McGuire draws a visual and mental map on mirrored glass in an effort to locate modernist thinkers, stands in the vicinity of Andrea Slavik’s “Slum Love,” a dual-screen video juxtaposition with clips from the recent feature hit set against a candid recording of racially slurred monologue, with Rebecca Gordon’s piece from her ongoing series on performance.

With so much going on in such a small space, the central focus (perhaps because of the sheer size of the work and its expanse) rests on a fourteen-foot table in the center of the gallery. The group’s collective work, “Bibliography,” displays a selection of contributions from exhibition participants in the form of letters, quotes and project proposals that bring in James Elkins, Terri Kapsalis and Adelheid Mers establishing a geographic and theoretical reference point from which the recent School of the Art Institute MA candidates engage in their work. (Beatrice Smigasiewicz)

Through May 10 at 3012 S. Archer.

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