Chicago’s, maybe the world’s, most gifted photographic installation artist, Chris Schneberger builds visual and textual narratives around “cases” from the twilight zone that have a grain of truth, but then swell into whimsical fancy—all documented with scrupulous “academic” rigor—that is straight-faced, with tongue in cheek. His latest extravaganza tells the story of Frances Naylor—born a century ago in Evanston—whose legs were amputated at an early age and who for a short time found that she was able to levitate. Schneberger’s conceit is presenting us a suite of period-style photographs that were supposedly taken by Frances’s father, but on closer inspection have been signed by the artist. Along with too many touches for a treatise to describe, Schneberger’s photos take Frances through her paces, showing us an innocent girl seemingly unimpressed by her special powers as she plays the piano, floats down a staircase and pushes on a baby carriage. Schneberger is a master illusionist whose secret is going over the top with studied ingenuousness. (Michael Weinstein)
Through May 10 at Printworks Gallery, 311 W. Superior.