May 5 – May 18, 2019
Organized by Marlo Koch and Betsy Johnson
Program: Sunday, May 5th, 2 – 4 PM
Sauna! is a springtime reading, screening, and live sauna that will spray, spout, and splay out concepts of multiplicity. Featured are written works and works for the screen that destabilize the solitary subject by means of an “I” gone rogue, works in which the body is shifted slightly and the individual’s life is temporarily abandoned in order to make play on a different plane. The artists actively and ambiently think through “persona” in their approach to language, action, or production in order to examine the performance produced in and by everyday behaviors. Sauna! attempts to get at the sensation of watching a person watch another person who is trying not to perform, bodies separating from themselves, the slowing of time and language, and cycles.
Justin T. Nalley
Eileen Rae Walsh
As an artist making texts and a writer making art Marlo Koch uses repetition, ordinary objects, self-care language, footnotes, and cowboys in her poems. She mostly draws snakes and ghosts and water and thinks queer theory and affect theory are real neat. Since graduating with an MFA in Studio Arts at UIC in 2018, Marlo was a writer-in-residence at the Wassaic Project in Upstate New York and curated an exhibition for the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection.
Driven by the pleasures and agonies, the frictions and the tensions, of creating a queer body to live in, Betsy Johnson wields language as performance, video, text, and object. Proposing speculative world-making, poetry, empathy, and slowness as urgent political strategies, their work poses questions about the validity of optimism and hope as forms of resistance. The work grapples with the power of language to stun, to soothe, to embolden, and to enrage, as well as the progressive, millennial subject’s relationship to histories of radical leftist thought and action. Betsy received an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2018.