previews

  • Steve McQueen, Exodus, 1992–97, Super 8 film transferred to digital video, color, silent, 1 minute 5 seconds.

    Steve McQueen

    The Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    October 21, 2012–January 6, 2013

    Curated by James Rondeau

    An avowed formalist, Steve McQueen is also a child of Britain’s brand of early-1990s identity politics, which were a heady merger of race and postcolonialist discourse. While his recent leap from gallery to Cineplex is nothing short of remarkable, his feature films (Hunger [2008] and Shame [2011]) bear the same resolute visual sensibility and commitment to socio­political subjects that have characterized McQueen’s work from the beginning. For this survey, the artist-director has entered yet new territory with End Credits (part one), 2012—an almost eight-hour-long film showing each of the thousands of documents in Paul Robeson’s FBI file; this will accompany fourteen other works made by McQueen since 1992, including films and videos, a light box, projected slides, and his 2007–2009 project Queen and Country (for which he designed stamps in tribute to Iraq-war casualties), all of which will be considered in the catalogue raisonné published in conjunction with the show.

  • Goshka Macuga, The Nature of the Beast, 2009, Guernica tapestry, wood and glass table, 16 leather and metal chairs, bronze and wood bust, dimensions variable.

    “Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A”

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)
    220 East Chicago Avenue
    December 15, 2012–March 31, 2013

    Curated by Dieter Roelstraete

    Goshka Macuga’s category-confounding strategies of playing artist-as-curator, unearthing an institution’s history, and displaying otherwise concealed information reflect her upbringing in Communist Poland— a politics of exposure, she’s said, directs her research-based practice. In 2011, Macuga installed Family—a remake of a censored Oscar Bony sculpture—in the spot in Warsaw’s Zache˛ta National Gallery of Art where Maurizio Cattelan once exhibited his meteorite-struck pope. For The Nature of the Beast, 2009, Macuga set up a meeting space for political discussions in London’s Whitechapel Gallery and furnished it with a tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica that was not only shown at Whitechapel seventy years earlier but had been draped behind Colin Powell when he declared war on Iraq at the UN in 2003. Both projects, alongside a dozen others from the past ten years, are reprised in Macuga’s first museum survey and further unpacked in a catalogue with essays by Dieter Roelstraete, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Adam Szymczyk, and Grant Watson.