Ben Russell x3


Ben Russel has 3 shows happening this weekend, featuring various iterations of his paint-covered self, his celluloid self, his performative self, and his new apartment gallery self.  Details are below, but the short of it is this:

1) Friday the 22nd from 7-11: BEN RUSSELL IS MEDICINE CABINET at Medicine Cabinet (3216 S Morgan. Apt 4R) = invisibility performance by Ben Russel, somehow involving Michael Jackson, age 13

2) Saturday the 23rd from 7-9: TRYPPS TRYPPS TRYPPS TRYPPS TRYPPS TRYPPS at Heaven Gallery (1550 N Milwaukee, 2nd Floor) = 6x 16mm films + double-projector flicker/noise performance

3) Sunday the 24th from 6-10: BEN RUSSELL : BENRUSSELL at BEN RUSSELL (1716 S Morgan #2F) = apartment gallery opening/ apartment-as-found-object + barbecue performance

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1) Medicine Cabinet Presents:
3216 S. Morgan St. Apt 4r
Chicago, IL, 60608

I used to say “I” and “me” / Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we” – Michael Jackson, “Ben”

A veritable cabinet of curiosities himself, occasionally Chicago-based media artist/performer/curator Ben Russell brings his heretofore unacknowledged skills of video camouflage and virtual mimicry to a one-night only engagement at the fabled Medicine Cabinet. Watch in slack-jawed disbelief as he transmutes the world into his image in reverse, utilizing a battery of tricks and tools in the service of ALWAYS BECOMING that include (but are not limited to): live video performance, light-sensitive electronics, Michael Jackson at age 13, and a makeshift cloak of invisibility.

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2) Heaven Gallery Presents:
Saturday, May 23, 7-9pm
1550 N Milwaukee, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL

After a long year of traipsing ’round the globe, itinerant Chicagoan, media artist, and curator BEN RUSSELL wanders into the hallowed halls of Heaven Gallery for a special presentation that promises to annihilate your physical self entirely. Featuring a full set of 16mm films from his TRYPPS series and culminating in THE BLACK AND THE WHITE GODS, a live double-projector performance (with light-sensitive audio circuits! flicker loops! a human skull!) that will send your optic nerves reeling, this is New Modernist Neo-Psychedelic Ethnographic Filmmaking at its finest. From spraypaint transcendence to dead tree deliverance, Lightning Bolt freak-outs to Richard Pryor seances, and the ecstatic capitalism of Dubai to the funereal rites of Surinamese Marooons, this is one screening that will stay burned in your retina for ever and ever and ever.

WARNING: This show contains visuals that may be harmful to those with epilepsy.

FEATURING: Black and White Trypps Number One (6:30, 16mm, 2005), Black and White Trypps Number Two (9:00, 16mm, 2006), Black and White Trypps Number Three (12:00, 16mm, 2007), Black and White Trypps Number Four (11:00, 16mm, 2008), Trypps #5 (Dubai) (3:00, 16mm, 2008), Trypps #6 (Malobi) (12:00, 16mm, 2009), The Black and the White God (20:00, live performance, 2008)
TRT 73:00

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3)BEN RUSSELL presents:
1716 S Morgan #2F
Chicago, IL 60608

Opening reception: 6-10 pm, May 24, 2009
Private viewings by appointment

BEN RUSSELL is a newly formed art space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Co-curated by artists Brandon Alvendia and Ben Russell and situated around the front room in the apartment of its namesake, BEN RUSSELL will present a series of month-long 5-person shows beginning on Memorial Day Weekend in the year 2009. Participating artists will be invited to produce and exhibit work that is in accordance with the title/theme of each show, the name of which will be derived entirely from the 10 letters in the words “ben russell.” Future shows may include BEN RUSSELL : BLUENESS, BEN RUSSELL : REBELS, and BEN RUSSELL : BEER. In keeping with the structural conceits of the French Oulipo language group and the spatial and material limits of what is effectively a rented apartment gallery, BEN RUSSELL maintains a set of restrictions for all exhibiting artists by which:

– One artist shall produce a flat work scaled at a minimum of three quarters of a thirteen by ten foot tall wall
– One artist shall produce a flat or wall-mounted work at a maximum of one half of the opposing wall space between the two adjacent doors
– One artist shall produce a time-based work to be displayed on a CRT flat screen monitor with Dolby 5.1 audio in the adjacent screening room
– One artist shall produce work to be installed in the all-weather sculpture garden
– One artist shall produce work to be performed for the duration of fifteen minutes in the living space

BEN RUSSELL will feature a rotating roster of Chicago-based and non-Chicago-based artists and will be open for viewings one night a month and by appointment, as needed.


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