February 25 – March 11 / 2011
Opening Reception / Friday / February 25 / 6-8 pm

This month, Backspace Collective proudly presents TEN a group exhibition featuring a selection of current MFA candidates from Bradley University.

Don Mason / Kris Meyers / Sara Stewart / Steve Wright / Sarah Zaleski / Cassie Lawlor / Darren Jackson / Josh Bindewald / Mary Beth Koszut / Anastasia Samoylova

606 (Rear) W Main St / Peoria / IL
(in the back of 600 West Main Street)

Gallery hours / by appointment only
Contact / wearebackspace.org


Jason Lazarus: Your Time Is Gonna Come (Selected Work, 2005-2011)
February 22 – April 3 / 2011
Artist Talk: Wednesday / February 23 / 12 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday / February 26 /  5-7 pm

University Galleries of Illinois State University is pleased to announce Your Time Is Gonna Come, Jason Lazarus’ first museum survey, comprising photographic works and installations from his burgeoning international artistic practice. Lazarus’ work examines the nature of photography, past and present, implicitly asking viewers to assess the reach of photography within their own lives.  Lazarus uses his lens and the lenses of others to unite the genres of documentary and vernacular photography with the fanaticism of celebrity worship. In so doing, he heightens our awareness of where photography stands as a fine arts tool, a cultural symbol, and as a mnemonic device. Lazarus’ practice uses the image as a point of departure into a vast conceptual milieu that encompasses biography, popular culture, and the nature of meaning itself.

With pathos ranging from lighthearted to solemn, Lazarus’ multifarious practice ranges from traditionally presented photographs and photograms to appropriated and solicited photographs and texts. In his framed, large-scale works, Lazarus unites the consummate technique of a studio photographer (Eric Becklin, first human to see the center of our galaxy) with the impromptu spontaneity of a vernacular street photographer (Michael Jackson Memorial Procession, June 25th, 2010 [Gary, IN to Chicago]). His towering white-on black photograms, from the Orion Over Baghdad series, consist solely of snapshot titles Lazarus mined from the Flickr accounts of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq.

Lazarus’ installations often include the photographic works of others. Too Hard To Keep, for example, is an archival repository consisting of images solicited from anyone interested in relieving themselves of a photograph that has become too difficult to keep in their lives. Other archives presented in the exhibition include excerpts from NIRVANA, a collection of snapshots and texts submitted by project participants in response to the question, “Do you remember who introduced you to the band Nirvana?” and Sarasota Photomat, an archive of surreptitiously collected images from a one-hour photo developer.

In Lazarus’ unabashedly subjective re-envisioning of shared phenomena, he aims to capture the “moments and spaces in which our political, cultural, and historical landscape reveals itself.”

Since receiving his MFA in Photography (2003, Columbia College, Chicago), Jason Lazarus has established an international exhibition history with solo shows at Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery (Cologne), D3 Projects (Los Angeles), Des Moines Art Center, Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago), and a 12×12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lazarus’ work has appeared in many group exhibitions, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), PPOW (New York), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Das Weisse Haus (Vienna), Kunstraum (Dusseldorf, Germany), Rotterdam Hofplein (Netherlands), and Queens Museum of Art (April 2011). His work may be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Ruttenburg Collection (Chicago), and the Spertus Institute (Chicago), among others. Lazarus teaches at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago.

Infinity, the Answer to All Questions
A film by Irena Knezevic
February 14 – March 18
Hartmann Center Gallery
LECTURE by the artist: Feb. 17, 5-6pm
RECEPTION: Feb. 17, 6-7:30pm

Lecture by the visiting Bunn Lecturer in Photography, Irena Knezevic will be held February 17 at 5 pm in the Horowitz Auditorium, reception to follow in Hartmann Center Art Gallery.

Irena Knezevic is a Serbian artist based in Chicago. She earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007. Her work occurs in various program-making media, physical objects and moving images. Current areas of research are: secrets, involuntary movement, dream-wreck, liquidity, topical and tropical disasters, downward spirals, bright lights, vibratory inscription, record making, dude art, double dude art, forensic exhibition models, Germany’s infatuation with minimalism and shit.

The artist has recently shown work and given performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, White Columns in New York, Harvard University, Cambridge, and Galerie im Regierungsviertel, Berlin.

I just returned from a great week in New York at the College Art Association conference and between the bagels, slices and beer there were some amazing art exhibitions and lectures. Here were some of the highlights!

I was extremely fortunate to have the chance to see the US premiere of Christian Marclay‘s groundbreaking new 24-hour video work The Clock at Paula Cooper Gallery! The gallery was holding 24-hour screenings on the weekend and I was able to catch the piece at 5pm and 3am. It is an incredible durational video that appropriates footage from cinema and television and if I had the time I would have stayed for more. It is on view from January 21 – February 19, 2011 so if you can go check it out!

I also had the privilege of seeing Arturo Herrera‘s groundbreaking installation Les Noces (The Wedding), the artist’s first work to incorporate music and moving images at the Americas Society Art Gallery. It is on view from Thursday, February 3 – Saturday, April 30, 2011 so go check it out if you can!

Some great lectures at the conference included [Meta] Mentors: Great Art Cities with Rebecca Cummins from the University of Washington in Seattle and Defining the Southmost Border: What is American, Mexican, or Neither with David Taylor from New Mexico State University. I was able to get a signed copy of David’s new book Working the Line a photographic examination of the contentious territory that is the U.S./Mexico border. I had the fortune of hearing David speak a few years back at SPE and it is great to see his important work come to completion!

Shannon Benine: Means Without End
February 3 / 2011 – March 15 / 2011
The Brunswick Gallery
158 Brunswick Street
Jersey City, New Jersey

“On display is a section of Chicago artist Shannon Benine’s Means Without End. This project examines the physical and psychological effects of war in the form of a delicate sculptural wall hanging made from photograms of unfolded origami peace cranes. Resembling both a patterned tapestry and a wall of bullet holes, each segment of the panel represents the life of a fallen U.S. soldier beginning with those who once lived in Benine’s community. The piece serves as both an ongoing memorial to the American casualties of the Iraq war, as Benine continues to fold cranes for every fallen soldier until the end of the war, and as a social critique of the devastation of combat.”

This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.