In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street
In the beginning sometimes I left messages in the street is a public art exhibition that couples artists and practices with the materiality of the built environment. Through the use of billboards, sculpture, performance, and sound, the artists in the exhibition will consider the landscape of Chicago. The brevity of space and opportunities for engagement with the less traversed areas of the city become exciting moments for critical inquiry, site-responsiveness, and the activation of interstitial spaces.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the subtitle of Wittgenstein’s Mistress, a novel by David Markson. Within this story, the main character spends her days endlessly recounting historical facts in an effort to understand the present situation: that she could very well be the last person left on earth. As the story unfolds, our main character is traipsing through Europe, recounting previous attempts to communicate with others. The reader is taken through a series of situations that prompt the protagonist to position her knowledge of Greek mythology and art history alongside the slow unfurl of her life before the present state. The metanarrative here is the uncertainty of physical space and history as they relate to knowledge of time, the body, and memory.
In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street aims to create a different platform for contemporary art in Chicago that furthers the impact that the arts can have on everyday life, while encouraging viewers to traverse rich and varied expanses of land.
Image: Amanda Williams, harold's chicken shack from the Color(ed) Theory series, 2014-15, Image courtesy of the artist