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Columbia College Chicago
2009 Programs

2009 Programs

Fish Out of Water Film Screening and Discussion
December 2, 2009. Film Row Cinema.

Coming out of the closet can be challenging, and for Ky Dickens, her experience coming out to friends at Vanderbilt University led to the making of Fish Out of Water, a spirited documentary that explores the seven Bible passages notoriously used to condemn homosexuality and justify marriage discrimination. This genre-bending, intellectually condensed, power-packed exploration of the homophobic religious arguments is a mixture of animation, LGBTQ community interviews and expert analysis from theologians across the country. With the help of a cartoon narrator, animated recollections of Bible passages and witty illustrations, Fish Out of Water makes this polarizing subject accessible and non-threatening. Written and directed by Columbia College alum Ky Dickens and featuring Columbia alumni on the film crew.  Golden-Globe nominated composer Kaki King (Into the Wild) delivers an original score that flows effortlessly through the film’s diverse elements. Covering over twenty states and capturing the gay community’s devastation immediately after the 2008 vote on Proposition 8, Fish Out of Water presents the hyper-relevance of this old issue with concern and creativity.
A post-screening discussion followed the film featuring director Ky Dickens and members of the Columbia film crew.

Co-presented by the Institute, Critical Encounters: Fact & Faith, and the School of Media Arts.

A+D Lecture Series:Tina Takemoto
November 18, 2009.Hokin Lecture Hall.

Tina Takemoto is an interdisciplinary writer, theorist, and performance artist whose work explores issues of illness, gender, race, and queer identity. Since 1992, she has collaborated with Angela Ellsworth under the name Her/She Senses. They have presented their installation-based performances nationally and have received numerous grants and awards such as  the James Irvine Dissertation Fellowship, The James Irvine Foundation and Loyola Marymount University, the New Forms Regional Initiative Grant, from Mexic-Arte Museum and DiverseWorks, funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender & Women’s Studies Grant, University of Rochester and Art Matters, Inc. Fellowship Grant. Takemoto's articles appear in Art Journal, Performance Research, Afterimage, Women and Performance, and the anthology Thinking Through the Skin. Her recent book manuscript addresses illness, collaboration, and grief in performance art. Takemoto is currently associate professor of visual studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California.
Co-sponsored by the Art+Design Department and the Institute.

Guerrilla Girls: Feminist Masked Avengers
November 10, 2009. Museum of Contemporary Art

In a continued partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Institute co-presented “Guerrilla Girls: Feminist Masked Avengers.” Since their first riotous appearance in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls have dedicated themselves to exposing sexism, racism, and corruption in the art world, the film industry, and popular culture. Adopting the names of dead women artists and decked out in full jungle drag, these anonymous avengers use facts, humor, and outrageous visuals to skewer institutional bias and inequality. In this program, the Guerilla Girls gave a guided tour through the history of their many public interventions, perform satirical skits, and inspire us to create our own sophisticated acts of aesthetic resistance. The Institute will present a special workshop with students and the Guerrilla Girls on campus November 11, as part of this partnership.

Does Laughter Have an Accent?: An Evening with Sarah Jones
November 6, 2009.Thorne Auditorium

The Institute partnered with the Chicago Humanities Festival on its 20th anniversary season, “Laughter,” to present an evening with Sarah Jones. The shape-shifting mind-boggling Sarah Jones stands to put the better part of humanity into her Humanities Festival appearance. The New York Times heralded the Tony Award winner’s one-woman show “Bridge & Tunnel” as a “sweet-spirited valentine to New York City, its polyglot citizens and the larger notion of an all-inclusive America, that ideal place where concepts like liberty, equality and opportunity have concrete meaning and are not just boilerplate phrases slapped around in stump speeches and news conferences.” She’ll bring some of those characters and a raft of fresh ones just for us in what promises to be one the Festival’s funniest and most heart-warming highpoints.

La Pocha Nostra Performance and Critical Encounters Artist Residency
Performance, October 30,2009 618 S. Wabash, 2nd Floor.

In Fall 2009-Spring 2010, renowned Mexican-American performance artists, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes, and Violeta Luna with their San Francisco-based “trans-disciplinary organization,” La Pocha Nostra, were the Critical Encounters Artist-in-Residence in partnership with the Institute, Center for Teaching Excellence, Center for Community Arts Partnerships, and National PerformanceNetwork. La Pocha Nostra  led an intensive artist workshop incorporating and challenging ideas ofrace, gender, faith, and boundaries that will continue into the Spring semester and culminate in agroup project as part of the 6th annual Gender Fusions. On October 30, La Pocha Nostra debuted a new interactive performance on campus, Corpo/Ilicito: The Post-Human Society #69.

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WORKSHOP with Guillermo Gómez Peña, Violeta Luna and Roberto Sifuentes of La Pocha Nostra
Workshop October 23-30, 2009.

Critical Encounters Artist-in-Residence, La Pocha Nostra, will led an intensive artist workshop that incorporated and challenged ideas of race, gender, faith, and boundaries; specifically designed to engage the selected student/artist participants of Columbia College Chicago and city environs, the cultural environment, and the diversity of Chicago. Inspired by the past work of La Pocha Nostra, the presenting departments aim to offer a dynamic and multiple-stage mentorship opportunity, created and guided by La Pocha Nostra, initiated and developed over several months and culminating in a public presentation in Spring 2010.  The workshop was comprised of 20 participants, including Columbia students and practicing artists, educators and community members. 

Presented by:
Center for Teaching Excellence
Ellen Stone Bellic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media
Center for Community Arts Partnerships
LGBTQ Office of Culture & Community
National Performance Network

Orquestra de Sa Paulo featuring Evelyn Glennie:
Benefit for Access Living’s Arts and Culture Project
October 12, 2009.Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Institute was pleased to be a community partner for this one-night only performance featuring world-renowned percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, who is also deaf, in a program presented by Access Living and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. One of the most outstanding orchestras in Latin America, Orquestra de Sa Paulo, performed with Dame Glennie, under the baton of young rising star conductor, Kazem Abdullah, who wass also making his Chicago debut. All proceeds from this performance supported Access Living and the goal of the Arts and Culture Project to raise awareness around the richness and diversity of disability culture. 

SYMPOSIUM: Gender, Identity & Crossing of Cultures
in Contemporary Chinese Art and Media
September 25-26, 2009. Film Row Cinema

This symposium explored the intersection between gender, identity and cross cultural dialogue in Chinese contemporary art and media. Globalization of the art discourse, the hybridism of cultures, and the emerging role of female artists in this context will be addressed. The symposium  featured presentations by academics, artists, gallerists, and curators from China, Europe and the United States. Organized by Elena Valussi, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of History, Humanities and Social Sciences, and presented in collaboration with the Institute and Museum of Contemporary Photography.

The Celebrated One-Woman Show by Lenelle Moïse
September 16, 2009.
Music Center Concert Hall, Columbia College Chicago

Hailed as “a tour de force” and “a masterful performer”, Haitian-American artist-activist Lenelle Moise brings us WOMB-WORDS, THIRSTING, an interactive performance of patchwork poetic storytelling delivered, slam-style, from the gut. Through a mix of womanist Vodou jazz, queer theory hip-hop, spoken word, song and movement, Lenelle Moise re-conceives memory, dances revolution, reclaims F-words and boldly speaks out about growing up immigrant, working-class, politicized and queer. Presented by the LGBTQ Office of Culture & Community in partnership with the Institute, and co-sponsored by African American Cultural Affairs, Critical Encounters: Fact and Faith and the English Department.

On September 18, Lenelle Moïse  led a “Radical Voice & Movement” workshop with Columbia College students.

BIPED and Ghostcatching Screening
September 14, 2009. The Dance Center

In conjunction with a season-long focus on dance and technology at The Dance Center, this screening launched a dynamic collaboration with The Dance Center and the Institute exploring the body, identity and interactive technology. Two pioneering works by The OpenEnded Group, one of the most prominent design groups working in the field of digital movement, will be screened: BIPED (1999) featuring Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and Ghostcatching (1999) with Bill T. Jones. Widely considered as breakthroughs in the integration of dance and technology, these works expose body movements through the lens of motion-captured choreography in evocative hand-drawn spaces. The screening was followed by a live performance and conversation with students and faculty from The Dance Center and Interactive Arts and Media Department

May 8-9. Links Hall
May 28-29. Northwestern University, Annie Mae Swift Hall

Milkweed is a solo-play fusing poetry and theatre for an intimate look at three African-American female survivors of gender-based violence who are living in bodies which have been the scenes of horrific crimes. The play bears witness to the journeys they make and their individual will to survive.  Milkweed is written and performed by Misty De Berry, a Winter 2007 Institute Fellow and recent graduate of the MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, and directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Spring 2006 Institute Fellow. Milkweed is co-produced by Misty De Berry, Jane M. Saks and the Institute.

May 7, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark.

The Institute is a yearly program partner and co-sponsor of the Chicago History Museum’s OUT at CHM, an annual series exploring the history of LGBT art, politics and culture in Chicago. From AIDS to Bowers v. Hardwick, the ‘80s were one of the harshest—and richest—times in the history of the LGBTQ community. Listen to Chicagoans from a variety of service organizations and activist groups recounts what happened in, and to, lesbian and gay communities during that decade.

April 16, 2009.
Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor

Critically-acclaimed author, hip-hop activist and Spring 2009 Institute Fellow, Bakari Kitwana, partners with the Institute for the third consecutive year on a Rap Sessions Community Dialogue, this time addressing the question: “Is America Really Post-Racial?”  Part of a national tour led by Kitwana, this series presents a diverse panel of leading artists, scholars and activists to engage youth and community leaders in candid, compelling conversations about the ways that race and democracy are being redefined in our national culture. Targeting the hip-hop generation that helped build early support for America's first Black president, this year’s interactive townhall meetings debate the extent to which young Americans have opened a new chapter in American race relations.

Featured panelists:

Jabari Asim, Editor -in-chief of Crisis magazine and author of The N-Word: Who Can Say it, Who Shouldn’t and Why

Lisa Fager Bediako, President and Co-founder of Industry Ears, Inc., an advocacy/activist think tank focused on hip-hop media

Timuel Black, Educator and social activist

Invincible, Detroit-based hip-hop artist and activist

Tricia Rose, Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, and author of Hip-Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop--And Why It Matters.

Moderated by Bakari Kitwana, author of “The Hip-Hop Generation,” co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention, and Spring 2009 Institute Fellow.

April 18, 2009.
Columbia College Chicago, 600 & 618 S. Michigan Avenue.

For the fifth year, the Institute is a proud co-sponsor of Gender Fusions, an annual performance event that creates a queer cultural space and forges a strong, active and vibrant queer community at Columbia College Chicago, which is produced and presented by the LGBTQ Office of Culture and Community at the college.

This year’s Gender Fusions 5: Freak Parade Extraordinaire included:

Keynote Kickoff with Del LaGrace Volcano, Ferguson Hall, 600 S. Michigan Avenue. FREE

Freak Parade & Good Eats, with Mucca Pazza.

Gender Fusions 5 Spectacle: A spectacular mash-up of drag, dance, spoken word, song, burlesque, and comedy, featuring headliners Del LaGrace Volcano (London), Lenelle Moise (Boston), and La Dulce Palabra (Chicago) plus a bevy of talent from Chicago and Columbia College.

January 29, 2009.
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

The Institute is a yearly program partner and co-sponsor of the Chicago History Museum’s OUT at CHM, an annual series exploring the history of LGBT art, politics and culture in Chicago.  Famous designers and everyday Americans alike have used fashion to make statements about sexual identity. Join CHM curator Timothy Long as he explores the lives of gay men and women who have kept us in style and shaped the way we identify sexuality.

January 26 – March 6, 2009.
Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor.

One of the most important artists to emerge from post-Revolutionary Cuba, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons creates multimedia installations, large-scale Polaroids, sculpture, painting and performance that investigate history and memory, and their roles in the formation of identity. Drawing from her personal narrative as an Afro-Cuban woman living in the United States, Campos-Pons' work transcends individual experience to explore cross-cultural, universal phenomenon. Issues such as cultural hybridity, displacement, ties to family and home, and the dualities present in each individual are themes that continue to permeate her work. In this new body of work, Life Has Not Even Begun captures the anticipation and tension inherent in exploring the unknown. From the artist re-discovering her Chinese ancestry, to her intensive study of midnight-blooming flowers, to the unexposed horrors of war, to the future of an imagined peaceful world, each work in this exhibition makes its own unexpected revelation.

As one of the co-sponsors of Life Has Not Even Begun, the Institute has co-commissioned a site-specific installation for the exhibition in Glass Curtain Gallery by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, entitled “Remembrance Fields.” The exhibition is presented by the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces, and will be accompanied with a fully-illustrated catalogue.

January 26, 2009.
Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor.

Two years ago, the Institute presented a special discussion with Albie Sachs, South Africa Constitutional Court Justice, including a virtual tour of the award-winning Constitutional Court building. This year, the Institute is proud to host a return engagement with Justice Sachs to celebrate the publication of a new book about the Court’s art collection. Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa pays tribute to a uniquely successful fusion of art and justice in a building that has achieved international renown for its warm and democratic quality. The Constitutional Court, the most important new building of South Africa’s peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy, is built on the site of a notorious prison that once held Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Art and architecture are fused in the Court in an inspiring and innovative way, informing visitors that they are in a place where the constitutional principles of human dignity, equality and freedom reign. Ben Law-Viljoen’s brilliant photography and Ellen Papciak-Rose’s vibrant and intuitive design are combined with incisive texts by the creators of the building in a book of rare visual emotion and imbued with profound respect for human rights. The book will be released in January 2009 by David Krut Publishing, and features a preface by US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  This special book launch discussion will be Justice Sachs’ premiere stop in Chicago during a national book tour across North America.Justice Albie Sachs will join in a discussion with Dr. Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Managing Editor, David Krut Publishing.

January 14, 2009.
The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue.

Winner of the 2008 Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festica, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country. Culminating in the 2003 election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state, the film chronicles the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is written by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail Disney and Fork Films.  The Institute proudly co-presents with African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) this special pre-release screening and discussion, with ticket proceeds supporting the AWDF Endowment Campaign co-chaired by former First Lady of South Africa, Mrs. Graca Machel, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia. The discussion features Abigail Disney (producer); Leymah Gbowee (activist); Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi (AWDF Executive Director); and moderator Shanita Akintonde (Professor, Marketing Communications, Columbia College Chicago).