Chicago Art Review

Future Facing @ Old Gold by Steve Ruiz
November 16, 2009, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Chicago, Openings, Reviews

With a new address, coat racks, a paneled ceiling and a floor covered in tiny stones, Old Gold has opened again with a one night show featuring the work of Aline Cautis, Josh Mannis and Andy Roche. There was the prevailing social element to the event of the kind expected at one night events, with the work itself giving a nice backdrop and throbbing beat to conversation. Check out the great video documentation below.

Mannis’s looping video collage, Variations (the source of that throb) saw the artist, dressed like a subdivision neighbor and wearing a grossly disfiguring mask, winding into digitally synchronized, then syncopated dance steps. This collaging extended to Does This System Work? #1, an infinite crowd created by edge-tracing and repeating a milling marathon. The static loop, printed on fabric (#2 was on a hat), came out more as an okay wallpaper than much else, containing all of the elements of Mannis’s video work except the best ones. The extended scope and patterning of crowd might have suggest flocking or fascist troop parades, but lacking the transformative, anxious pace of his videos, the imagery looked regular and harmless.

Old Gold

Old Gold

Roche presented two polyester hair pieces and a video titled Glass Flag. The larger and pretty awesome hair piece, Wall Do, hung like a desert island decoration, strung between edges of burlap and wood in wide synthetic grins.  The other, Red Talk, saw the hair draped over the sides of a pink, blown out drawing room photo like creepy drapery, framing the image. The result was an oddly feminized image of a very male sort of event, with the middle tone false hair adding an extra touch of unpleasant gaudiness. Glass Flag showed various views, including much of the installation space itself, while a transparent plastic sheet was danced before the camera. It was interesting to watch a video of the space I was currently occupying but which that didn’t include me, but I wasn’t sure how to connect this to the idea of a transparent flag, which served more as a disruption of the scenes than the anti-political content the clear flag could also suggest.

Future Facing @ Old Gold

Josh Mannis, Does this System Work? #1 and Andrew Roche, Glass Flag

While Aline Cautis’s paintings didn’t thrill me beyond the scratched and marked surfaces on a couple, the highlight of the show was Aline Cautis’s, 1, 2, 3, 4, which managed to bridge both video, sculpture, and drawing. The work projected 16 millimeter film, strung over a spool on the ceiling, which had been marked with thousands of small parallel lines by Cautis. These handmade lines, moving along the film loop in colored chunks, skittered on the wall when projected. It was interesting to see the same marks in motion, existing at once in two different ways on two surfaces.

Old Gold

Old Gold

One night shows are great, but I saw this one more as a welcome-back party than a full on, acutely curated exhibition. Still, the work included was solid and the pieces fit well together, even with some leaning against walls or placed on mirror ledges. I look forward to seeing something done with the fireplace.

I give it a:


Future Facing was a one night event, held on November 13th, 2009 @ Old Gold, 2102 West Palmer.

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