Arts Calendar, 10/29-11/4


Power! Identity! Resistance!
In their first production of the quarter, the University of Chicago’s University Theater presents a week of workshops entitled, “Power! Identity! Resistance!” Among them are “Lithuania,” by Rupert Brooke, “The Stronger” by August Strindberg, “A Borges Project” by Ofer Ravid, and “Sez She” by Jane Martin. Each one explores changing identities and the problems that arise under moments of such transition. Showcased over Halloween weekend, these workshops highlight many dark characters and the ramifications of revealing an inner monster. Third Floor Theater, 5706 S. University Ave. Through October 31. Wednesday-Saturday, 8pm. $6. (Elly Fishman)

Take 5
Take 5 is a vibrant palette of dance performances featuring many of Chicago’s prominent dance groups. The performance, which closes out the Chicago Tap Summit 5th Anniversary Celebration, features Be the Gross, The FootworkKingz, The Primeridian, and The Hip Hop ConnXion, all well-known names in hip-hop, jazz, and tap dance. This year, the Tap Summit celebration, put on by M.A.D.D., or Making a Difference Dancing, highlights Ernest “Brownie” Brown’s contributions to the world of tap dance. Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr. November 1. Sunday, 7pm. (773)373-1900. $20. (Elly Fishman)

eta Creative Arts, Chicago’s premiere Afrocentric theatre, presents a work by Daniel Beaty, creator of the one-man play “Emergence-SEE!”, which recently finished a sold-out extended run off-Broadway. The center of “Resurrection” is a 10-year-old boy who affects the lives of five men: the owner of a health food store in the projects, the bishop of a megachurch, a music executive, a graduating high school senior, and an ex-con. Director Cheryl Lynn Bruce won multiple awards for her direction of Congo Square Theatre’s 2001 production of “From the Mississippi Delta.” eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Through November 15. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm and 7pm. (Sam Feldman)


Christopher Taylor plays Bach’s Goldberg Variations
Originally scored for two harpsichords, Bach’s Goldberg Variations has lived through a complicated history of reinterpretations and recordings. Glenn Gould’s uncommonly lyrical rendition defined his career, and the aria has been transcribed for harp, accordion, marimba, orchestra, and other instruments. Christopher Taylor may edge his way into the piece’s daunting history with his interpretation on the world’s only dual-manual Steinway piano, which was manufactured in 1929 and boasts 76 extra keys above the normal keyboard’s upper range. At the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, he will be grappling with both the mammoth instrument and the Variations’ mythic status. Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. October 30. Friday, 7:30pm. $32/$10 students. (Brandon Hopkins)

Hanzel und Gretyl
Many Americans imagine Germany’s national identity as a fairytale forest through which gothic warlords, crazed Kaisers, and angular modernists gambol and glide. Industrial metal act Hanzel und Gretyl are based in New York but dwell in this forest’s stygian center, surrounded by a moat of stereotypes and outdated kitsch. The leather-clad duo of Kaizer von Loopy and Vas Kallas traffic in the same Wagnerian bombast as better known Teutonic metal heads Rammstein, as well as early industrial dance groups like Skinny Puppy, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and Ministry, whose puerile shock tactics have influenced Hanzel und Gretyl’s flippant affinity for fascistic imagery. Reggie’s Rock Club, 2109 S. State St. October 30. Friday, 10 pm. (312)949-0121. $15. 17+. (Brandon Hopkins)

Josh Abrams Trio
The South Side’s answer to the North Side’s myriad of weekly experimental music series, the Monday night Ratchet Series brings the city’s most unpredictable jazz performers to Pilsen’s tater tots-serving dive bar, the Skylark. Up next is the Josh Abrams trio, led by a double-bassist who has left his Roots in alternative hip-hop and developed his own vocabulary of plucks and bows. Vibes player Jason Adasiewicz will bring his wild, glassy tones, and drummer Frank Rosaly, who batters his kit like he’s resisting demonic possession, will round out the group. The Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted St. November 2. Monday, 10pm. Free. (Brandon Hopkins)

Hans Koch
Every academic quarter, the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society puts on a few of the best avant-garde music concerts in Chicago. This season looks especially promising, as it brings legendary free jazz horn man Joe McPhee (November 9) and equally lauded clarinetist Hans Koch (November 4) to Bond Chapel. Born in Switzerland, Koch has played alongside a pantheon of experimental deities, including Fred Frith, Anthony Braxton, Wolfgang Fuchs, and Cecil Taylor. Bond Chapel’s sonorous acoustics, designed for the resonant harmonies of more traditional performances, ought to work wonders on the Renaissance Society’s concert hall-eschewing acts. Bond Chapel, 1050 E. 59th St. November 4. Wednesday, 8pm. Free. (Brandon Hopkins)


Boo Haus
Inspired by the Bauhaus school in Germany, which combined crafts with the fine arts, Bridgeport’s Co-Prosperity Sphere hosts a Halloween spectacular. A funky and likely chaotic arrangement of music, visual art, and video will entertain the senses at this multi-level festival. A faux-advertising campaign, “Just Say No To Drugs,” is the downstairs installation in the “dungeon,” while all manner of DJs and performers cavort in the main space. RSVPs by 4pm on Halloween are strongly encouraged; see the website for more information. Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S. Morgan St. October 31. Saturday, doors open 8:30pm. $10 with RSVP, $20 without. (773)837-0145. (Sarah Pickering)

Deedee Davis and Casey Roberts: Works and Collaborative Works
These two artists have created a series of lively prints. Many of their pieces feature elements of collage, giving the scenes a playful sense of space. Davis and Roberts often work with a cyanotype process, the same technique used for making blueprints, which yields a clear, cyan-colored tint to their artwork. Despite the watery, wintery colors, many of the subjects seem inspired by warmer times: rainbows and lake bathers may make the viewer yearn for summer. Home Gallery, 1407 E. 54th Place. Hours by appointment. (773)363-5935. (Sarah Pickering)

New Collages by Jack Girard and Recent Paintings by Lawrence Tarpey
Jack Girard and Lawrence Tarpey are both from Lexington, Kentucky, but their work addresses the human condition from very different approaches. For Girard, collage “suits the fragmented design of (his) days,” and as the photo-real mixes with dreamlike blocks of color, the viewer gets the impression of looking into the artist’s, or perhaps even his or her own, subconscious. Tarpey describes his process as “somewhat obsessive.” Like the love child of Cubism and Surrealism, his patchwork creations are achieved through a combination of oil and pencil on gessoboard. The paintings are not without humor, but a muted color palate and restrained composition hints at graver undertones. Logsdon 1909, 1909 S. Halsted St. Through November 7. Saturday, noon-5pm and by appointment. (312)666-8966. (Sarah Pickering)

Ryan Mandell meditates on the idea of wealth and its ability to construct reality. A graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, his sculptural work has a visible architectural influence. In this new show, he postulates a conception of the future, dominated by hyperbolic buildings and landscapes. Inspired by extravagant libraries, palaces, and Graceland, Mandell confronts the connection between money and power from a unique, literally structural perspective. Eastern Expansion Gallery, 244 W. 31st St. Through November 12. By appointment only. (773)837-0145. (Sarah Pickering)

Artist Makeba Kedem-DuBose was raised in a public housing project on the West Side of Chicago. She calls her family and friends from that area her “tribe.” Having cultivated an appreciation of art from a Jesuit priest, the artist developed her own style. Blending African ancestral traditions with her Judeo-Mystic religion, she strives to let her work reach out to viewers and pull them in. The pieces are bright and uplifting, and range from the abstract to hyper-stylized representations. eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. Chicago Ave. Through November 15. Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. (773)752-3955. (Sarah Pickering)

This group show features the video work of 18 artists from around the world presenting their view of Shanghai. Each artist spent time in China, observing and absorbing the culture firsthand. The pace at which the city is growing and changing makes it a suitable subject for this particular medium; all videos will be on display in HPAC’s Black Box Gallery. Some pieces choose to contrast older notions of a “mystical orient” with more modern representations of globalization. Very much an exhibit of our generation, this show celebrates the growth of this global city, while simultaneously questioning its sustainability. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through December 13. Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Sarah Pickering)

Polonia and Other Fables
Allan Sekula’s “Polonia and Other Fables” is an endeavor in documentary photography aimed at exposing the “social impact of global economics” in Chicago, according to the curatorial statement. His images focus mainly on Chicago’s labor community and large Polish immigrant population. The exhibition is complemented by samples of Sekula’s writings, which are as essential to his art as his photographic pursuits. As is characteristic of Sekula’s work, the exhibition is critical of the medium of photography while being decidedly photojournalistic. For this story, at least, Sekula can rely on his images to do the telling. Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. Through December 13. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)702-8670. (Leah Reisman)

The cities and small towns of the Midwest have never been a part of the mainstream art world, last breaking through with the unsentimental, deceptively folksy murals of Thomas Hart Benton. The Smart’s “Heartland” presents contemporary art from this geographic center and cultural periphery, featuring videos, photography, drawings, and site-specific installations made by artists from Kansas City to Detroit. Some works reference the expected imagery of the Midwest, whether real or stereotyped, such as Greely Myatt’s installation of a lawnmower with plant roots, while others treat less-localized personal and societal issues with a refreshing lack of New York-style narcissism. Originally shown at a museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to explain the culture of a people who elected Obama, this examination of familiar territory may yield surprises. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Through January 17. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10am-4pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5pm. (773)702-0200. (Helenmary Sheridan)

Joanne Trestrail: Piecework
Joanne Trestrail, an alumna of the Hyde Park Art Center’s ceramics classes, brings to the gallery a unique take on form. From a distance her pieces look like rocks, but upon closer inspection, they turn out to be crescendoing multilayered works. These are not stones to dismiss easily. Trestrail’s focus on the fundamental building blocks creates pieces that grow organically, recalling the stratigraphical storytelling of geology. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through January 17. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Tizziana Baldenebro)

Susan Aurinko curates an exhibit of works by Barbara Crane, who has had over 75 solo exhibitions internationally. A graduate of the IIT Institute of Design, she utilizes the same techniques she developed there over 40 years ago. According to a 2002 interview, her work is a quest to “eradicate previous habits of seeing and thinking.” The resulting abstractions appear simple, but often speak to a complex interaction between form and content. Kemper Room Art Gallery, Paul V. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology, 35 W. 33rd St. Through February 1. Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (312)567-5293. (Sarah Pickering)

The Hyde Park Art Center’s faculty displays a selection of their artwork that deals thematically with the process of memory. The exhibition uses a variety of media, including painting, photography, video, installations, and performance art, in an attempt to express personal experience in retrospect. Fact and fiction collide in these projects, all of which contain multiple layers and histories. An emphasis on process gives a constructive relevance to highly individualized pieces. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through February 14. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Sarah Pickering)