From October 6th – October 31st, 2012, this show is part of SHoP’s month-long investigation into “the nature of artistic independence and community interdependence, dedicated to informal education and an investigation of the Public Artist.” Visit their website for more information.
“Between You & Me” is the first collaboration between Caroline Picard and Thea Liberty Nichols, begun via email correspondence almost a year in advance of them ever having met in person.
Writing proactively as opposed to re-actively, Nichols crafted all the exhibition labels on view in advance of Picard’s production of the artwork on display. Picard then used each text as a guide in the production of her work, following them like directions, rejecting them completely, or striking a balance somewhere in-between.
By turning the traditional art exhibition paradigm on its head, the typically critical, Apollonian exhibition didactics mutated into a work of art. Likewise, the artwork itself responded to both the content of the labels as well as the context surrounding them, approaching them in ways that went through and beyond them. Nichols and Picard located their installation in a second story enclosed porch, a back-end, in-between space that connects SHoP (a former priests’ dormitory) to its neighboring Church. This flexibile, limbo-like space, simultaneously public and private, indoors and outdoors, and fixed and falling apart— foregrounds the disconnect between the visual work on display and its affiliate texts, underscoring the tension their works are fraught with, but also the curiosity, mystery and trust their collaboration was forged with.
Caroline Picard is the Editor of The Green Lantern Press. Her writing has been published in a handful of publications including Artiface, Pinch, Ampersand Review, and MAKE Magazine. She continues to exhibit visual work around the country and lives in Chicago.
Thea Liberty Nichols is a Chicago-based arts administrator, independent curator, and freelance writer. Formerly, she served as Director of 65GRAND gallery and she currently works with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Visiting Artists Program.