BEN RUSSELL : REBUS — Opening Reception — Saturday May 7th, 2010, 5-9pm

1716 S Morgan #2F Chicago, IL 60608
May 7, 2011 – June 19, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday 5-9 pm, May 7th, 2011

Private viewings by appointment*
*The Presentation Theme (14:00, 16mm, 2008) by Jim Trainor will be projected twice during the opening reception.

About the show:
XQQQQME Dear Friend, but your FAMILYYYYYY at BEN RUSSELL sure is feeling a bit FAREDCE! We usually have TIMING TI MING in bringing you, TIME TIME, the finest of the fine arts, but for some reason we got LAL in putting together this month’s 5-person exhibition — BENRUSSELL : REBUS! While putting this show together hasn’t been a P WALK ARK, but believe us when we say that the line-up is M1LLION — an SYMPHON that has finally been completed, that LOV that you dream of at night. We’re  getting ahead of ourselves, though — we should really TAKE PETS and remind you, Dear Friend, what it is we’re getting on about.

BEN RUSSELL : REBUS is art-word and art-puzzle made manifest! From Lewis Carroll to Egyptian hieroglyphs to the British game of Concentration to your older brother’s collection of Lone Star Beer bottle caps, BEN RUSSELL : REBUS is yet another move forward in wo/man’s eternal quest to arrive at symbolic meaning through pictogrammatic signification! With the ever-clarifying but perpetually complicating metaphoric powers of art at our ready, we call upon you to venture in/out of that great unknown we call Meaning with naught but a Wi-Fi trail marker as guidepost for your deeply personal inner quest (ARCTANDER). Your path, as it were, will be bound by strange lines and drops of blood (TRAINOR), it will lead you to a painted cave wall of glyphs and symbols (PRICE) and an outcropping of transformative image-combinations (MOSK), at which point your world will rotate entirely. That thrum of voice and hum of light will settle upon your head, echoing out from smaller-cave to skull and back, an HD image-sound cipher (KNEZEVIC) cracked by your own delicate puzzle of eyes and ears.

So good it must be SICKBIRD, so affecting it’s like a punch IRIGHTI, this is proof positive that art and BEN RUSSELL : REBUS are PPOD — come on down and see for yourself!

About the Artists:
ZAK ARCTANDER is a Chicago based artist who makes sculptures, videos, and photographs. He received his BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. He works as an Artist Guide at the Museum of Contemporary Art and is an assistant at Iceberg Projects in Rogers Park.

IKA KNEZEVIC is a Serbian artist based in Chicago. Her work occurs in various program-making media, physical objects and moving images. Current areas of research are: secrets, involuntary movement, dream-wreck, liquidity, topical and tropical disasters, downward spirals, bright lights, vibratory inscription, record making, dude art, double dude art, forensic exhibition models, Germany’s infatuation with minimalism and shit.

SARAH MOSK was born in 1978. Lives in Pilsen, Chicago, USA. Has a BFA from Northern Illinois University.

CARMEN PRICE‘s drawings create new relationships between familiar visual elements to express joy in contemporary culture. His celebratory works use personal symbolism and a strong faith in the accidental to form occasionally narrative and often confusing scenes. Originally from Kansas City, Price currently lives and works in Chicago.

JIM TRAINOR is a filmmaker, mostly an animator, living in Chicago. He is just now completing a series of films called The Animals and their Limitations, of which Harmony is the latest installment, with The Bat and the Virgin, The Bats, The Moschops and The Magic Kingdom its predecessors. Most recently, he has been working on a long comic strip project called Sun Shames Headhunting Moon. Jim Trainor teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About the Space:
BEN RUSSELL is an art space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.  Co-curated by artists Brandon Alvendia and Ben Russell and situated around the front two rooms in the apartment of its namesake, BEN RUSSELL began presenting a series of month-long 5-person shows on Memorial Day Weekend in the year 2009.  Participating artists are invited to produce and exhibit work that is in accordance with the title/theme of each show, the name of which will be derived entirely from the 10 letters in the words “ben russell.”  Future shows may include BEN RUSSELL : LENSBERUSSELL : REBELS, and BEN RUSSELL : US.  In keeping with the structural conceits of the French Oulipo language group and the spatial and material limits of what is effectively a rented apartment, BEN RUSSELL maintains a strict set of restrictions for all exhibiting artists by which:

  • One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work scaled at a minimum of three quarters of the thirteen by ten foot wall.
  • One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work at a maximum of one half of the opposing wall space between the two adjacent doors.
  • One artist shall produce a time-based work to be presented via a CRT flat screen monitor (and associated components) with Dolby 5.1 audio in the adjacent screening room.
  • One artist shall produce work to be installed in the all-weather sculpture garden.
  • One artist shall produce work to be performed for the duration of 15-30 minutes during the opening.


BEN RUSSELL features a rotating roster of Chicago-based and non-Chicago-based artists and will be open for viewings one night a month and by appointment, as needed.”


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