Now::Historic Archives of RSG : Many Chicago Artists/Work

Glimpse Now::Historic Archives of RSG : Many Chicago Artists/Works

  •  Nancy Bechtol

The Randolph Street Gallery Archives features photographs, event calendars, posters, and other materials documenting the nearly twenty-year history (1979-1998) of an important Chicago cooperative, gallery, and performance space. With a particular interest in the social and political issues of its time and a deep commitment to community engagement, Randolph Street Gallery was a critical venue for new forms of artistic expression and left a lasting impact both locally and globally

https://rhizome.org/editorial/2016/nov/17/ Peter Taub. DP: Could you give some background on Randolph Street Gallery? PT: Randolph Street Gallery (RSG) was an artist-run space in Chicago, founded in 1979. I started working there in the mid-80s. It was run by artists, directed by artists, and served artists.

Nancy Bechtol Comments:: This is just a glimpse into the place that, if you ever went there, or showed art there, it is embeded in your very soul. I was so honored several times in my early days to show my work. Controversial works were welcome.. Freedom of Art and Thought and Being There. Artists were engaged and the audience contributed interactively.

There is no saying RSG without the name of the legend\Peter Taub –longtime Director of RSG. Incredibly adapt at blending art, politics, and artists egos to create an art scene — inclusive and amazing –underlined to infinity.

For the curious, art lovers, artists and Chicago history buffs. take a look. it is a real eye opener. I just found out it was online! I flashed back to the infamous video I shot of Hamza that caused quite a stir when it played on CAN TV. honest and forthright, it nailed racial profiling..even in a well known restaurant. And my sound installation which needed walls built, and Peter Taub, assisted by husband, David, carried walls up from the basement, and made a house for the “Reagan Psalms”. “Hamza Speaks” is listed in RSG archive. Also, during the time of the Flag controversy, I displayed “On One Nightstand of and American Artist” a social political piece which also was in a group show by CAC –that gathered works done on and by flags, including Dred Scott’s piece, that was first shown at SAIC to much attention on the subject. ON and on and on..

 

Randolph Street Gallery

Randolph Street Gallery (RSG) was an alternative exhibition space in Chicago, Illinois, from 1979[1] until its closing in 1998 and a vital local force in the development of a variety of new art forms and the contemporary national and international arts milieu. Founded by two artists, Tish Miller and Sarah Schwartz, RSG began in Schwartz’s living room, later moving to 853 W. Randolph Street on Chicago’s west side.[2] The late 1970s, was a period when young artists in all disciplines were collectively founding visual and performing art organizations as alternatives to mainstream and commercial venues in many US cities.[3] RSG was one of more than a dozen ‘alternative’ galleries – along with many new ‘alternative’ theatre groups – situated on the near north and west sides of Chicago. The gallery’s focus was on the needs of artists and practitioners who created work that was unsupported, or at the time, perceived to be unsupportable by most commercial or institutional funders.[4] Randolph Street Gallery was also the locus for groundbreaking collaborative projects such as The File Room: An Archive on Cultural Censorship, conceived by Antoni Muntadas,[5] and was the publisher of P-Form: Performance Art Magazine.[6]

For nineteen productive years RSG fulfilled its role as cultural laboratory for Chicago and the general art world.[7] By the late 1990s, changing trends, expectations, and patterns of patronage in the arts took their toll on the gallery as well as on any of the other few comparable artist-run organizations in the United States (e.g., La Mamelle and the Capp Street Project in San Francisco, the Washington Project for the Arts in the District of Columbia) and the gallery eventually closed.[8]

Many of the emerging and mid-career artists who presented and experimented at Randolph Street Gallery are now recognized as leaders who have changed the context of our cultural dialog. They include visual and performance artists, photographers, filmmakers, sound and video artists, writers and curators.[9]

In 1999, the complete archives of Randolph Street Gallery were donated to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and include all available material documenting the nineteen-year history of RSG, a high percentage of which are original source materials. The archives contain historical records of performance, sculpture, visual and other art forms created or presented by local and international artists, artists’ portfolios, slides, posters, signage, photographs, performance art programs, publications, news clippings, publicity files, a variety of video formats, sound recordings, computer files, administrative records, and some works of art donated to Randolph Street Gallery for auctions and fund raisers.[10] Public access to the archives is possible on a limited basis and by reservation only. The Randolph Street Gallery Archives are complemented by an additional 33 linear feet of archival material from the editors of P-Form: Performance Art Magazine.

References[edit]

1.    Jump up^ Artner, Alan G. “To market…as an alternative” Chicago Tribune (17 Aug 1979: B12)

2.    Jump up^ Obejas, Achy “A Requiem for Chicago’s Incubator of Performance Art” Chicago Tribune (23 Feb 1998: 1)

3.    Jump up^ Warren, L. 1984. Alternative Spaces: A History in Chicago. Chicago. Museum of Contemporary Art.

4.    Jump up^ Obejas, Achy “A Requiem for Chicago’s Incubator of Performance Art” Chicago Tribune (23 Feb 1998: 1)

5.    Jump up^ Artner, Alan G. Muntadas’ Installation Fits Current Thinking” Chicago Tribune (27 May 1994: 64)

6.    Jump up^ P-Form: performance art news http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/pform

7.    Jump up^ Hixson, Kathryn “Randolph Street Gallery” New Art Examiner (Sep 2000: 50-51) v28 n1

8.    Jump up^ Obejas, Achy “Randolph Street Gallery Closes, Victim of Rapidly Declining Funds” Chicago Tribune (14 Feb 1998: 5)

9.    Jump up^ Hixson, Kathryn “Randolph Street Gallery” New Art Examiner (Sep 2000: 50-51) v28 n1

10. Jump up^ Randolph Street Gallery Archives http://libraryguides.saic.edu/rsga

External links[edit]

·        Randolph Street Gallery Archive, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

·        P-Form digital covers and table of contents, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

·        Ellen Rothenberg’s course, The Collaborative Project to preserve, process, and exhibit the Randolph Street Archives

·        The File Room. Initiated as an artist’s project by Antoni Muntadas The File Room was originally produced by Randolph Street Gallery in 1979-1998 with the support of the School of Art and Design and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

·        Two Chicago Galleries and Why They Closed by Victor M. Cassidy

·        Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1 Meta-Performance (1987-88; 00:58:00) – include video file

·        Chicago Alternative ArtSpace Panel, April 2, 2008

·        Alternative ArtSpace Panel Discussion – includes audio and video files

·        Erik and the Animals, July 17, 2005 by Erik Fabian An archive of video documentation of performances at the Randolph Street Gallery from 1987-1996 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Flaxman Library.

·        Living Cross, Allyson and Alex Gray, Oct. 15, 1983 – Performance

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By the Beard of the Last Hippie : LEE GROBAN (tba. soon a film)

By the Beard of the Last Hippie : LEE GROBAN (tba. soon a film) Cure for Insomnia found!

by the Beard of

..LEE GROBAN    (gesture pound chest and give the Rest in Power gesture 3x) …it’s a drag..

LEE GROBAN SPEAKS-YOUTUBE NBECHTOL

(above is a short, not the “official trailer for the upcoming movie, but you have a bit of a taste)

If I could write across the sky, for all to see it would be this:

“Legendary Artist,/Poet, LEE GROBAN, fnally finds the “CURE for INSOMNIA!”

…And the word is, there was a ripple in the fabric of the Cosmos, embracing LEE into infinity..enjoying,

 experiencing the ultimate trip.

To describe Lee is to indeed, describe the indescribable…an artist, a scholarly researcher of obscure names, a Chicago Icon. A very interesting being. A good man.

You did not just know Lee, You Experienced him. Truly. What I ..and I am sure many can relate to, the “Lee Groban Experience”i

…at this point every one of you can fill the blank space,with the stories, the memories you have of Lee,

And they may pop in your mind, in most unusual ways, to remind you of your connection with him as Indelible tattoos on our souls.

I first met Lee in the late 70s—Lee was performing spoken word, poetry, with his amazing ,body gyrations and stunning vocals at the Omega Center, a hip Chicago Venue using Laser lights and psychedelic multimedia Time arts, with his artist friends, Frank Garvey, (of OmniCircus, San Francisco) and Michael Markowski (Director/ musician/Video artist)

it was intensely overwhelming attack of all your senses—in a good way.

Decades of Art and Poetry..

Lee was at I believe at every festival that existed,  including his art wanderings to places like the Rainbow Festival, New York, Calif, and Canada and beyond, which he reveled in, as he would say, “getting exposure” for his work. A fixture at the Chicago Art Scene. (and banned by some of the “best” galleries in River North”

Lee loved an audience, he intensely embraced the Poetry Scene (and the poets really understood him), as he would say they dug me..Lee was an enthusiastic performer live and on videos –And in his daily life as an artist.

The last art show Lee collaborated with me on was at the Zhou Bros Art Center, at the 4Art Inc , “Somnambulist” curated by Jenny Lam. (under the auspices of Robin Rios, artist, director and mentor)

The subject was an art/installation tribute I made of Lee, 2010, the title,

“at second glance, you notice something is different, Lee is dreaming…”

The Lee Groban Experience wove into the fabric of the Chicago Art Scene for over 4 decades. With his unique and personal visions. It was a gift to know him.

Finally, a quote, I stole off a video interview on poets– by the artist Wes Heine,

Lee said:

I DANCE WILD DANCES, AND MAKE WEIRD WILD FACES,

BUT WE ALL WERE DOING THAT TOGETHER, SO

I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE DOING IT

By the beard of.. Lee Groban

 PEACE

As spoken by

…Nancy Bechtol

at the Memorial tribute

 held at Packer Schopf Gallery

942 W. Lake Street. Chicago    December 17, 2011

CANTV”People’s TV network”NEW ERA!

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NEW Era for CAN TV. “The Peoples TV” is here! People of Chicago, are you READY? See you on TV!

CAN TV’s (Chicago Access Network TV) finally has a new home and it is impressive! It has been a long struggle to get its own building and it has been worth the wait. Be part of the  equalization of TV, come for the access, and share/add  your voice to the grand diversity that makes Chicago! Shout out welcoming, to individuals, community groups and nonprofits all over Chicago.

“CAN TV is an award-winning, highly successful, independent nonprofit, recognized as one of the finest public access centers in the country. We the people of Chicago have access to this opportunity to share our visions.” – (CANTV website)

I recently visited the brand new location now located in the Illinois Medical District Area at 1309 S. Wood St. between Damen and Ashland. It is easy to park in the free CAN TV lot, which is accessible off 13th Street, and there is also plenty of metered street parking. Public transportation via CTA bus and train lines with stops that are a short distance away.  It is oddly quiet and almost with a rural feeling. Then you see the elevated and skyline in the distance…Admittedly, it has been a while since I connected with CANTV and it was like a reunion. I was one of the first certified indie producers back in 1986. I have continued over the years to show my artistic and social films in this incredible venue. I started shortly after my MFA from the School of the Art Institute, back when video was difficult, expensive and heavy! I have stayed with CANTV over the years and watched the changes. Ah, history!

CANTV16_visit (1 of 1)-22

At my arrival, Hugs all around with Barbara, ( New City Film names CAN TV Executive Director Barbara Popovic one of Film 50 2015: Chicago’s Screen Gems, “the creative thinkers, and more importantly, doers” representing “action and movement in every form of Chicago media.”) and Lesley Johnson, Program Director, Mary M. Stack, Assoc. Executive Director. and thanks to Joe Szentivanyi, Cable/Traffic Coordinator and Joe Garcia, Network Administrator.with a shout out to all the other good people there for many years, like Greg Boozell, Technology Director, (who I missed seeing in person-very busy guy) and fellow SAIC Alum. They all seem exhausted, leaner and even more determined – if that is possible – with the move this last yr from the Green St./Halsted area.

The facilities are state of the art. Chicago has a new tool for equalization in the system.  When I saw the giant room filled with the  Green Screen Wall, I was overwhelmed with a myriad of possibilities –  the WOW factor of grand special effects opportunities! (no more drippy crumbled difficult green screen curtains!)

The full switch from using videotape to all digital will be a leap for some to make. But as you know, digital media affords current technology and many benefits. The staff who works here are passionate and educated and highly dedicated about what they do and always most helpful.

I got a quick tour of the facility, which is in the final stages of “getting ready” With boxes still unopened, and everthing with the “ fresh smell of media” you can see what lies ahead is nothing short of game-changing for the people who will use it.

Growing pains are part of the process, and now the final push to get it all fully ready.

Cablecasting accepting contact for programs now.. but always Call ahead, (no doorbell yet, so bring your cell to call for entry 🙂 (smile) and check out the website for more information.  

http://cantv.org

Nonprofit CAN TV’s main number: 312-738-1400 email: info@cantv.org

SEE you on TV!

(yes, I have a “special” in March…stay tuned!= yes…maybe you can guess what it will be…) (And..Chris Drew, Street Artist and Deborah Drew BOTH spent many years with community interactions on CANTV on the “Hotline” for social justice and free speech issues) ok, a hint..coming soon to CAN TV!

CANTV16_NewsDesk_nbechtol

How to be arrested safely..says Pres. of A.R.T.I.S.T

How To Be Arrested, Safely..says Pres. of A.R.T.I.S.T

Robert Lederman has been very vocal about the rights of art vendors selling goods in SoHo. He founded A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) in 1993 in order to fight the “legal and political struggle for full First Amendment rights involving the creation, display and sale of art on NYC streets –This is not about politeness or respect for police officers, but rather about surviving the experience, he offers his sage advice as artists’ rights activist who has won numerous lawsuits about being falsely arrested.

http://gothamist.com/2008/11/24/robert_lederman_artist_activist.php

How To Be Arrested, Safely

by Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.

The recent deaths of African American males at the hands of police officers in Ferguson Missouri and Staten Island NY have resulted in widespread protests, riots and a great deal of controversy over police methods. Civil Rights leaders, politicians, activists and reporters

have given these incidents tremendous attention.Unfortunately, completely missing from the national debate is some very simple but crucial information about how members of the public, regardless of age or race and regardless of guilt or innocence should behave when stopped by the police, or when being arrested. This is not about politeness or respect for police officers, but rather about surviving the experience.

Leaving aside our subjective opinions on whether or not American police are brutal, racist, poorly trained or overly militarized, the unquestionable fact is that most people react inappropriately to being stopped, questioned or arrested. Having been arrested myself more than 50 times (though never convicted) I’d like to share my experience in the hope that even one such tragic incident as the deaths in Ferguson and Staten Island can be avoided. The advice I’m giving here is what I’ve learned to do so as to protect myself from being injured or killed by the police.

The key point is to neither do or say anything that could cause the police officer confronting you to think you are going to get violent,

use a weapon or attempt to escape arrest. Police officials, schools and parents should instruct children from an early age how to safely respond to a police confrontation.

1.Car Stops

When a police officer orders a driver to pull over and then approaches

the car, that officer is in a heightened state of alertness. His or her adrenaline is pumped up and they are armed with a gun. They have no idea whether the driver of the car is peaceful or if they have a weapon, are high, drunk, violent or crazy. The very first thing you need to do so as to protect yourself is to put both of your hands where the officer can see them. The two best places are out the drivers side window or to have them on the steering wheel.

The very worst thing you can do as the officer approaches your car is to reach under the seat, in the glove compartment or in your backpack, fanny pack or handbag. You might innocently think that reaching for your ID at this time is a good idea, since asking for your ID is likely to be the first thing the officer will do. No matter how well-trained a police officer is, and no matter how innocent you maybe, reaching for something at this time is guaranteed to make that officer suspect you are reaching for a weapon and to react accordingly.What I do before reaching for my ID, whether on the street or in my car, is to say to the officer, “I am reaching for my ID. I do not have a weapon. Is that OK?” Make sure that your hands remain in view at all times. Move slowly and deliberately and do what the officer is telling you, especially if they say to remain still.

2. Street Stops

On many occasions I have witnessed police in the process of arresting someone other than myself. The defendants often make the following, sometimes fatal, mistakes.

3. Wildly gesturing as they claim to be innocent.Aggressively walking towards the officer.Shouting, either cursing at the officer or shouting to their

friends to come and help them. Attempting to pull their hands away when the officer attempts to

subdue or handcuff them. Reaching into their pockets, pants, jackets, backpacks etc.

  1. Trying to escape from a police car or from the handcuffs. As we can plainly see from videos of some of these recent incidents,

the police are trained to never back down once they begin to make an arrest.They will always meet resistance or force with much greater force. You cannot win by physically fighting with the police. The time to protest

and fight against police is in a court, where you have a better than

even chance of winning.Trying to pull your hand away when an officer attempts to handcuff you or twisting your body, will almost surely lead to a violent response. If there is more than one officer present, you can expect a pile on of all the officers, exactly as is seen in the video of the Staten Island

choke hold incident that led to the needless death of Eric Gardner.Regardless of what one thinks about police tactics or about racism in America is there any question that if Mr. Gardner had simply allowed

the police officer to place handcuffs on him that he’d be alive todayand facing a very minor charge for selling loose cigarettes?

The facts in the Ferguson Missouri shooting of Michael Brown are farless clear cut but the witness reports generally agree that as asuspect in a petty robbery Brown was stopped by the police who then attempted to arrest him. At some point he got away from them, and was shot. The police claim there was a struggle for the officers gun, which may or may not be true, but it seems fairly certain that Brown was in custody however briefly, possibly inside the police car, and then got away. If he had simply remained in the patrol car he’d be alive today and facing a very minor charge of theft.

None of what I’m suggesting is meant as a defense of the police nor as an accusation against the victims of these police shootings. These incidents are tragic because they were totally avoidable.

Everyone in this country, especially those who live in high crime areas where being stopped by the police, justifiably or without

justification, is a routine occurrence, should have a plan in place flatrabbitinLockport_realcolr_ArrestDeadfor surviving these incidents. Chose your battles wisely.

“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will

not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies

but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not

know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single

battle.” – Sun Tzu

The writer is an artists’ rights activist who has won numerous

lawsuits about being falsely arrested.

> Robert Lederman

President A.R.T.I.S.T

————————————————–

pass it on..

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