Poetics: A Conversation about Queer Spaces of Color

Photo by March Artist-in-Residence Derrick Woods-Morrow

Photo by March Artist-in-Residence Derrick Woods-Morrow

Poetics: A Conversation about Queer Spaces of Color
Featuring March Artist-in-Residence Derrick Woods-Morrow and Guests

SATURDAY, APRIL 15 6:30 - 8:30 | RSVP

FROM DERRICK: In the Spring of 2016 I read Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, and ever since have been both enamored and heavily influenced. Throughout its pages prose and poetry flow from beginning to end. Embodying notions of home, memories of forgotten and hidden spaces - some safe and others traumatic - and of course, allusions to the closed corridors in which physical activity had once taken place. 

Although Bachelard applies most of his critique to architectural concepts, I am interested in translating this approach to my experience as a queer artist of color. Our bodies and practices are often displaced leading queer bodies to construct spaces - new homes, families and communities. I feel that the architecture of our upbringings and the ambitions of our present selves stand in opposition to our past.  

I hope to engage with the public through a discussion with artists and practitioners tackling the subjects of personhood and progress. We embody different aspects of a collective artistic identity responding to an ever changing political climate. With a shared interest in examining how spaces of home, past and present, are depicted, this panel has the potential to discuss new queer identifying territories. 

Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home…. Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts—serious, sad thoughts—and not to dreams. It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality. — Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


Derrick Woods-Morrow (March Artist-in-Residence) 
(b.1990. Greensboro, NC) is a conceptual artist working in photography, sculpture, installation, and performance. He is the recipient of the 2015 Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts by the College Association of Art, the Carol Becker Merit Scholarship (SAIC), the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award (SAIC), and is a Terry Plumming Scholar.

Alisa Swindell (Moderator) 
Alisa Swindell is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her primary research interests are the history of photography and other modes of contemporary art with a focus on race and sexuality. She is a Graduate Assistant in curatorial and exhibitions at Gallery 400. She is an independent curator and has written for exhibition catalogues and art and culture journals.  She regularly presents at conferences and panels as an academic and an activist. She previously had a career as an arts administrator and taught art history at several universities in Chicago and the St. Louis area.

Ivan Lozano
Ivan Lozano (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico) lives and works in Chicago, where NewCity Art recognized him as a “Breakout Artist” in 2014. He received a MFA in Film/Video/NewMedia/Animation from SAIC in 2011. Before graduate school, LOZANO was the programming director for the Cinematexas International Short Film festival, co-founder of a feminist video collective (Austin Video Bee) and a net art blog (CTRL+W33D). His work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), The Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago, IL), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), the Texas Biennial (09 and 13), FotoFest’s Talent in Texas series (Houston, TX), and others. In 2013 he founded an ad-hoc PDF artist press, IMAGE FILE PRESS, dedicated to presenting artist books, zines, and other digital ephemera.

Ricardo Gamboa
Ricardo Gamboa is an award-winning artist, activist and academic working in his native Chicago and New York City creating radically politicized work. In Chicago, Gamboa is a member of the Southside Ignoramus Quartet and Free Street Theater, resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and founding adult creative partner of the controversial politically charged ensemble The Young Fugitives. In New York City, he is a fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ EmergeNYC program and member of the New York Neo-Futurists.  He is pursuing his doctorate degree at New York University’s renowned American Studies program and is a Critical Collaborations Fellow (2016-2018) at the Tisch School of the Arts where he also received his M.A. in Arts Politics (2013). Gamboa has won several awards including a Joyce Award, MacArthur Foundation International Connections Award, etc. He has worked with over 5,000 young people in the hemisphere. His current projects include the ensemble devised play Meet Juan(ito) Doe, his underground live news show and podcast The Hoodoisie, and his genre-bending, ground breaking webseries about 4 gay Latino doctoral students that are also witches BRUJOS.

Christopher Audain
Christopher Audain works at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago as Project and Finance Coordinator, managing programs and supporting general business procedures. Hailing from Nashville, TN, Chris left the south to attend Kenyon College (’08), majoring in political science, minoring in music, and singing in an a cappella group. His MA in Arts Administration is from Goucher College (’14), and his thesis, “Rhetoric Matters: Framing the Cultural Impact Narrative in Arts Advocacy,” gives him a renewed perspective on the complicated relationship between public funding and the arts. He believes in the power of the arts to break down perverted preconceived notions that tend to divide, thus bringing people together through a shared humanity.

Amina Ross
Amira Ross is an undisciplined artist born and raised in New York, NY. Amina currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Founder and Director of Beauty Breaks, workshop and performance series.